Peaches do not seem to grow well in Vermont; at least I have not found any place nearby to pick your own peaches. However where I grew up in Connecticut there is a wonderful orchard, Bishops Orchards, where you can go and pick the most wonderful peaches. Their peaches are ripe from mid August until mid September. I usually plan a trip to my old hometown to visit my mother and pick peaches. I love canning fresh peaches, they look so pretty in the pantry!
Canned peaches are so pretty to look at out on your pantry shelf and they taste wonderful in the middle of winter when it is cold and snowy outside.
Usually I just can the peaches in light syrup to be enjoyed at a later date. Often I will also can some peach pie filling.
Canning Fresh Peaches:
Peaches are very easy to can and can be processed in your water bath canner. You will need:
2-3 pounds of peaches per quart
Have your jars, lids and canner prepared and ready to go.
First make your light syrup by combining 2 ¼ cups sugar with 5 ¼ cups of water. You can also use honey by combining 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of honey and 4 cups of of water to yield 5 cups of syrup. I mix this ahead of time and have it warming on the stove while I prepare the peaches.
Prepare your peaches by washing them and dipping them in boiling water for 30-60 seconds.
Immediately dip the peaches in cold water. Slip off the peel. Cut in half; pit and scrape the cavity to remove any red fibers. (The fibers often turn brown during storage) You then want to treat the peaches to prevent darkening.
Drain the peaches and pack them into your hot jars, packing cavity side down, layers overlapping. Ladle hot syrup over the peaches. Leave ½ inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles. Adjust your two-piece caps and process pints for 25 minutes and quarts for 30 minutes in a boiling water canner. Store in a cool dark place.