Canning peach preserves is a perfect way to enjoy the taste of fresh summer peaches all year long! This simple peach preserves recipe does not contain pectin, allowing the taste of fresh peaches to take center stage.
- The juice from 4 large lemons (approximately 8 tbsp)
- 6 lbs fresh peaches
- 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- Eight 8-oz glass jelly jars
- Pour the lemon juice into a large, heavy bottomed sauce pan. Peel, pit and chop the peaches into small, bite-size chunks. Add the peaches to the lemon juice as you chop, stirring with each addition to coat the peaches in the lemon juice which will prevent them from browning.
- Pour the sugar over the peaches and stir gently to coat the peaches in the sugar. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 1 hour. *NOTE: The amount of sugar will depend on the sweetness of your peaches. If the peaches are quite sweet, 2 1/2 cups of sugar will suffice.
- Bring the mixture to a full boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium and allow to simmer for 1-2 hours, until the liquid has reduced significantly and is thick and jelly-like. As the preserves begins to thicken you’ll want to stir more and more frequently to prevent scorching. (To test whether the preserves are done, place a small dish in the freezer until very cold. Spoon a small amount of preserves onto the cold dish, allowing it to cool quickly and providing an accurate sense of how thick the juice is.)
- Pour the hot mixture into very clean, dry glass jars leaving about 1/4 inch at the top. Using a damp cloth or paper towel, wipe the tops of the jar to ensure a clean seal. Cap and screw on lids, leaving them a bit loose.
- Bring a large pot of water, or water-bath canner, to a rolling boil and gently lower the jars into the boiling water using tongs. The water should cover the jars by at least 1/2 inch. Let process for 10 minutes. Remove the jars from the water bath and place upside down on a dry towel laid out on a flat surface. Allow to cool completely. (*See note)
- Once the jars are cool, check the seal by gently pressing down on the center of the lid. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If that should happen to a jar or two, just store the preserves in the refrigerator and use it within 3 weeks. Properly sealed jars can be stored in the cupboard for up to 12 months.
- Great tip from a reader: If your preserves are chunkier than you’d like, simply use an immersion blender to puree them to the consistency you prefer.