Friday, 17 September 2010

Georgia Pickled Ginger Peaches: tigress can jam

The theme for this month's tigress can jam is stone fruits. Stone fruits belong to the genus Prunus which includes apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines and plums. Georgia is known for it's peaches so I was all over this one.

I've made two batches of peach jam already so I needed to come up with something different. I thought about making peach butter, but I still have some left from last year because, um, I went a little crazy canning last year. I also considered making peach salsa since I have a bunch of tomatoes and peaches ...

Then I saw a recipe for pickled peaches in Sheri Brooks Vinton's new cookbook Put 'em Up!  These pickled peaches are uniquely Southern. I've never had pickled peaches before, the combination just seemed a little weird to me.  However, after reading the rest of the ingredients in this recipe, I decided these pickled peaches sounded delicious. I asked some of my friends and family whether they would eat them if I made them and they said "yes". Some reluctantly, some enthusiastically.

If that wasn't enough to convince me, last weekend, I went to the Atlanta Food Blog Forum.  At the conference, I met Virginia Willis, the author of Bon App├ętite, Y'all.  The recipe in Put 'em Up! is actually based on Virginia's recipe. So, that settled it!  The Pickled Ginger Peaches were meant to be.

Pickled Peaches.  Now say that three times...

What I really like about these pickled peaches is that you don't have to serve them for dessert.  You can serve them with a holiday meal.  Now that's a great idea!

Pickled Ginger Peaches
Makes: about 2 quarts but I used pint-sized jars instead
Recipe found in Put 'em Up! by Sheri Brooks Vinton

6 (500 mg) vitamin C tablets, crushed
2 quarts cold water
2 cups ice
5 pounds peaches (10-12)
4 cups distilled white vinegar
4 cups sugar
1 (2-inch) knob ginger, sliced into coins
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon whole cloves

In a large nonreactive bowl, cooler, or your impeccably clean kitchen sink, create an antibrowning ascorbi-acid bath by dissolving the crushed vitamin C tablets in the cold water.  Add the ice.  I opted to use a stainless steel bowl for this part.

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Working in batches of 2 peaches at a time, blanch the fruit in the boiling water for 30 seconds to loosen the skins.

Scoop the peaches out of the water and plunge them into the prepared ice water.  



Repeat with the remaining peaches.  Drain.  Using a small paring knife, peel, pit, and halve the peaches, returning them to the ice bath as you go.


Bring the vinegar, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves to a boil in a large nonreactive saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Add the drained peaches, return to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.

At this point, you can refrigerate the pickled peaches for up to 3 weeks or, can them using the boiling-water  method.  I opted for the water-bath canning method, of course, since this is what this challenge is all about.

Ladle the peaches into clean, hot quart (or pint) canning jars, covering the peaches by 1/2 inch with liquid.  Leave 1/2 inch headspace between the top of the liquid and the lid.  Screw the lids on the jars temporarily.  Gently swirl each jar to release trapped air bubbles.  Remove the lids and add syrup, if necessary to achieve proper headspace.  Wipe the rims clean; center lids on jars and screw on jar bands.

Process for 20 minutes. If you live in a higher altitude or need more detailed instructions on water-bath canning, please refer to the instructions at the National Center for Home Preservation.

Turn off heat, remove canner lid, and let jars rest in the water for 5 minutes.  Remove jars and set aside for 24 hours.  Check seals, then store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Click for tigress can jam food blog challenge
We're making jams or pickling every month in 2010. For more info, click on the button.  Check out the September Can Jam Roundup to see what the other can jammers canned.

Happy Canning and Baking!

Here are some of the references I use in my canning adventures. You might enjoy them as well:

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