How to Peel Peaches and Tomatoes for Canning

2765946063 54eb0034cb

Although I’ve been canning for 4-5 years now, it was only about 2 years ago that I learned this simple trick for peeling peaches that has made canning an easier task. I was missing out!

My 6 year old and I made this short video the other night, while peeling 40 lbs of peaches. She’s behind the camera, so I apologize for a few rocky moments (but overall I thought she did pretty well!).

If you wanted to use this method for when you are canning tomatoes, it’s exactly the same. I often find that tomatoes need even less time than peaches, more like 30-60 seconds. Experiment with your first couple of batches until you get the timing that seems to work well for you.

I can my peaches very similarly to how I can pears, with a few small differences:

  • I peel them by blanching (which you can’t do with pears), as shown in the video above.
  • When I slice them, I don’t soak them in water or in lemon juice.
  • I add 1 Tbsp of lemon juice to the jars, after I’ve put in the peaches and the syrup.
  • Timing is just a bit longer. 30 minutes for quarts, 25 for pints.

Rather than making a syrup with sucanat or rapadura this year (which the family generally enjoyed, but my husband found slightly too dark/caramel tasting for his preference), I made a honey syrup instead.

Light Honey Syrup for Canning Fruit

  • 1 quart/litre of filtered water
  • 1 3/4 cups honey

Bring to a boil in a large pot. Can easily double, triple or quadruple this recipe.

For 40 lbs of peaches, I tripled the syrup recipe and that was just about right. My end yield was 16 quarts and 7 pints, plus a few leftover peaches and 2 jars that didn’t seal properly which we are eating right now.

Up to your eyeballs with preserving season?

Check out my section on preserving food, for preserving recipes, photo tutorials and general information on food preservation (note that it goes on for 4 pages, just keep clicking on Previous Entries).

Also take a look at my post Preserving Summer’s Bounty: Recipes and Tutorials to Keep You Busy Until Thanksgiving. It is chock full of links to healthy, whole food preserving recipes and tutorials– canning, dehydrating, lacto-fermentation, freezing, etc.

Do you preserve peaches? How is your summer preserving going?

Image by Stevie Rocco

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

Read Newer Post
Read Older Post

Comments

  1. This is such a great resource (the whole website of yours!) as I had been looking for an easy ‘how to’ with peaches. We get ours locally in July, though there still may be another farm with them in Sept. this year…and they are DELICIOUS. We buy two bags (about 10 per bag) each week in July and just eat them or bake them with everything. They make the store-bought ones go to shame! I have never tried canning, though I took a ‘how to’ canning class earlier in the summer. I really need a day to just do it with someone else, though not many people in our area–that I know of–can anything.

    Sarah M

  2. We tried our hand at canning peaches for the first time this year.

    We also found that freezing peaches whole, skin on, works amazingly well. When you’re ready to eat, you run it under cold water and the skin peels off, you can let it thaw a bit and it’s good to go. And it’s much easier than canning. But you risk loosing power, as happened to us this year for more than a day.

  3. When I can tomatoes, I just put the cleaned, de-stemed tomatoes in my sink and then pour boiling water (which I’ve heated in a large pot on the stove) over them and let them sit in it for 1-2 minutes. Then I reach in with a knife and move the drain plug so the water drains. Doing it this way, you don’t have to bother with a strainer or moving the tomatoes around a lot.

  4. At this point in my life I am doing more freezing than canning (actually, I probably will do no canning this year at all). I have frozen lots of beans (about 15 bags so far, more to come), 31 bags of blueberries, 31 bags of strawberries, and I think it was around 40 of raspberries, as well as around 40 bags of peaches. I did some apples today, both drying them and making sauce to freeze (I do the sauce with peels on and use my immersion blender to puree it). Oh and I am also in the midst of tomatoes. I think that will be it for this year. Normally I do a few more things, but I am still very tired.

    For peaches, we just wash well, pit and slice, and put into bags. No peeling. They don’t go that brown really. They are in one big “clump” in the bag but we leave enough headroom to slide out the frozen clump and then slice off a section. Which we then use in smoothies and on hot cereal. The taste isn’t as fresh as canning but its a lot less work for us right now. Especially not peeling! I did two bushels that way this year.

    For tomatoes, I’ve always done it the way my mother in law does, and I saw it described I think in the more with less cookbook….I wash, core, and then chop (roughly) and place in my blender, no water added, and puree, skins and all. To can, you cook them down (I forget how long exactly but I think it was 15 minutes…if anyone is interested I can check and I will respond here) and then put in jars and process. Its like crushed tomatoes. For just freezing (the past few years) I do the same thing but without cooking it, I put it in freezer bags. Then I toss into soups and stews. However to make it into spaghetti sauce you need to cook it first as if you were canning it or its too watery. (If you can it and cook it down first then this is NOT an issue). This works well for me at this stage.

    Are you using any of the tattler lids? how are you finding them? I’ve been interested in trying some again sometime, but right now I am not canning as I said.

    • @Nola, For us, the problem this year is that we’ve entirely run out of freezer space. I’ve already done almost 200 lbs of blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, plus I have a ton of beef in there, some butter, bones, etc. and my fridge freezer is small. So that’s why I’m focusing on canning from this point on.

      I am using some of the Tattler lids. I don’t have nearly enough, though, so I’m still buying regular lids as well. This summer I wasn’t on the ball enough to buy more Tattler lids to add to my collection, but in the winter I might get another few boxes for next year. I find them to be really great, overall. They almost always seal just fine, but the seal can get broken if you aren’t really careful in how you handle them. For example, I was putting away jars up high, in the space above my kitchen cupboards, and I knocked a lid loose on a jar of peaches. If you keep the rings on, there is no issue with this at all, but I don’t have enough rings so I like to take them off and re-use them. I’ve realized that it would be better if (until I get more rings) that I use my regular lids in the beginning of the season, then use my Tattler’s later in the season when I don’t need the rings for further canning.

      • @Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home, Yes that makes sense about the freezer space, I was blessed with a huge freezer through a variety of things happening…long story but I have the biggest one you can get now due to the store not having the size I wanted in stock and then later our basement flooding and a good sale the same as replacing the one we had (thankfully with insurance money)… But I hardly have any beef in there right now, I haven’t been able to eat it, but next year I hope to buy 1/4 a cow as someone here sells it locally now but for now I just get it in small batches since that was all that was available. I need to spend the year saving as its a lot of money.

        I hope to do canning again in the future, we’ll see how the baby is next year. I am trying to cut myself some slack but do feel a bit guilty. I will have to try the tattler lids. Where do you suggest ordering them in Canada? Do you mean keeping the metal (gold or silver) ring on? I always do that anyways so I think it should be okay for sealing. That is my worry. But I like the no BPA option.

        • @Nola, I honestly can’t remember if I ordered them to Canada to or my MIL’s house in the US. I would try calling them and seeing if they will ship to Canada. I’m unsure of where else to buy from them other than their online store.

          And yes, I mean the metal rings. I like to take mine off, but if you always keep them off, then the seal shouldn’t be an issue for you. I love the no BPA option, too.

  5. I will admit: I am scared–yes–afraid–of canning. :/ I think I might try dipping my feet into it next year. For now, I just freeze as much as I can. My mom used to can (when I was so young I barely remember), and every time I mention it, she starts to complain about how hard it is. You make it sound easy, though!

  6. This is a great post. Just put my own out today about canning salsa and stewed tomatoes. There’s some great info here that I will hang onto. I’m new at this (1st year) but plan to expand each year, Lord-willing!!
    Thanks for your work!

  7. My mom just taught me to can tomatoes on Monday. I’m so thankful that my grandma taught her this trick. Even with this method we were up until 3am we each had a bushel (53lbs) from the farmer’s market. I ended up with 12 cans of diced tomatoes & 3 cans of sauce from my bushel (I didn’t think I could use more diced). De-seeding the tomatoes for the sauce was difficult by hand. I would like to make it with the strainer mentioned in the comment above.

  8. We canned 50 lbs of peaches this year, and we have 50 lbs more coming. We knew about blanching, my kids LOVE to peel the skin off ;) We can our peaches in unsweetened apple juice, it keep them tasting like fresh peaches, and no sugar, what’s not to love!

    Oh, we get our unsweetened apple juice at TOP Foods, they sell their Haggen brand in several varieties, Gala, Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, etc…

  9. I used the blanching method last night to peel and dehydrate 1/2 a bushel of peaches. I have another 1/2 bushel sitting here to can tonight. When I can, I just save the juice from the peaches and use white grape juice from the store to fill my jars if I need any extra liquid. That way I don’t have to use any sweetener.

  10. So far I’ve put up 35 quarts of tomatoes, 7 quarts of apricots (which we do instead of peaches because these are free from the in-laws), and 18 pints of salsa. I read somewhere you can freeze tomatoes and then let them thaw at which point the skin will just slip off. But the one tomato I tried it on turned to a pile of mush on the counter once it thawed – it totally didn’t work, so I’ve been doing the blanching method. I’ve been using the Tattler lids that I won from you last year and love them! I’ve had 3 jars not seal out of everything and I didn’t have to buy any lids this year. :) Thanks again!

    • @Maria, Yes, I find the same thing with frozen tomatoes. If I do freeze them whole like that, I do it simply out of lack of time, and knowing that the tomatoes will be good for nothing but soups/stews/sauce.

      So glad that you love the Tattler lids! I’m still using mine, too!

  11. We are up to our eyeballs in tomatoes. We planted 25 plants, and didn’t expect them all to produce so well.
    We’ve been using our (back to basics) food strainer, that we normally use to make applesauce, to make tomato sauce. I admit this is only useful if you have a TON of tomatoes, otherwise it might feel wasteful.
    We boil the tomatoes whole for about a minute, and then just dump them peels, stems, and all in the top of the strainer.
    The sauce that comes out is pretty watery, but we let it simmer on low overnight, or for several hours. Add whatever you want, and wait until you get the desired consistency and it makes for pretty effortless sauce.
    The strainer helps us to use up tons of tomatoes really fast.

  12. Funny, I just posted 10 Canning Tips I Learned When Canning Peaches. http://thelocalcook.com/2011/08/30/10-canning-tips-i-learned-when-canning-peaches/

    I didn’t find out about the whole blanching thing until AFTER I had canned 15 quarts!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] How to Peel Peaches and Tomatoes for Canning [...]

  2. [...] How to Peel Peaches and Tomatoes for Canning [...]