Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Canning Peach Pie filling

Directions for Making Peach Pie Filling( courtesy of Pick your own ) click on pick your own and get step by step photos etc.

Ingredients and Equipment to make 1 quart of peach pie filling
(just double to make 2 quarts, etc.) up to 7 quarts

Ingredients for Peach Pie Filling

Quantities of Ingredients Needed For
1 Quart
Sliced fresh peaches 3-1/2 cups
Granulated sugar 1 cup
Clear Jel® powder, see below 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon
Cold water 3/4 cup
Cinnamon (optional) 1/8 teaspoon
Almond extract (optional) 1/8 teaspoon
Bottled lemon juice 1/4 cup
ClearJel® starch - made specially for home canning, to ensure both safety and quality. ( I bought mine at cash and carry )
Jar grabber (to pick up the hot jars)
Lid lifter (has a magnet to pick the lids out of the boiling water where you sterilize them. ($2 at mall kitchen stores and local "big box" stores, but it's usually cheaper online from our affiliates)
Jar funnel ($2 at mall kitchen stores and local "big box" stores, but it's usually cheaper online from our affiliates)
At least 1 large pot
Large spoons and ladles
Ball jars (walmart and other grocery stores and some "big box" stores carry them - about $8 per dozen quart jars including the lids and rings)

1 Water Bath Canner (a huge pot with a lifting rack to sterilize the jars of peach pie filling after filling (about $30 to $35 at mall kitchen stores and local "big box" stores, but it's usually cheaper online from our affiliates) You CAN use a large pot instead, but the canners are deeper, and have a rack top make lifting the jars out easier. If you plan on canning every year, they're worth the investment.

Recipe and Directions

Step 1 - Selecting the peaches
You can use fresh or even frozen peaches, but obviously you'll get the best price and freshest taste if you go pick your own. Typically, peaches are in season in the US and Europe in June through August - check the harvest calendar for your state!

Step 2 - Wash the jars and lids
Now's a good time to get the jars ready, so you won't be rushed later. The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sterilize" cycle, the water bath processing will sterilize them as well as the contents! If you don't have a dishwasher with a sterilize cycle, you can wash the containers in hot, soapy water and rinse, then sterilize the jars by boiling them 10 minutes, and keep the jars in hot water until they are used. Leave the jars in the dishwasher on "heated dry" until you are ready to use them. Keeping them hot will prevent the jars from breaking when you fill them with the hot peach pie filling.

Put the lids into a pan of hot, but not quite boiling water (that's what the manufacturer's recommend) for 5 minutes, and use the magnetic "lid lifter wand" to pull them out.

Step 3 -Wash the fruit and sort!
I'm sure you can figure out how to wash the fruit in a colander of plain cold water.

Then you need to pick out and remove any bits of stems, leaves and soft or mushy fruit. It is easiest to do this in a large bowl of water and gently run your hands through the fruit as they float. With your fingers slightly apart, you will easily feel any soft or mushy fruit get caught in your fingers.

Then just drain off the water!

Step 4 - Peeling the Peaches
Peaches and nectarines should be peeled, as their skins can be tough / chewy in jam. Peaches have such thin skins, you really don't need to peel them.

For those you want to peel, here's a great trick that works with many fruits and vegetables with skins (like tomatoes): just dip the fruit in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds.

Remove from the water using a slotted spoon and put into a large bowl or pot of cold water and ice.
The skins will easily slide off now IF the peaches are ripe! The more unripe they are, the longer you'll need to heat them.

Step 5 - Cut up the peaches

Cut out any brown spots and mushy areas. Cut the peaches in half, or quarters or slices, as you prefer! Remove pits!

Step 6 - Prevent the fruit from darkening!
Now, to keep the fruit from turning brown, when you get a bowlful, sprinkle 1/4 cup lemon juice or Fruit-Fresh (which is just citric acid, vitamin C, perfectly natural). Then stir the peaches to make sure all the surfaces have been coated.

Step 5 - Make the liquid for the filling
Combine water, sugar, Clear Jel®, and, if desired, cinnamon and/or almond extract in a large kettle. Stir and cook over medium high heat until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. 1 Quart 7 Quarts
Granulated sugar 1 cup 7 cups
Clear Jel® see below 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon 2 cups + 3 tablespoon
Cold water or peach juice 3/4 cup 5-1/4 cups
Cinnamon (optional) 1/8 teaspoon 1 teaspoon
Almond extract (optional) 1/8 teaspoon 1 teaspoon
Bottled lemon juice 1/4 cup 1-3/4 cups

Note: You can use peach juice instead of water to add the flavor and natural sweetness, but you can just use cold water, as the peach juice can be hard to find.

Add the lemon juice and boil the sauce 1 minute more, stirring constantly.

Why use ClearJel?
ClearJel® is a corn starch that has been modified to give it special and unique characteristics when used in food products. It is recommended by the USDA for making pie fillings because it does not break down in the acid food mixtures and does not thicken too much during heat processing to interfere with the intended effect of the heat on killing bacteria during canning. In other words it reduces spoilage and is safer than corn starch. It is preferred for thickening canned pie fillings as well as other foods over other corn starches because it has less or no aftertaste, the thickened juices are smooth and clear, and foods thickened with ClearJel® may be frozen.

Step 6 - Combine the liquid with the fruit
Add in the drained peach slices and continue to heat mixture for 3 minutes. (see photo at right)

Step 7 - Fill the jars with the peach mixture
Pretty self explanatory. A jar funnel helps. Gently jostle the jar to help it settle in the jar and reduce the amount of air space. Fill the quart jars to within 3/4 to 1 inch of the top, wipe any spilled peach pie filling of the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them.

Step 8 - Process the filled jars in the water bath
Put the filled jars in the canner and keep them cover with at least 1 inch of water and boiling. if you are at sea level (up to 1,000 ft) boil pint and/or quart jars for 30 minutes.

If you are at an altitude of 1,000 feet or more, see this chart.

USDA-Recommended process time for Hot Pack Pint or Quart Jars of Peach Pie Filling in a boiling-water canner.

Process Time at Altitudes of
0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 3,000 ft 3,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
30 min 35 40 45

Step 9 - Remove and cool the jars - Done
Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight) You can then remove the rings if you like. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok.


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