Peach Preserves

This is a very intense product – but a fairly expensive one. In process of slow simmering it looses more than a half of its original volume. Out of 4 litres of peeled, pitted and sliced peaches i am left with 1.5 litre of a wonderful, thick confiture and a small sampler, that did not squeeze into the jars:IMG_3743

All very peachy, undeniably, beautiful colour, shapely soft pieces – ready for winter deserts. Word of caution: the process is easy, but very slow – possibly two days of simmering sessions. I Imagine one could easily conduct the process using the oven rather that the stove top, whatever is easier for you and less constraining for the household.

  • Peaches (good, ripe ones, if you can)
  • Sugar (there will be roughly 1/3-1/2 of the cut peaches volume, you can add later, if desired)
  • Lemon juice – make a call – i would start with one lemon for 4 litres of ripe peaches
  1. With a sharp knife make a shallow cross at the top of each peach (opposite to where the stem used to be?)
  2. Pour boiling water over peaches and allow them to sit in it for about 3 minutes, then move them to cold bath for another minute or two. It will facilitate peeling the skin off ..
  3. Slip skins (again, sharp knife helps when really in the bind) off peaches, remove pits and cut the flesh into good sized chunks.
  4. Take volume measurement or guesstimate.
  5. Measure the sugar.
  6. Make layers:
    • peaches,
    • sprinkle of lemon juice,
    • sugar,
    • peaches,
    • lemon juice,
    • sugar..) in a large heavy stainless or porcelain pan.
  7. Layer the peaches and sugar in the pan, making no more than 4 layers.
  8. Cover and allow to stand for several hours while the peaches draw their own juice.
  9. Before you turn on the heat you would be wise to stir the whole thing delicately with a wooden spoon – to make sure the layers of sugar are loosened up – they may have formed a thick rigid blob on the bottom of the pot..
  10. When you turn on the heat, keep the pot cover off.  Bring to boil, simmer, stirring occasionally, for some 12-15 minutes.
  11. Turn of the heat, leave the cover off, let cool completely. When the pot is quite cool, you make cover it and let it rest for some hours or go back to reheating (step 10 above). Keep the heating and cooling phased for maybe 5 cycles – until the syrup evaporates to your expectations. All activities remain slow and delicate (unless you like your preserves to be jam-like, where the fruit and the syrup are effectively mashed together).
  12. When finishing the last re-heating cycle make sure you have the sterilized hot jars ready. .
  13. Pour hot mixture into hot sterile jars and seal.
  14. Place in hot water bath for 20 minutes (or in the oven set to 225F/105C) to properly seal and prevent fruit from floating.
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