Peaches - can or freeze?

ryseryse_2004July 22, 2014

Last year I bought a bushel of Freestone peaches and froze them. I wasn't happy with the outcome - mushy. Would I have better luck this year if I canned them? The commercial canned ones are so nice and firm but unfortunately, they don't taste like fresh peaches!

If I can them will they be firm?

Maybe I am doing something wrong. Any help is appreciated.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

If you can them they won't be quite as firm as commercial canned but you can add Pickle Crisp to make them more firm than normal ones would be.

One of the issues is the type of peach. Cling both freezes and cans better than freestone IMO and clings are what the commercial industry uses. Freestone are best for fresh eating but don't preserve as well. But that doesn't mean you can't can or freeze them of course.

Second issue is the method of freezing or canning you use. The level of the sugar syrup used, the hot pack or raw pack, and the processing you use, BWB or PC.

They are all a personal preference so you have to try them all to see which result you prefer.

Dave

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 11:52AM
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malna

I like canned peaches. Mine are pretty firm (and I haven't used Pickle Crisp).

I think the last batch I got was just at the perfect ripeness - just barely squeezable but still easy to peel. They were freestone but I can't remember the variety (the nice man at the Farmer's Market told me when I asked, but I forgot! I know they ripened in August, so a bit later than some other varieties.)

Here's the recipe I've been using for years (I think originally it started as the Ball recipe), but I have added some of my own notes FWIW.

2 pounds peaches per quart (I average 14 peach halves per wide mouth quart jar)
2-1/4 cups sugar
5-1/4 cups water
Fruit Fresh

Prep BWB, jars, etc. Heat the jars in the BWB.

Dip peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds, then drop in ice water. Remove skins. Cut in half, remove pits and scrape red fibers away from the cavity with a teaspoon. Put the peaches in a bowl with Fruit Fresh (per package directions).

Combine sugar and water and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved, and keep the syrup hot. Drain the peaches and pack into hot wide mouth quart jars. Pack them with the cut side down, and fill with hot syrup leaving 1/2" headspace. Remove bubbles with chopstick or plastic utensil.

Process in BWB for 30 minutes for quarts (25 minutes for pints).

Additional notes: This amount of syrup is enough for at least 7 quarts.

Slices work just as well as halves.

I sometimes add a cinnamon stick, a whole clove and 2 whole allspice berries to the syrup as it's heating for a nice, delicate spiced flavor. You can save the whole spices (rinse, dry and put in a separate container) and reuse them. I didn't like adding them to the jars - flavors got a bit too strong for my taste. I'm too cheap to throw them away after one use :-)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 3:33PM
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kerryv

Thanks for the recipe malna! I'm gonna try it out!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 1:18PM
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