Just Peachy! - So Many Recipes, So Little Time... Blog at Allrecipes.com - 119127

So Many Recipes, So Little Time...

Just Peachy! 
Aug. 16, 2009 10:44 pm 
Updated: Sep. 1, 2009 10:57 am

Mmmmm. Peaches.

There's nothing quite like a nice, fresh peach, straight from the orchard. Living in Pennsylvania means the time is now to procure, process and preserve the prolific perfection of PA peaches. (Sorry, I had to do that!)

What better way to preserve them than by making Peach Preserves! I chose a recipe from Cafe Libby on Blogspot (from the book Blue Ribbon Preserves
by Linda Amendt).
My peaches came from a local Amish orchard.

Don't they just make your mouth water?

The first step was to squeeze some lemons. I never have the bottled stuff on hand, but I generally have lemons. The problem is, I squeezed way too much juice. I blame multi-tasking.

The peaches should be cut into chunks (about 3/4"). I definitely want chunks of fruit in my preserves!

As they're cut, they're mixed with the lemon juice to prevent browning. Once the chopping is complete, the peaches and lemon juice are combined with sugar and allowed to sit and hang out for 3-4 hours.

I stepped away from the recipe a little bit here. I added cinnamon...

and freshly grated nutmeg. I love my little nutmeg grater.

What a wonderful aroma!

In goes 1/2 TBS of butter. This reduces foaming.
You learn something new every day!

The pectin waits patiently, top open, standing in a glass. It has to be poured in at just the right moment. Since I was a bit preoccupied, you'll have to trust that I really did pour it in while the peaches were at a rolling boil.

After the mixture boils for one more minute, it's removed from the heat and allowed to sit for 5 minutes. 

Into the jars. I use a plastic measuring cup (1 cup size) with a pour spout. It seems to work better than a ladle. In fact, the ladle just made a mess!

A plastic knife helps make sure there are no air pockets. Never use metal - it could damage a jar.

Lids go on next. Be sure to wipe the rims clean with a damp paper towel first.

Tighten the rings...

and lower each jar carefully into the water bath. While they're in there, you can lick the pot clean like I did.

After 10 minutes (or longer at higher elevations) the jars are removed and allowed to cool. They shouldn't touch, and they should not be in a drafty area.

There's nothing quite like hearing the

of the jars as they seal!

Mine sealed very quickly with this recipe.
The first one "plinked" at about 30 seconds, and all were sealed within 7 minutes.
I wonder if some foods seal quicker than others as a rule. Hmmm.

After they're cool they can easily be checked for a seal. Just run a finger over each lid, pushing down gently. If a lid makes a popping sound and moves up and down, the jar didn't seal. It should be placed in the fridge and used in the next few weeks.

I can't wait to crack open a jar.
I'd better finish the blackberry-peach jam first, though. 
But that's another blog.

Thanks for dropping by!
Peach Preserves
Photo Detail
Fresh, Yummy Peaches!
Photo Detail
Aug. 17, 2009 5:15 am
Great pictorial. I love the PLINK sound too. Not really a fan of peaches but do have 4 (2 white and 2 normal?) peach trees about 5 feet tall from PA. 0 fruit last year and this year. My neighbor has some apple trees but the last freeze on May 18th killed all the blossoms. Sad. So sad. Thanks for the FYIs about butter and plastic knife. Also, the nutmeg grinder looks cool. Never seen one before. Does it work for other spices or not really? Thanks again for the pictorial.
Aug. 17, 2009 5:37 am
Josephine, I've wanted to plant peach trees since we built our house 4 years ago. I still don't have any. I remember someone telling me they don't produce every year. I wonder why. Sadly the nutmeg grater is a uni-tasker. It's made specifically to store and grate just nutmeg. It's cool, though, because it holds quite a bit. I just keep them all in there.
Aug. 17, 2009 5:40 am
Very nice blog, Pam! Thanks for sharing step by step.
Aug. 17, 2009 8:07 am
Wonderful step by step on Pa. peach preserves! I never knew that about the metal knife either. Good to know. About that grater, where did you ever find such a thing? I've never seen one here.
Aug. 17, 2009 9:25 am
Avon, I think I got it at Kitchen Collection. I've had it for a while. There are similar ones on Amazon. If you click the words "nutmeg grater" that are underlined above it'll take you to one. Mine wasn't nearly that expensive, though. It was under $15.
Aug. 17, 2009 4:39 pm
By chance since you do some canning, do you happen to have a recipe for canning green tomatoes with banana peppers? My grandmother used to can these and I've been searching for the recipe everywhere.
Aug. 17, 2009 8:42 pm
Sue, I'm new to most canning. I've done tomato salsa for years, but this is the first year for pickles, relishes, and peach products. I haven't tried green tomatoes (yet). I've gotten a lot of information and recipes just from googling. I wish I could be of more help.
Sep. 1, 2009 10:57 am
how do you know if your dumplings are cooked correctly...in chicken and dumplings??? never had or made before?>please help...should i cut one in half??
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Pam Ziegler Lutz

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Monroeville, Pennsylvania, USA

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Jan. 2003

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About Me
I have three teenage sons who are picky eaters (especially the middle one). I try to cook things that they might enjoy trying, but they're not always willing to try new things. My husband started out a picky eater when we met back in 1986, but he's gotten much better and is willing to try ALMOST anything I make. In my spare time I teach second grade. I have introduced my students to cooking and/or new foods over the years.
My favorite things to cook
I love to try all sorts of new recipes, so I don't really have a favorite thing to cook. I enjoy using fresh ingredients from the garden and canning those ingredients to use year-round. I also enjoy baking treats for my second grade class. I'll try almost anything if I think my family will eat it. Of course, I've been known to try a recipe because I want to, whether they'll eat it or not.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I love making the pumpkin pies and other desserts for Thanksgiving. I always like to try one new dessert for each holiday. Baking Christmas cookies is a tradition that goes back as long as I can remember.
My cooking triumphs
I've made some pretty cool cakes for my boys' birthdays. They include a firetruck, baseball, football, and Pokeball. I've also used shaped pans to decorate everything from Barney and Elmo, Power Ranger, Jeff Gordon's #24 racecar, football helmet, a dog and dog house, a monkey, a giant cupcake, and a penguin. Some recent cakes have been a pizza, chef's hat, and Topsy-Turvy (Mad Hatter Cake.) The last one didn't collapse - that was a real triumph! One of my best triumphs has been teaching my boys to cook. They'll never go hungry.
My cooking tragedies
The first time I cooked a turkey I relied on my thermometer to tell when it was done. It wasn't.
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