Saturday, August 14, 2010

Peach Pie Filling & Jam

I don't know about you, but I've been eagerly awaiting peach season all year. Its finally here and nothing compares to a ripe summer peach, sweet, juicy, and bursting with flavor. Sadly, they aren't around all year. So let's cheat, shall we? Peach pie in January? Heck yes!

Oh and while we're at it, Peach Jam. I made both jam and pie filling on my birthday weekend canning marathon, and let me tell you 40+ peaches is plenty to tackle in one day. Add to that a whole slew of blueberries and various pickles and you've got 1 exhausted (and extremely) Hungry Texan.

I found that the easiest way to go about peeling/pitting/slicing them is to:

1. Boil a big pot of water. Cut an x in the bottom of each peach. Working in batches, boil 6-8 peaches at a time for about 5 minutes. The skin will slip off easily.
2. Prepare a sink full of cool water to hold the peaches after boiling. Peel and treat to prevent browning. I have a double sink and used one side to peel and the other side to receive the peeled peaches. Fill with water and a splash of lemon juice to treat the peaches and prevent browning.
3. Once all the peaches are peeled, remove the pits by making 1 continuous cut around and gently twisting. Slice and return to treatment water. At this point they can be put up as is (in syrup) or used in jam, chutneys, or pie filling.

Now that that's done, lets get to the recipes:

Peach Pie Filling
(printable recipe)
from Ball, Complete Book of Home Preserving

1 cinnamon stick (about 3" long, broken into pieces)
2 tsp whole cloves
12 c sliced, pitted, peeled peaches (treated to prevent browning and drained)
2 c finely chopped cored peeled apples (treated to prevent browning and drained)
2 2/3 c sugar
1 c golden raisins
2 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 c lemon juice
1/4 c white vinegar
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1. Tie up the cinnamon and cloves in a square of cheesecloth to create a spice bag.
2. In a large stainless steel saucepan combine all ingredients. Bring to boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently.
3. Reduce heat, cover and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until thickened (about 10 minutes).
4. Meanwhile prepare canner, jars, and lids. See Canning Basics.
5. Ladle hot filling into jars, leaving 1" headspace. Wipe rims and secure lids.
Process for 15 minutes in hot water bath canner.

Makes 4 pints (I scaled the recipe up to make 6 pints). Each pint will fill 1 double crust pie.

Peach Jam
(printable recipe)
from Ball, Complete Book of Home Preserving

5 tart apples, stems removed. Chopped coarsely (peel, core, and all)
2 lemons (unpeeled), finely chopped
6 c sliced, pitted, peeled peaches (treated to prevent browning and drained)
5 1/2 c sugar

1. In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan combine apples, lemon and enough water to prevent sticking. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat, partially cover and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, until soft. Working in batches transfer mixture to a fine sieve to remove cores and skins. Should yield 2 cups of applesauce.
2. Prepare canner, jars, & lids.
3. Back to the pot with the applesauce, add peaches and sugar. Bring to boil stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Boil about 20 minutes (keep stirring!) until it thickens and mounds on a spoon. Remove from heat and skim off foam.*
4. Ladle into six half-pint (8oz) jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Remove any air bubbles, wipe rims and secure lids and rings.
5. Process 10 minutes in a hot water bath canner.

*I used an immersion blender after the sugar had dissolved to get a smooth overall consistency although I did leave a few chunks throughout. This is optional and does not indicate to do so in the original recipe.


  1. Stunning pie!!! Lovely photos.


  2. Theres no thickener to the pie filling tho. So when you use it what happens? Most canned pie fillings call for cornstarch or ClearJel.

  3. @seanymph: Yes, I noticed that too! It was one of the few recipes I'd found that didn't call for a thickener. It does thicken up quite nicely though. I suppose if you wanted to stir in some cornstarch or flour before you bake off the pie, it couldn't hurt.