Peaches are a delicious summer fruit that can be enjoyed fresh or canned. This recipe for canning peaches with honey is easy and produces a tasty end product. The honey adds a touch of sweetness and flavor that pairs well with the peaches, and you may prefer it to using sugar for your peach jam and canned peach preserves. Best of all, you can make this recipe using just a few simple ingredients.
Do I have to Use Sugar to Can Peaches?
If you're thinking sugar is a must have for canning, think again! There are various methods of making fruit preserves, including canned fresh peaches. If you are a fan of natural sugars in your homemade foods, this recipe is ideal for you.
Home food preservation is a great way to enjoy your favorite fruits and vegetables all year round. Canning recipes often call for cups of sugar, but many home preservers wonder if they can omit the sugar or use a different sweetener. Sugar does more than just add sweetness to canned fruits–it also helps to preserve the color, texture, and flavor. In addition, sugar dissolves and disperses evenly in fruit juices, making it an important ingredient in home canned fruits. While you can reduce the amount of sugar called for in a recipe, it is not recommended to omit sugar entirely. A general rule of thumb is to use one cup sugar for every five cups of fruit. It's never good to use artificial sweeteners in home canning. An easy way to avoid granulated sugar is by using honey.
Choosing the Right Peaches and Preservation Tips
Keep in mind that certain varieties of peaches are more suitable for canning than others. There are several varieties out there that grow in the central/southern US. Here are some tips on what to look for:
- Freestone peaches- varieties that have a “free stone” have a pit that naturally separates from the meat of the fruit as it ripens. These are better for cooking and canning sliced peaches, since the center pit can easily be removed.
- Clingstone peaches- these have a pit that adheres to the inside of the peach- these are better for jams and peach butter, but you can go with your personal preference.
- Sale peaches at the grocery store- with fruit and produce prices increasing, a small amount of extra money per pound will add up fast. I used to look for pounds of peaches at 50¢ per pound. If you can find any fruit under one dollar per lb, go for it! Friends and family giving away fruit that will soon expire is another canning hack to go by. However, peach varieties vary in price. As a general rule, wait for a sale. Ripe peaches are fine to can, but always use fruit that is in good condition at the height of its flavor.
- White peaches vs yellow- Most varieties in the United States are yellow peaches, however, white peaches have a less acidic taste. Newer varieties now available are great for canning, but be sure to try one out before you delve into a large canning session. Who knows, you might light the more acidic yellow peaches better!
- Peaches from your own peach tree- if you're a serious and dedicated homesteader, you might take the first step in the process of growing your own! Peach trees can yield an abundance of peaches in just a few years, but require certain pruning methods. You must also select the peach tree properly. Look for the requirement of chill hours required for your variety, as well as the planting zone, prior to beginning the planting process. Be sure to know if you need to plant one or two trees (cross pollinating vs self pollinating). There's a ton of info out there if you want to have bushels of peaches each year!
Can You Use Honey When Canning Fruit
Canning fruit is a great way to preserve the taste of summer all year long. However, if you're looking to cut down on sugar, you may be wondering if you can substitute honey for sugar in your canning recipes. The answer is yes! There are a few different ways to use honey when canning fruit.
If you're looking to cut down on sugar, you can use honey in place of sugar, cup for cup. Just keep in mind that honey is sweeter than sugar, so you may want to start by using less honey than the recipe calls for sugar. Taste as you go and add more honey or sugar as needed to get the best flavor.
Another option is to use a mix of honey and sugar in your canning recipes. This way you'll still get the sweetness from the honey, but it won't be as overwhelming as using all honey. Start with half honey and half sugar, then adjust as needed based on your preferences. Again, use a mixture of honey and sugar and taste test the mixture prior to adding the full one cup amount. Chances are, you will end up using less than the required amount. Remember, as peaches heat up they create a boiling syrup. The natural sugars will be released and the peaches will taste sweeter on their own than if you're trying them raw.
Can You Use Raw Honey for Canning
Canning is a great way to preserve food for later, and raw honey is a delicious ingredient that can add sweetness and flavor to many recipes. However, you may be wondering if raw honey is safe to use for canning. Again, the answer is yes! Raw honey is an ideal choice for canning because it has high levels of sugar and acidity, which help to prevent the growth of bacteria. In addition, raw honey contains enzymes that can break down pectin, making it easier to achieve a good seal when canning. When using raw honey for canning, be sure to use only pure, unpasteurized honey for the best results.
Proper labeling or writing on the tops of the jars is essential here. Remember, small children under one year of age should not have honey. It's important to know what's in the jars, especially for long term food storage. Make sure you mark which peach jars were processed with honey.
Some honey has a different coloring or consistency than others, especially when you are using raw, local honey. Keep in mind you want to use a lighter color honey. You do not want the honey to take away from the peach flavoring.
Canning Peaches with Honey
Canning peaches with honey is a simple and delicious way to preserve summer fruits. The key to success is in selecting ripe, juicy peaches and using a high-quality honey. For best results, choose a light-colored honey, as darker honeys can affect the flavor of the peaches.
The canning process is straightforward, but we recommend going by a good guidebook such as the Ball Canning Book.
In general, simply wash the peaches, remove the pit and slice them into quarters. You will almost always want to can peeled peaches, unless you have a specific reason not to. For pies and desserts, peaches should always be peeled.
A fast way to peel is by blanching the peaches. Cook in a pot of water until hot, about 30-60 seconds only. Then, use a large bowl of water with plenty of ice to shock the peaches after they are cooked. Just remove with tongs is the easiest way I've found. The skins should easily come off in 1-2 pieces. Ice water stops the cooking process and allows the peeling to come off easily. The same process is used with peeling potatoes and tomatoes! Do not cook long, as hot peaches can become mushy and overdone. I again remove the peaches to a large cutting board to avoid messes as I cut peaches into smaller slices. This step is not required but can be helpful if you're short on time, or you have difficulty peeling fruit.
Next, heat the honey in a saucepan until it is just barely simmering. Add the peaches to the honey and cook for one to two minutes. Cook less if your fruit has been blanched already. Then, using a slotted spoon, transfer the peaches to canning jars, being careful not to spill any honey. Fill the jars to within half an inch of the rim (about 1/2″ of head space) and screw on the lids. Finally, process the jars in boiling water according to your altitude recommendations- usually 20 minutes for pints and 25 for quarts, adjusting 5 additional minutes for each 1000-3000 feet above sea level. If you did not cook the peaches, add additional 5 minutes for raw packed fruit. You can also find easily accessible charts online (as this post is not a comprehensive set of instructions)!
This quick and easy canning recipe will result in delicious Honeyed Peaches that can be enjoyed all winter long.
- 4 lbs fresh freestone peaches (about 16 large sized whole peaches)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup light color honey (no additives or beeswax)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- extra water for filling water bath canner
- Ice water for ice bath
- Prepare your peaches: blanch according to directions in post, or slice with a fruit/vegetable peeler.
- On a cutting board, rough chop into large slices, removing and discarding peach pits
- To prevent browning, add all sliced peaches into bowl of 1 quart of water with 1/4 cup lemon juice added.
- Prepare your jars: ensure all jars and lids are clean and there are no dents in lids or cracks in the glass jars
- Heat up lids in a small sauce pan on the stove until almost boiling
- Prepare water bath canner on the stove with enough water to cover jars fully. Add a trivet to the bottom of the canner to keep all glass jars from coming into contact with canner.
- Have jars inside the canner as the water heats up. This saves time! You can turn your attention to preparing your fruit mixture while jars heat up.
- In a separate pan, prepare your 2 cups of water and honey mixture. Bring to a boil and stir until honey is desolved. Mixture should look like a syrup. Add peaches and gently stir.
- Continue cooking on medium heat until peaches are hot and mixture has achieved a syrupy texture.
- Remove one jar from the canner with canning tongs and empty any water inside. Place on a kitchen towel and with a canning funnel, fill up the jar with hot peach mixture. A slotted spoon works well.
- Continue filling jars with peaches, and then carefully pour hot syrup into the jars until the jars are full.
- Leave 1/2 " of space between the top of the syrup and the jar top.
- Wipe jar rims clean and secure the lids and rings over jars. Tighten just until fingertip tight. Do not overly tighten jars!
- With tongs, insert jars back into canner and bring to a boil.
- Boil according to hot pack directions, about 20 minutes + additional 5 minutes for each 1000 ft above sea level (see Ball Canning book or online food safety resource for exact instructions).
- Remove cans and place on a towel on counter in a level place. Do not distub!
- Cans should "pop". Check the tops of cans after they have cooled completely. If the jar lids move, you must reprocess the can. Do not attempt to check cans by removing lids.
- Label and store! No need to refrigerate.
Please see Ball Canning book or another resource for adjusting the recipe. Due to size variations in peaches and the water content, this recipe will vary with how many quarts/pints you can process. Enjoy!
Amount Per Serving Calories 109Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 5mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 2gSugar 27gProtein 1g