Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Everything's Peachy!

Home Canned Peaches and Spiced Peach Cobbler Filling

Hi, everyone!  We have been enjoying the last couple weeks of summer and getting ready for school to start up this coming Monday.  I'm ready for a routine, but I'm sure going to miss the extra time I get to spend with my kids during the summer.

This weekend a sweet friend of mine texted us and said they had a bonanza crop from their peach tree this summer and we were welcome to come pick up a sack or two of fresh peaches.  What a treat--they were so sweet and juicy!  I like canned peaches from the grocery store, but nothing beats a fresh tree-ripened peach.  We ate some of them and I decided to can the rest rather than freezing them.

I ended up with 3 jars of spiced peach cobbler filling, along with 5 jars of canned peaches in a light syrup.  This pie/cobbler filling is a slightly different recipe than I usually use, but I did a taste test before I put them in jars and it is very good.  You can find the recipe on the Prairie Homestead blog.  She prepared the filling for pies and she froze it, which you can certainly do if you don't want to mess with canning them.  I didn't want to take up room in my very small freezer, so, I did a water bath canning for mine, which makes them shelf stable.  

First, you boil some water and plop some of the peaches in and let them sit in the water for about 2 minutes.  This loosens the skin and will make them easier to peel.  After two minutes, put them in the (sanitized) sink full of cold water for a couple minutes and repeat the process with the rest of your fruit.  Once they've cooled for a couple of minutes, you can slip the skin right off and start to cut them up and remove the pit.  Here are some photos of that process:

Boil the fruit for a couple of minutes to loosen the skins.

Cool hot fruit in cold water in sink.

Slip skin right off the fruit and cut up and remove pit.

Ready to go!

If you're going to make the cobbler filling, cut the fruit up into smaller pieces and mix with the sugar, spices, lemon juice and corn starch.  You can cook the mixture in a stew pan on the stove to make it warm before filling the jars.  I had already sanitized my jars and lids in the dishwasher and we were ready to fill them using a funnel.
Be sure to leave peanut butter and bread wrapper on counter for photo.  #notafoodblogger

I used a 25 minute water bath to can these jars of cobbler/pie filling and then let them cool on the counter.  That "pop" you hear when the lids seal is so satisfying!  

Paula Deen has a great easy cobbler recipe that I like to use.  If I'm out of my own cobbler filling, I just follow her recipe, using grocery store canned peaches.  Here's how I use my filling:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Put 1 stick of butter in a 3-quart baking dish and place in oven to melt.

Mix 1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 cups of self rising flour, and 1 1/2 cups of milk 
slowly to prevent clumping. Pour mixture over melted butter. 
Do not stir.

Spoon jar of cobbler filling on top, gently pouring in syrup. 
Batter will rise to top during baking. 
Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.

Doesn't get much easier than that!

If you just want to can the peaches, I adapted this recipe from The Happy Money Saver.  She has beautiful photos that explain the process.  After filling the jars with sliced peaches, I poured a teaspoon of lemon juice on top of the fruit.  Then I made a simple syrup of 1 c. sugar and 7 c. water.  I poured that on top of the fruit, leaving headroom and working out the bubbles.  These jars also went into a 25 minute water bath.  

If you've every canned before, the whole process is pretty simple.  If you haven't done any food preservation before, I highly recommend the Ball Canning site
for recipes, tips and proper procedures.  I'd love to hear about your favorite recipes for canning fruit, pickles or anything else you've preserved this summer!
A good afternoon's work!

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