Soil and Cellar

Growing and preserving foods in Seattle

Pickled Peaches and IFBC!

3 Comments

Pickled peaches!

Pickled peaches!

I’ll get into pickling peaches in a minute, but first I have to tell you, I’m going to IFBC this weekend! The International Food Blogger Conference is right here in Seattle this year, and I am so excited to go! It makes me feel like a super legit blogger; I got business cards and everything.

ifbc2013

I’ve been trying to plan my weekend – I’m going to learn about food photography, get a little tech help from WordPress, taste a bunch of foods, and spend the weekend with my dear friend Kristin over at KristinPotPie. But I’m already a little torn, because there’s a session on olives at the same time as a session with a photographer from the New York Times. Tough one.

Check back soon for my impressions on the conference and maybe a few new ideas. And if you’re going, leave me a comment and I’ll look for you there.

Suncrest Peaches

Suncrest Peaches

Pickled Peaches

Ok, onto pickled peaches. For Ladies’ Preservation Society this last month, there was just going to be two of us, so naturally we thought that’d be the perfect time to take on a huge project, ha! But seriously, she and I are a little obsessive about canning. And peaches. They are about as time consuming as just about anything I’ve tried, but for some reason are still the most fun and satisfying thing to can. Maybe it’s because they’re so much work, or maybe because the end result is so wonderfully beautiful.

Peaches that have been blanched. They are now in the ice bath in a cooler. Just be ready for cold hands when you grab them out!

Peaches that have been blanched. They are now in the ice bath in a cooler. Just be ready for cold hands when you grab them out!

I grabbed this recipe from Chicken Wire and Paper Flowers (thanks Becky!). Then my friend brought a case of Suncrest peaches, and I think we used about 12 pounds of them. They were the biggest peaches ever, a teensy bit tart but still very juicy. And freestone, thank goodness.

Recipe

10 + pounds of peaches
3.5 cups white vinegar
2.5 cups water
3 cups sugar
1 tsp ground allspice
2” piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
½ tsp whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks

Slicing the blanched peaches. It's actually easiest to peel them first and then slice them.

Slicing the blanched peaches. It’s actually easiest to peel them first and then slice them, although the whole process is pretty messy.

Blanch the peaches for 30 seconds in boiling water, then plunge them in ice water. I got the idea to use a cooler from Becky, and it’s so much tidier than using large bowls. Next, peel, pit, and slice the peaches (we did 6ths or 8ths, these peaches were huge), and place them in cold water with a little citric acid, to prevent browning.

Look how full the bowls are! We wouldn't have had room for another peach. Here the peaches are resting in cool water mixed with citric acid.

Look how full the bowls are! We wouldn’t have had room for another peach. Here the sliced peaches are resting in cool water mixed with citric acid.

Next, combine ginger, whole cloves, and cinnamon sticks in a cheesecloth bag. Add this to a pot with white vinegar, water, sugar, and allspice, and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for another 10 minutes. Lower heat, and add the peaches (we had to do this in 2 batches) and cook until just heated through, 2-3 minutes.

Ginger, cinnamon, and cloves in cheesecloth.

Ginger, cinnamon, and cloves in cheesecloth.

In sterile jars, pack the peaches so that there is about an inch of headspace. Pour syrup over the peaches so that there is ½” headspace. [Question for you experts out there: Is the headspace above the liquid or the top of the fruit? Because the fruit floats, it’s always a little above the liquid.] Process in a water bath for 10 minutes.

Cooking peaches in the liquid (with the spices still in) for a couple minutes, just to heat through.

Cooking peaches in the liquid (with the spices still in) for a couple minutes, just to heat through. You don’t want to cook the peaches too much so they stay firm.

This recipe made 12 pints, so we each have 6 jars. Yay! I will be using mine to make a pickled peach pie, or possibly a pickled peach crumble. Either way, it will be topped with ice cream and will be fantastic.

Filling the jars with peaches.

Filling the jars with peaches, then the cooking liquid.

See you at IFBC!

3 thoughts on “Pickled Peaches and IFBC!

  1. The headspace is from the top of what’s in the jar, be it fruit or liquid. Pickled peaches are divine on their own too.

    The conference sounds fun. Enjoy!

  2. Pingback: Things I’ve learned so far… | Soil and Cellar

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