Peach Pickles


While June Kent's copy of the "Ball Blue Book" has been "loved to death" - missing cover, missing pages - after rereading its 1950s-vintage recipe for peach pickles, she decided to buy a more up-to-date version for me to copy. However, she added notes from personal experience.
"First of all," she pointed out, "you don't want three big old quarts of peach pickles. You want pints; one or two to open at Thanksgiving dinner and the rest to give as gifts for Christmas. Then there's the spices called for in this new version - 4 sticks of cinnamon! Why, there were no cinnamon sticks at our local grocer in the 1930s, '40s, or '50s! Then they've called for 2 tablespoons whole cloves, crushed - no, no, no, that's too much.
You'll be just fine with 1 tablespoon uncrushed. And fresh ginger? That's a very new addition, but, they left out the allspice berries. We always included 1 teaspoon whole dried allspice berries in the spice bag with the whole dried cloves. Other than those differences, the recipe will work OK."
8 pounds peaches, peeled, but do not pit (small to medium; see note)
4 sticks cinnamon2 tablespoons whole cloves, crushed1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger6 cups granulated sugar1 quart vinegar
As the peaches are peeled treat to prevent darkening (see note).
Tie cinnamon, cloves and ginger in a small square of cheesecloth. Put sugar, vinegar and spice bag in a large non-aluminum 4- to 6-quart pot; bring to a boil and boil pickling liquid 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, drain peaches.
Cook drained peaches in the pickling liquid until they can be pierced with a fork, but are not soft, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat and allow peaches to set in pickling liquid overnight to plump. Cover and leave at room temperature.
The next day wash 6 pint jars and fill with hot water until needed. Prepare lids as manufacturer directs.
Bring peaches and syrup to a boil. Remove spice bag.
Pack peaches into one hot jar at a time, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Ladle hot pickling syrup over peaches leaving 1/4 inch head space. Remove air bubbles by running a plastic knife or spatula around the inside of the jar. Wipe jar rim with a damp, clean cloth. Attach lid. Fill and close remaining jars. Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.
Allow 4 to 5 weeks for peaches to cure and develop flavor.
Note: To peel peaches, submerge them in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds and then into cold water for 20 seconds. Skin should slip right off.
Note: To prevent darkening, place the peaches directly into a solution of 2 tablespoons each salt and vinegar per 1 gallon of water. Or, you can use a commercial anti-oxident such as Fruit Fresh to prevent discoloration using directions on package. and Dehydration"




1.0 servings


Monday, November 30, 2009 - 1:42pm



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