Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pickled Peaches

I was sitting in the summer kitchen having another cup of hazelnut coffee when my husband opened the sliding doors.  "You've gotta come and see this on TV.  They are pickling!"  I thought that it had better be good.  It was.  Some food guru was pickling peaches and it looked easy, doable, and delicious.  But I had already "done" my half bushel of peaches for the season.  I don't even have any more jars.

When the program was over, my husband asked if I wanted to go to the Farmer's Market.  The Farmer's Market in Jacksonville Florida is located a stone's throw from the seed store whose shelves are still empty.  He said that he surely would like to have a water melon.  How about some cantaloupes?  We could look for peaches, too.  He is such a tease!  Yes, I could use some tomatoes and onions.  Peaches, huh?

I give in so easy.  Well, here we are at the Farmer's Market.  I couldn't decide what box of South Carolina peaches to get.  "Come on, guys!"  I urged.  "Help me!  Talk me out of getting a box of peaches."  They just grinned from ear to ear.  They were so eager to help carry the box of peaches to the car.

The peaches were nice and firm.  They were 'free stone' peaches meaning that the flesh separates easily from the stone.  This makes it very easy to halve the peach and remove the stone.

The following morning, I measured out 5 lbs of peaches which came out to be 10 peaches.  I peeled and halved the peaches before bringing the syrup to a boil.

I measured 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of water for making the syrup.  I also measured 4 cups of sugar, 2 tbs of whole cloves, 5 cinnamon sticks (each about 2.5 inches long), and a Star of Anise for each jar for decoration.  Instead of water, I could have used white wine but the wine cellar was empty.

When the vinegar and water was boiling, I added the sugar and spices, stirring until the sugar was dissolved.  I let the syrup come to a boil again, added the peaches, and let it boil for 10 - 15 minutes.  I checked the tenderness of the peaches with a toothpick.  I didn't want the peaches to fall apart or be mushy.

I spooned the peaches into clean/sterile jars, poured the syrup, and sealed with hot wax.  It made three (3) pints of well packed pickled peaches.  I made several batches and I had plenty of syrup left over that I plan to use for my tea.

Thank you for visiting my blog.  We're going to have a peachy week.

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