Day 255: Peach Halves in Syrup

Peach Halves in Syrup
Day Two Hundred and Fifty Five (30.01.2013)
Processing: Boiling Water Bath 20mins (pints), 25mins (quarts)
Storage: 12 months+
Yield: approx 1 x quart (950ml) jar per 2.2lbs (1kg) whole peaches

Preserve summer's delicious peaches in a light syrup, to make some delicious jars to enjoy all year round. NOTE: You can dip the peaches in boiling water for 60 seconds to slip off their skins, or peel manually and use the peels to make peach honey, a thick peachy syrup that is the consistency of honey :)
fresh, firm ripe peaches, washed, peeled
white sugar
Prepare jars.
Prepare jars by covering in water and boiling for 10 minutes.
Wash and prepare peaches.
Wash peaches, dip in a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds to remove skins easily. The riper/firmer the fruit is, the longer the dipping period. Or you can peel the skins off manually and set aside for a batch of peach honey. Cut peaches in half, remove pits and scoop out any discoloured inner flesh with a spoon (I used a melon baller tool). Place prepped peaches into a bowl of cold water with half a lemon squeezed into the water to prevent discolouring.
Make syrup.
For every 4lbs (2kg) of fruit, make 1 batch of syrup: dissolve 1 cup of sugar into 3 cups of water, stir over heat until dissolved. Add drained peaches in a single layer and bring syrup to a simmer. Simmer fruit for a few minutes until heated through. Remove to a bowl and cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining fruit.
Pack hot peaches into hot jars.
Using a slotted spoon, pack hot peach halves into hot jars, cut side down to prevent further discolouring and to tightly pack jar to a 1/2 inch (1cm) headspace. Ladle hot syrup over fruit to 1/2 inch syrup. Remove any air bubbles and then wipe rims with paper towel.
Prepare lids.
While you are heating the peaches, place the lids into a pot of previously boiling water. Do not simmer or boil, just let the lids heat through in the few minutes while you heat the peaches and then fill the jars. Remove the lids from the hot water when you are ready to place them immediately onto the jars to seal.      

Boiling water bath processing.
Process pints in hot water bath canner for 20 minutes, quarts for 25 minutes. Start your timer when the water returns to a full boil. Then when the time is off, turn heat off and rest jars in water for 5 minutes before placing onto a towel-covered bench overnight to cool.
Next day: check for seals.
Check jars have sealed before labelling and storing in a cool, dry and dark place for up to 12 months. Jars should not flex up or down when pressed, if jars have not sealed refrigerate immediately and use within a few weeks.
You can also preserve your peach halves in apple juice or white grape juice. 

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