It is getting to be peach season for much of the country. When we were living in Nebraska, a local church would sell boxes of Colorado peaches. It seems like they always came around the end of August, and I always looked forward to those things! Our local peach season here is actually May to early June, and I'll be looking forward to it next year as we planted a new peach tree in our yard late this spring. I really think I need to learn how to can because these preserves will be a great way to save some of them!
This recipe for SMS is actually the second to last recipe for our group. The group has made this base recipe for preserves several times (there are 5 variations), and they have always been a big success. This is only my second time along, and I love Melissa's method! I am not sure why I had it in my head that jellies and preserves were hard to make, but this one is not. You cut up your fruit. Throw it in with a peeled cut up Granny Smith apple and some sugar and boil it until it sets up. Easy peasy. Melissa mentions using a candy thermometer, but I don't think you even need it. Just start your timer after it begins to boil. The only note I would add would be to use a bigger pot than you think will be necessary. I can speak from experience that splattered, burnt sugar is not fun to clean (last time around, not this time).
Be sure to stop by the round-up to see the others' preserves. Enjoy!
Cinnamon Peach Preserves
From The Sweet Melissa Baking Book
8 cups of peaches (about 8-12 peaches depending on size), peeled and cubed
2 cups peeled and cubed Granny Smith apples (2-3)
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon and/or orange juice (I used orange)
3 cinnamon sticks
To easily peel the peaches, cut an 'x' with a knife on the bottom of each piece. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Drop the peaches in for a couple of minutes. When the peel looks like it is starting to pull away, remove them to a colander and rinse in cold water. The peels should pull of easily.
In an 8-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine the fruit, apples, sugar, juice, and cinnamon sticks. Cook, until the mixture reaches 212 degrees F (boiling temperature) on a candy thermometer, stirring often to prevent scorching. You may mash the fruit slightly with a potato masher, if necessary. Once the preserves have reached boiling temperature, continue to cook for 30 minutes more, stirring often until thick. You can check the consistency by placing a dollop onto a plate and setting it in the freezer until just cool. If it is runny, continue cooking; if it is thick, you're good to go.
Can the preserves in clean canning jars as directed by the manufacturer, or cool to room temperature, tightly cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 6 months.