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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

3 Interesting ways to preserve fresh peaches

Original Article

Today was a good day. When I showed up at work there was a box of peaches sitting on my desk. My lovely project manager remembered how much I was raving about Chambersburg Peaches and surprised me!
My first thought was to look up a recipe in my ball book and can them all in light syrup and be done with it, but then I thought… this would be a great opportunity to try out a new book I picked up at a yard sale The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving
The idea behind the book is that rather than always having to process 40 pounds of tomatoes when you make salsa you can make a few small batches regularly as you harvest. I decided to make 3 recipes this evening.
A jam, a marmalade, and a salsa.
On with the recipes:
Fresh Sweet Pepper and Peach Salsa
Fesh peach salsa
Fresh peach salsa

4 cups chopped peaches (approx 4 peaches)
1/2 cup sweet red pepper
1/2 cup sweet green or orange pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (the book had a typo… it had “coriander” written… wow that would have been a lot of coriander!!)
1 tbsp chopped jalapeno (I added 2 full large jalapenos, however I seeded them for my wife)
1 clove minced garlic
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp honey
Combine all in bowl. Cover and put in fridge for 30 minutes minimum. It will be hottest eaten that day, and heat will mellow over time.
I did a double recipe and I processed 1/2 in a hot water bath.
Minted Raspberry Peach Jam

we jammin'!

3 1/2 cups of sugar
1 cup mashed raspberries (fresh preferred, or frozen)
2/3 cup chopped peaches
2 tbsp chopped mint
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 pouch of liquid fruit pectin
  1. Put sugar in a shallow pan in the oven at 250F for 15 minutes
  2. Combine raspberries, peaches, mint with warm sugar in a large bowl. Stir occasionally for 10 minutes
  3. Add lemon juice and pectin and stir constantly for 3 minutes
  4. Ladle jam into clean jars with 1/2 inch head space. Let set for 24 hours
Here the book says you can put it in the fridge for up to 5 weeks, however I processed mine in a hot water bath canner and it should now store as long as any other jam.
I did 2 batches of this recipe.
Microwave Gingered Peach Marmalade

peachy marmalade in a microwave... made a mess since I let it boil over in my shallow container

1 orange
1 lemon
1/2 cup water
2 cups chopped peaches
2 cups sugar
2 tbsp candied ginger or crystallized ginger
  1. Zest the lemon and orange until you have removed all of the outer skin from them
  2. Put zest and water in a covered container. Preferably a deep one (I made this mistake). Cover the container and microwave at 100% for 5 minutes stopping halfway through to stir. Then microwave at 70% for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, peel the rest of the rind from the lemon and orange and discard the rind. Put the meat into a food processor (remove seeds first). Make it into a puree
  4. Add puree to rind mixture . Microwave on high for 5 minutes stirring once
  5. Add peaches, sugar and ginger. Microwave Uncovered on high for 6 minutes stirring once.
  6. Microwave on high for 12 to 16 minutes stirring every 4 minutes or until it forms a gel. You can test this with a spoon. If you dip it in it should have a consistency like molasses
  7. Ladle into hot jars and process with a hot water bath canner
Note: When you make marmalade it is important that you don’t double the recipe as this will drastically effect cooking times.
I made one batch of this recipe and it did not yield very much. I would probably prefer to make marmalade the old fashion way like when I made my orange chilli marmalade.

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