A busy day is always a good day. Today was one of them.
A friend/coworker of mine has fruit trees, peaches, pears, and crabapples. She asked me to take some of the fruit. I left her house with bags of peaches, pears and a few weeks ago crabapples. The rest of today was spent making something of them.
I started off with the crabapples. Two weeks ago, I used half the bag to make crabapple jelly. Today I turned the rest of them into applesauce. I did add one apple and a pear to the mix. I made enough for two pint jars – which is a serving for four in my house. We love applesauce, especially homemade.
Next, I started on the peaches. I had peaches left over from last year that I had sitting in the freezer. I decided to use these up first. Peaches are great keepers in the freezer. There’s no need to peel them, just pop them into a freezer bag with their skins intact and seal. The skin acts as a freezer burn barrier. These peaches are best used for cooking, of course. They keep very well.
I turned last year peaches into peach pie filling and canned two quarts worth. Each quart will fill 8 or 9-inch pie. It was very yummy. I had a bit leftover after canning and it was used for peach shortcakes. I’m thinking of making up a batch to use just for shortcake. I could can it in pint jars instead.
Next month will be apples and applesauce, probably made with Macs and Cortlands. Maybe I’ll even make some apple pie filling too.
Peach Pie Filling
6 pounds of peaches ½ teaspoon nutmeg
2 ¼ cups sugar 2 teaspoons lemon peel
½ cup flour ¼ cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Peel, pit and slice peaches. If you freeze them, just put the peaches in boiling water for a minute or two and then plunge them into cold water. The peels pop right off, just like when you do the same for tomatoes. Treat with stay fresh citric acid to prevent darkening. I used fruit fresh. You can buy this where pectin is sold in the grocery store. Combine sugar, flour and spices. Rinse and drain; stir into sugar mixture. Leave this to stand for 30 minutes. Stir in the lemon peel and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken. I cooked mine for almost 30 minutes. My peaches were pretty juicy to start. Ladle pie filling into two-quart jars and leave 1-inch headspace. Boil in a water bath with the water being one inch above the caps for 30 minutes. Let cool in water bath for 5 minutes before removing to finish cooling. Don’t tighten the screw bands down for 24 hours. That way you will be able to see if you have a proper seal.
Don’t forget to the label before storing away. I like to put the date on my labels too. I go to avery.com and print labels out on copy paper. Cut them out to the proper size – just a bit bigger than the screw on cap. Cover the labels with a piece of clear packing tape. This helps to keep them somewhat water resistant and readable. Slip under the screw on ring and you’re all set. No worry of taking labels off the jars when your filling is gone.
Do you can? What’s your favorite flavor? Do you use a water bath or pressure canners?