Monday, October 22, 2012

Canning clingstone peaches without sugar... Whew!

My husband and I went to Wal-mart several days ago.  When we walked in the door, I saw a LOT of peaches sitting there in crates, and the sign said 25 cents a pound.  My mouth dropped open, and I asked a nearby associate if they were really 25 cents a pound.  Yep.  She said they had gotten too many in so they marked the price way down to get rid of them.  :-0

So, what did I do?  I bought 100 pounds of peaches.  Yes.  I did.  They were not ripe, so it has taken until today before they were ripe enough and for me to have time to address the situation.  I literally laid awake in bed last night trying to figure out what to do.  See, these peaches are not "freestone."  Often, you can at least twist half of a peach off of the clingstone variety, but in this case, it wasn't working.  One half would just get squashed.  What to do... what to do..  I don't can with sugar anymore, and if you've been following me, you know I have a simple way to can freestone peaches with no sugar.  Look HERE, if you'd like to see that.

1.  How was I going to get enough peach juice to cover the peaches in the jars?

2  How was I going to remove the pits without mushing up the fruit?

After a bit of experimenting, here is what I settled on.  I need to mention that at first I was blanching the peaches for 2 minutes in boiling water, and then attempting to slip off the skins.  It worked with some of them, but the majority had to be peeled with a peeler, so I just went to doing that instead of blanching.  Your peaches might be more amenable to the blanching, so at least give it a try, for if it works, it will save time.

Aren't they beautiful?

 I had 6 boxes full like that. They were stashed in my sewing room, as it is cooler in there.

I used a regular vegetable peeler to take off the skins, then I used this nice  mango splitter to take out the pits.

 How to get enough juice?  I put all of the pit parts as well as the peelings into my steam juicer, plus a few cut up whole peaches so there would be enough.
Here is one, split:

Here it is all ready to steam juice:
 Oh, yes, my kitty stuck around to make sure I did it right. 
The little sticker labels had to come off, of course.
 Here are those scraps and cut up peaches after steam juicing,
 and here is some of the juice:
After taking out the pit parts, I cut them up and filled the jars, then covered the peaches with the peach juice!
 Then they went into the steam canner and were processed for 30 minutes after they got up to temperature.  Of course, a water bath canner will work fine.
 Here are some of them, completed and cooling.

I canned 27 quarts today.  It took all day, almost.  Next time, though, it will be much faster, as I'll already have the method figured out.  I hope this will help someone else with the same dilemma.  :)

Oh... I forgot to mention, when you get done with this project, you have to mop the sticky floor.  Really.

This post is linked to Traditional Tuesday #24
and to Simple Lives Thursday!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! I just hope it will be helpful.

  2. I wish I had been there I would have bought lots too! They look so yummy!

    1. I wish you had too! I contacted a couple friends, but no one else wanted to do what I did. Imagine that! :)

  3. 1. I am very jealous of the deal you found! I have NEVER seen peaches that cheap, you really lucked out! Peaches are one of my most favorite fruits!
    2. Using the mango splitter was genius! I have thought about buying a mango splitter, but always thought, "eh, I can cut them by hand, I don't need another single-purpose tool cluttering up my kitchen." But now it would at least be a dual purpose tool... if I ever found a large supply of clingstone peaches! :)

  4. I doubt that in my lifetime I'll ever see such a good deal again. And yes, the mango splitter was and awesome idea! I kept figuring it out in my head, what could I do? Dad came up with some ideas, but they didn't pan out and then aha! It came to me.... :)

  5. I found your blog yesterday and you saved my weekend. Been planning for weeks to can peaches then went to orchard only to find they weren't freestone like I was originally told and I cut up four of them trying to find a way to get the pit out without ruining the peach to no avail. Thank you so much for this. It worked wonderfully and I'm so grateful for your idea!

    1. Anna, you made MY day! I'm so happy to know this was helpful to you! Thank you.

  6. Have you ever canned diced peaches? I'd like to try your method using diced in 1 / 2 pint jars so I can throw them in my cooler & open them up for the kids as a single serving eat & go type snack.

    1. What a nice idea. No, I have not done diced peaches. Maybe you could try just 1 jar and see how it turns out before you commit lots of peaches to it.


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