Peaches are among the easiest crops to preserve for long-term use. Peaches may be dehydrated, cooked into jam, frozen or canned in heavy syrup, but one of our favorite methods is pickling. Sweet and sour with warm highlights of cinnamon and cloves, pickled peaches can be served over poultry or pork, as an out-of-the-ordinary sandwich condiment or even spooned over ice cream or yogurt. Whether you are new to pickling or a seasoned pro, pickled peaches are a summer favorite not to be missed.
Ingredients: 5 pounds ripe peaches / 1 lemon / 4 cups sugar / 3 cups white vinegar / 4 cinnamon sticks / 1 tablespoon whole cloves
Start boiling water in a large pot or water bath canner before preparing fruit to seal jars for storage.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop a few peaches at a time into the water for one minute. Blanching will loosen the skins of peaches, making them easier to remove.
After blanching peaches, immediately place in a bowl of ice water to suspend cooking and make fruit safe for handling.
Peel and cut fruit into slices or halves (depending on preference) and remove the pit. When selecting peaches, choose the freestone variety for a more easily removed pit. Sprinkle with juice of a lemon to prevent browning.
In a large pot, combine 4 cups of sugar, 3 cups of white vinegar, 4 cinnamon sticks and 1 tablespoon cloves and bring to a boil over high heat. These spices will impart rich flavor to the fruit while cooking and will also be packed into canning jars with pickled peaches.
Add peaches to the pickling brine and return to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Peaches will soften and absorb the rich flavor of the brine.
Ladle peaches into 2 quart- or 4 pint-sized sterile canning jars and top with brine, leaving 1/2-inch of headspace. Include 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks in each jar.
Place a new lid on each jar and secure with sterile bands. Place jars in a boiling water bath for 25 minutes to seal.
Remove jars from water bath and allow to cool on the counter. An audible *pop* should indicate jars have successfully sealed. If no *pop* is heard, peaches may not be pantry-safe and should be stored in the refrigerator and used within a month or two. Safely sealed jars may be stored in a cool, dry location for up to a year without significant loss of flavor.
Originally: Homemade Pickled Peaches How To