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Peach Basics

Getting Ready to Preserve Peaches

  • Choose ripe, mature fruit of ideal quality for eating fresh or cooking.
  • Dip fruit in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds until skins loosen. Dip quickly in cold water and slip skins off.
  • Cut in half, remove pits and slice, if desired.
  • To prevent darkening, keep peeled fruit in ascorbic acid solution of 1 teaspoon or 3000 milligrams ascorbic acid or vitamin C per gallon of water, or use a commercial ascorbic acid mixture according to directions on package. Drain when ready to process.

Peach Yields: 1 bushel = 50 pounds (approximate pounds needed for 1-quart jar = 2 to 2½).

Canning Peaches (Halved or Sliced)

Prepare and boil syrup, using ½ cup (very light), 1 cup (light) or 1¾ cup (medium) sugar per quart of water, depending on desired sweetness. Or pack peaches in water, apple juice or white grape juice.

Hot Pack:

  • Place drained fruit in a large saucepan with syrup, water or juice and bring to boil.
  • Fill jars with hot fruit and cooking liquid, leaving ½-inch headspace
  • Place halves in layers, cut side down
  • Adjust lids and process in a boiling-water canner: 20 minutes for pints, 25 minutes
  • for quarts at altitudes up to 1,000 feet.

Raw Pack:

  • Fill hot jars with raw fruit, cut side down, and add hot water, juice or syrup, leaving ½-inch headspace
  • Adjust lids and process in a boiling water canner: 25 minutes for pints, 30 minutes for quarts at altitudes up to 1,000 feet.

Freezing Peaches

Syrup Pack:

  • Sort, wash and peel well-ripened fruit, handling carefully to avoid bruising.
  • Prepare 40 percent heavy syrup by dissolving 2¾ cups sugar in 1 gallon of warm water. Chill syrup before using.
  • Add 2 teaspoons ascorbic acid per gallon of cold syrup to prevent browning of peaches.
  • Put peaches in freezer containers and add just enough syrup to cover (½ to ⅔ cup syrup per pint). Allow ½-inch headspace for pints or 1-inch headspace for quarts.
  • Place a small piece of crumpled water-resistant paper on top to hold fruit down.
  • Seal, label, and freeze

Sugar Pack:

  • Dissolve ¼ teaspoon ascorbic acid in 3 tablespoons cold water and add to each quart of peaches to retard darkening.
  • Add ⅔ up sugar to each quart (1⅓ pounds) of prepared fruit.
  • Stir gently until sugar is dissolved or let stand 15 minutes. Place into containers.
  • Seal, label and freeze.
Beautifully canned peach jam.

Beautifully canned peach jam.
Millie Davenport © 2018 HGIC, Clemson Extension

Peach Jam

(About 8 half-pint jars)

Sterilize canning jars. Combine 2 quarts crushed, peeled peaches and ½ cup water; cook gently for 10 minutes. Add 6 cups sugar; slowly bring to boiling, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly until thick, about 15 minutes; stir frequently to prevent sticking. Pour hot jam into sterilized canning jars, leaving ¼–inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process 5 minutes in a boiling water bath canner at altitudes up to 1,000 feet.

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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