Peaches are currently at their peak of ripeness, so here is a recipe that will preserve that sweet, fresh taste until after the season is long gone. What's the secret? Canning. Now, before you think "too complicated, this recipe is not for me" - think again. This recipe is so simple and is sure to bring out the preserving homesteader in anyone.

Peaches in Syrup (recipe from Can It You Nit!)

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 just ripe peaches
  • About 1/2 - 2 cups granulated sugar
  • About 2 cups water

Method:

  1. Peel 4-5 peaches. Cut in half to remove the pits and stems, then quarter the halves.

Note: Select the peaches to the ripeness which you prefer. This recipe uses slightly firmer white peaches, but a just-ripe yellow peach would work just as well.

  1. Heat sugar syrup over the stove in a saucepan.

Note: Taste a peach slice. If it is very ripe and sweet, use a lighter syrup: 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 cups water. If peaches are tart, increase the amount of sugar by 1/2 cup for each 2 cups of water until you reach your desired taste. For even the tartest of peaches, 1 1/2 cups of sugar to 2 cups of water will usually do the trick.

  1. Ladle sugar syrup into jars over peach slices. Carefully shake each full jar to release any air bubbles.

  1. Seal jars with lid and ring, and process by the water-bath canning method for 25 minutes.

Note: Water-bath canning method? Whaaa? Relax, its simple. Essentially, this means to submerse your sealed jars in boiling water for the given time. But, for a full low-down on the water-bath process see this link.

Once processed and sealed, let the jars cool overnight. Store in a cool, dark place and these syrup-preserved peaches will keep for up to 12 months. (Remember: after a jar is opened, the seal is broken. You should refrigerate and consume within one week of opening.)

Enjoy these peaches on their own, incorporated into a fruit salad, or as a topping on  your favorite ice cream!