Questions about Canning Peaches
G'Day All. I have been out and about and returned back to smokey Idaho. I truly have enjoyed all of the posts. Three days ago I bought a bushel of O'Henry peaches, as my local perveyor was out of Elbertas. Some of the peaches looked ripe so I decided to follow the tips from this site and use the Ball Blue Book recommendations. I followed the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, Guide 2 pages 2-1 and 2-12. I just removed 5 quarts from the BWB. I processed them for the recommended 35 minutes for my altitude.
Here are some questions that I have.
1. I used a very light syrup that contained the following: 10 1/2 cups water, 1 1/1 cups sugar, and 10 1/2 teaspons of Fruit Fresh (ascorbic acid) all brought to a boil. I packed the half peaches in regular jars (I couldn't find wide mouths as they were in high demand--leason learned for next year). I filled the jars with the syrup to 1/2" from top and sealed them. The question that I have, does raw pack make poor quality peaches? The USDA guide page 2-12 states when commenting on the procedure: "Prepare and boil a very light, light, or medium syrup (see page 2-1) or pack peaches in water, apple juice, or white grape juice. Raw packs make poor quality peaches." What the heck does that mean? Peaches without syrup? Or does that mean processing the peaches without bringing the peaches to a boil? What is your experience?
2. Why peach halves? I would prefer to have slices of peaches but there must be a reason everyone says peach halves. Do they turn real mushy?
3. I packed the peaches round side up with the cavity down as recommended. What is the rationale for this?
4. Even though I tried to remove all air bubbles with a plastic knive, there seems to be alot of very small bubbles near the top. All jars have just sealed. Should this be a concern?
Many thanks and cheers, Gary