Opening up a jar of home canned peaches in the middle of winter is a true delight!
Canning peaches (or nectarines) in honey or sugar is simple, and you’ll be happy to know that home canned peaches taste amazing & better than store bought.
For this peach canning recipe, you can make a syrup with either honey or sugar. I’ve tried both syrups and they turned out great, the honey is just more expensive. When you’re ready to open the jars and consume the peach slices you can use the syrup in many ways. We like to save it for smoothies or warm it up and add a little rum or brandy for a wonderful adult winter drink. Other times I’ll mix the whole jar into a sweet dessert or cake. These peach or nectarine slices are truly diverse!
Raw Pack or Hot Pack?
Many canning recipes mention raw pack or hot pack methods. Fruit is very porous and that tissue contains air which is released with heat. If you raw pack your fruit it might seem easier at first, however, you’ll notice that you end up with less in the jar because that air wasn’t released until canning. It also means that you might get more discolouration or floatation in the jars which can lead to an inferior product. Removing that air with the hot pack method allows the fruit tissue to shrink before canning, meaning you can fit more into your jars and improve shelf life.
Syrup choices for Canning Peaches (or Nectarines) in Honey or Sugar
Below are some syrup options for canning peach or nectarine slices. You can just use water too (make sure you use the hot pack method) although I’ve yet to try it. Syrups will help retain the flavour, colour and texture but do not prevent spoilage.
- Light Syrup– 2 1/4 cups (550ml) of sugar + 5 1/4 cups (1375ml) of water = 7 cups of syrup (1750ml)
- Medium Syrup- 3 1/4 cups (800ml) of sugar + 5 cups (1250ml) water = 7 cups of syrup (1750ml)
- Honey Syrup- 1 cup of honey (250ml) + 4 cups (1000ml) water = 5 cups (1250ml) syrup
Whatever your choice of canning liquid it must be hot when added to the jars.
Fruit can become discoloured while you prep your fruit for canning. To prevent this you can place in a colour protection solution of: 1/4 cup (50ml) bottled lemon juice with 4 cups of water.
Before we Begin
If this is your first time canning or you’re still learning please read over canning safety basics. You’ll also need to have all your canning equipment handy like:
Steps for Canning Peaches (or Nectarines) in Honey or Sugar Syrup
- Prepare syrup or canning liquid in canner batch quantities- about 5 cups for 7 Pint/500ml jars; 10 1/2 cups for 7 Quart/1L Jars.
- Place the number of clean jars on a rack in boiling water bath canner; cover jars with water and heat to simmer. Set screw bands aside; heat canning lids in hot water, not BOILING water. Keep jars and lids hot until ready to use.
- Pack fruit into hot jar within 3/4 inch (2cm) of the top rim. Add hot canning syrup to cover within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top rim (headspace). Using non-metallic utensil remove air bubbles and readjust headspace if required.
- Wipe jar rim removing any stickiness. Centre canning lid on jar; apply screw band securely and firmly until resistance is fingertip tight. Do not overtighten. Place jar in the canner, repeat for remaining jars.
- See instructions below for hot or cold pack methods and canning times.
For each 1 L jar, select 2-3 lbs ripe mature peaches; 2-2 1/2 lbs of nectarines.
- Peaches: blanch in boiling water for 30-60 seconds. Dip quickly in cold water removing the skin. Nectarines- wash and drain, do not peel
- Halve and pit fruit; slice if desired. Place fruit into colour protection solution (mentioned above). Fruit may be packed in the syrup choices discussed.
- RAW PACK- prepare syrup and bring to a boil. Pack peaches cavity side down, overlapping layers into hot jars. Ladle hot syrup over fruit. Heat Process 500 ml/Pint- 24 mins; 1 L/ 1Quart: 30 Mins
- HOT PACK- Prepare and heat syrup in a large stainless steel saucepan. Drain fruit and place one layer at a time in syrup; return to a boil or until fruit is heated through. Pack hot fruit into hot jars and add hot syrup. Repeat for remaining fruit. Heat Process 500ml- 20 mins; 1 L jars- 25 mins
- Cover canner and bring to a boil. At altitudes up to 1000 feet process – boil filled jars with the time above depending on if you used the hot or raw pack method. Make sure you adjust your time based on altitude.
- After the jars have been processed remove jars without tilting. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT retighten screw bands. After cooling check jars seals, they should curve downwards. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry jars and bands. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars. Label and store in a cool dark place.