home canning: bourbon peaches (a little booze with my yogurt is the perfect way to start the day)
Look. Italians have Grappa in their morning espresso.
Which means there is no good reason I shouldn't enjoy bourbon peaches on my plain, whole-milk European yogurt... first thing each morning. Among my home canning projects, bourbon peaches may take this year's blue ribbon.
All summer I have been canning and canning and canning like crazy. Which means crisp leaves, chilly mornings and grass-laced-with-dew ushers in a welcome fall calm. It means respite from the bean, squash and tomato jungle out my front door---and no more fruit dripping off trees. It means the [bad] bugs mostly die; our war is forgotten for a few months. I can scuttle through my kitchen without the pang of guilt that comes from bowls of very, very ripe fruit waiting to be processed. Fall means another year until I deal with boxes upon boxes of tomatoes and the 24-hour-a-day hum of my food dehydrator.
Don't get me wrong---I love summer's bounty. Especially when I glance in my pantry and gaze upon jars of summer-captured fruits, jams and sauces. And lest we forget: bourbon-laced peaches that represent at least 50 winter breakfasts. I love dried cherries and plums stacked in jars, skinned peaches and hand-picked blackberries frozen in tidy packages (in my very special freezer). I have more tomato sauce than any other commodity and applesauce holds a significant spot in my freezer. I love my small packets of dried and ground herbs and ogle the bags of frozen, pressed apple cider. I love summer's bounty: especially when it is preserved, stored and waiting for my winter appetite.
Bourbon Canned Peaches makes 4-6 pint jars.
1 cup sugar 2 cups water 7 cups peeled peaches 2 T bourbon per jar (or more. let's be honest) optional: lemon juice
The beauty of this recipe is that you can easily double it or quadruple it. Just keep going until your jars are filled. Keep making simple syrup and peeling peaches... by the way: its nice to use the peaches that don't cling to the pit. Some do, some don't.
To peel the peaches: put an X on the bottom of each peach and drop in boiling water (don't crowd, just a few at a time so the water keeps boiling). After a minute or when you see the peels loosen, remove and drop into cold ice water (a squeeze of lemon juice in the water will keep the peaches from browning). Once they have cooled off enough to handle, remove skins and cut in half to remove pits (of course: you can dump all the pits in a jar and cover with bourbon and store in your pantry. After a few months you have a special aperitif!). Store skinned peaches in lemon water until all peaches are peeled.
Make syrup: put 1 cup sugar and 2 cups water in pan and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Leave simmering until you pour it over the peaches.
Prepare for hot water bath processing: boil water, wash and toss jars in oven to heat, pour hot water over lids etc. Place peach halves in jars, aim for a tight fit. Add bourbon (anywhere from 2 - 4 T per jar) and hot syrup to cover peaches, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Use a wooden skewer or chopstick to poke around sides to remove excess bubbles. Wipe rims, apply lids and process in hot water bath for 25 minutes.
I have NW Cherries aka Washington State Fruit to thank for a big 'ole box of peaches. I appreciate their dedication to engaging bloggers to enjoy local, seasonal food and especially to encourage home canning across the world wide web.
Home canning rocks. If you love canning or would like to find a few canning resources:
- Punk Domestics
- Food in Jars
- Canning Across America
- USDA official resource to home canning
- Sweet Preservation (Washington State Fruit Commission)
- Ball (resident experts).
If you know of more great home canning sites or resources, feel free to leave a link in the comments below!
Now that summer is winding down it means: my jars are full, food is processed, trees are turning and I can put my gardens to bed and hunker down for winter. And on some cold morning in the not too distant future: I will be tucking into bourbon peaches for breakfast.