Monday, August 8, 2011

Just Peachy

Old fashioned is the way someone may describe my summer and I may have to agree after this day of canning. It was a warm Saturday in August and I was on a mission to can peaches, after getting lost I
finally found the long dirt driveway to the home of Vermont's best canners. On this day, the two car garage was turned into an organized canning operation. Set up with three 10 foot tables, a three burner propane stove, walls filled with antique and new canning supplies, bushels of beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and crates of peaches hiding in the shade. We get started, pots of water are heating, a large bowl is filled with ice water, and large amounts of our own honey is quickly turned into the light syrup that the finished peaches will live in. Spiced brandy peaches was on my mind, so I was armed with my homemade vanilla extract, cinnamon sticks, allspice (renamed rabbit turds) and a bottle of Metaxa brandy leftover from Greek Easter. The water is boiling and Amish peaches are carefully dropped in and minutes later plunged into ice water. Busy hands pealed, sliced and packed Ball jars with peaches, the smell is overwhelming. Martina McBride is turned up loud and we are all humming along. Not being a fan of homemade wine I was hesitant to try the blackberry wine that was being passed around, as it turned out, it was amazing! The guys sat an cleaned the homegrown green beans and us gals were just peachy canning away.

Spiced Brandy Peaches

Peeled sliced peaches (2-3 pounds whole peaches makes 1 quart jar)
3 tablespoons brandy per quart jar

1 cup quality raw honey
3 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 tablespoons vanilla extract or a couple split vanilla beans

Heat, stir, cover and turn off heat and steep for 20 minutes.

Add peaches to hot serialized jars. Add three tablespoons of brandy to each quart jar. Fill with hot strained honey syrup 1/2 inch from top of jar. Wipe jar rim with damp paper towel and cover with new sanitized lids. Place jars on canner rack and carefully place in canner pot. Process in boiling water bath for 30 minutes with lid on, make sure jars are completely covered with water by a couple inches. Turn heat off and let sit for 5 minutes in the water. Carefully remove jars and let sit on rack to cool. Keeping space in between jars so they cool faster and more evenly. Once cool store in dark cool cellar.

Please follow the USDA's canning saftey guidelines click here.

1 comment:

Jenn @leftoverqueen said...

Sounds like a great time! I have dreams of canning parties like this! I do all of my canning alone, which is fine, but I think it would be fun to make a bunch of different things with a whole group so everyone can take home a variety!