Sunday, October 9, 2011

Canning peaches

In my earlier post, I told you how much I loved the Iowa-grown peaches I discovered at Center Grove Orchard in Cambridge.  Well, I liked them so much that I went back to the orchard the next weekend and bought another bag.  As much as I enjoyed the peach pie I made with them, I knew that these peaches would be perfect for canning.  And I had a great recipe that I wanted to try.

Earlier this summer, I picked up a copy of the Better Homes and Gardens Canning special interest magazine.  It's definitely a collectors' issue.  I want to try every recipe in the magazine!  It features canning recipes for every season -- root crops in the fall, squash in the summer, berries in the spring.  There's even an entire section of peach, nectarine and apricot canning recipes.

I had a difficult time deciding, but eventually I picked the spiced peaches recipe.  I loved the idea of canned peaches with a touch of cinnamon-spice flavor, just like a pie.  This recipe was very easy to follow.  The hardest part was prepping all the tiny peaches!  The Iowa-grown peaches were about half the size of the grocery-store variety, which means you have to pit about twice as many!

The only problem I had was that when I pulled the jars out of the canner, I noticed that some of the syrup had leaked out of a few jars.  I was worried that it meant the jars didn't seal properly, but I looked it up on an Extension canning website and discovered that the jars were sealed as long as the lids were "popped" down and would be safe to eat.  However, I decided not to take any chances, and I placed those leaking jars in the refrigerator and ate the peaches within a few days.

I loved these canned peaches!  Such a great way to enjoy Iowa-grown peaches year round, especially since the season is so short.  My only compliant is that I didn't really taste the spices, so next time I'm going to either add more or let the spices "steep" in the syrup for longer.

It's a rather long recipe to type out, so I hope you don't mind, but I'm sharing a link from another blog for the Better Homes and Gardens spiced peaches. Or if you would me to email you a copy, just leave a comment.

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