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Author Topic: Peach Preserves  (Read 813 times)

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Peach Preserves
« on: October 05, 2018, 04:37:51 PM »
   My lone peach tree out in my pasture did itself proud this year. They are small, cling, white peaches and most were not much bigger than a golf ball. I had to cut around the bruises and worms. (Note to self: Don't just spray pre-bloom next year, spray again after the blooms drop off too.) I collected, peeled, cut up and froze about 4 gallons of peaches over a couple week period. Today I thawed them. I started with 15 lbs of frozen peaches, added 10 lbs of sugar, about a half cup of lemon juice (all we had left in the house) and about a pint or so of orange juice. The acid is needed to help the jam/jelly/preserves set. I divided the mix into two big aluminum pans and cooked them down till thick with only one boil-over. When the syrup thickened satisfactorily I poured them up. I used up all the pint and half pint jars left in the house and still had to use one quart jar for the last pint of preserves. Now I'm just waiting for the lids to snap shut and I'll label and take them downstairs till used. I suspect a big batch of homemade biscuits is on the menu for tonight and for breakfast especially since my 6 & 10 y/o granddaughters are supposed to be coming over to spend the night.

  Peach preserves are good but they always remind me of Ray Stevens "Its me again Margaret"


 Larger pot just starting to cook.


 Getting the jars ready to start pouring. A plastic canning funnel is an essential tool if you do much canning.


 Here are 21 pints of finished preserves. Even have a big jar of Crunchy Peanut butter in the background waiting for them to cool.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Peach Preserves
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2018, 06:41:37 PM »
Lookin' good, Howard!

Makes one want to lick the monitor! ;D
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer

Offline John357

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Re: Peach Preserves
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2019, 08:07:19 AM »
I am preparing to make my first batch of strawberry jam today, and have one question regarding the water bath canning. 

All the videos and instructions I have seen seem to indicate that the filled jars with lids are returned to the hot water bath for heating, in water that covers over the lids.   If the lids are only on finger tight, won't some water get inside the jam?  Trying to understand the process.

Thnx,

John

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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Peach Preserves
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2019, 08:17:09 AM »
Ball website might explain all that better.
The flat lids are air and watertight. No air or water can get into what is inside the jar. If any water did get inside,the flat lid did not seal. If a jar does not seal correctly the contents will spoil.When opening a jar,that flat seal should come off hard. If it opens up real easy,don't use it!!! Throw it away. It is spoiled,but may not look it or smell it it either. Brenda does alot of jam jellies and other canning. Once in a well we will find one that will open easy. Don't use it!! You will get sick from it. She also takes off the round thread lids for storage. The falt lids should bing as they seal too.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline John357

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Re: Peach Preserves
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2019, 08:24:31 AM »
Thanks for the quick response CFarm.

As I understand it now, I fill the jars and put the lids and rings on the jars and only tighten finger tight.  In the bath, the heat of the water will activate the seal in the lid, and seal the jar once the seal is cooled. 

The jam needs to be heated enough to expand enough to allow contraction upon cooling in order to create the vacuum seal. 

1)  If the lid is sealed at the beginning of the bath, how is the vacuum created upon cooling?

2)  if the lid is not sealed completely at the beginning, thus allowing for expansion and contration, won't water get into the jam?

John

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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Peach Preserves
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2019, 08:33:54 AM »
I am not the canning guy. Wife does it. Flat lids are heated in boiling water. Flat lids are put on to jars,than the screw ones are put on tight onto the jars. Than the water bath. I think. ;D  As I said,Ball website.  Everything must be clean and I do mean clean. And hot too.
If the lid is sealed no water will get in.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Peach Preserves
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2019, 09:06:58 AM »
   I could be wrong but I suspect the heat from the water bath expands any air left between the jam and the lid and bubbles it out with enough pressure remaining that water can't get back in.

   We only use a water bath if we have a jar that does not seal. We pour the hot jelly/jam in the jars to about 1/2" from the top, put the lids on hand tight, turn the jars upside down a few minutes to soften the rubber seal good then turn them upright. In a few minutes you will hear them pop as they seal. The cooling jelly/jam contracts and pulls the lid down tight. When cool we wipe the tops off with a moist cloth and tighten the rings some more, if they need it. The book says if a lid does not pull down but stays down when pressed it is still okay. As I said if we have a jar that does not seal (Which is very rare) we either refrigerate and eat it right away or put it in a water bath and reheat and repeat the process.

   Good luck and enjoy your home canning. For some reason it just tastes a lot better than store bought.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline John357

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Re: Peach Preserves
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2019, 10:12:25 AM »
Thanks WV, I think that's right.  They make a point to mention the 1/2 inch of head space, and even have a measuring tool to make it easy.  I've also seen mention of the bubbles coming out during heating. 

So I need to make it tight, but not too tight, got it!  smiley_thumbsup

Will attempt veggies, pickles and salsa this summer. 

John



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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Peach Preserves
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2019, 10:17:52 AM »
John,

    Do you have a pressure cooker? If not I'd get one as they are much safer for most canning projects. Jelly and jams and preserves are the only things we don't can using a pressure cooker which gets the food to a much higher temperature and is generally much safer. We even can venison and green beans and such with it. Basically the food cooks in the jar and the high heat kills any harmful bacteria. The canning jar people offer very good instructions and recipes. I think most all include a good book with the pressure cooker. Enjoy.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: Peach Preserves
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2019, 10:28:27 AM »
and a weed eater!  Sorry, could not resist.

And when I get out, Margaret
I'm going to come over there with a weed eater,
And a live chicken, and some peach preserves
We'll have a good old time, Margaret!

Ray Stevens!
The Ranger, home of Texas Forestry

Offline John357

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Re: Peach Preserves
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2019, 05:37:51 PM »
Hi WV,

Yes, mine is a pressure cooker, I'm doing the strawberries today as a way to get used to using it.   I intend to learn how to pressure can later this summer.

The strawberries went well today, was able to scale down the recipe I got from the Ball website.  Made 7 x 8 oz. jars.  using 2 1 pound baskets of berries.  And not a one had any water inside!  I did notice the bubbles when heating the jars, and heard the popping of the lids after only about 15 minutes of cooling.  All jars held their seals.

It's been about 6 hours and they haven't gelled completely, but I 'll wait until tomorrow for the final verdict.

John

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Peach Preserves
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2019, 07:41:35 PM »
John,

   Remember if you are making preserves they are not going to typically jell as stiff as jam or jelly. The strawberries we do usually end up like whole berries in a thick syrup. Did you use pectin (Sure-Jell) or just sugar? If just sugar you have to be sure to add enough acid from usually about 1/4 of the mix as unripe fruit or we just add lemon or orange juice. Apparently the acid and sugar and such work together to help jell.

    If they do not jell to your liking you can always reopen the jars and cook them down some more and when enough water is boiled out it will jell. Reverse is true - if too stiff you can add water and re-cook the batch. Good luck.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline John357

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Re: Peach Preserves
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2019, 09:44:40 AM »
WV,

I did use the powdered pectin. 

Thanks for the tip about the water, and yes, they are pretty thin still.  I will boil off more water next time.   I had a few oz. left over and set them in a small bowl, tried them this morning.  They do taste better when made at home!

That got me thinking, I always considered jelly to be made with just the juice of the fruit, and jam to be made with the whole (diced, mashed, or chopped) fruit.  So how would you define preserves?

John

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Peach Preserves
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2019, 10:01:08 AM »
John,

   Here is a decent article on the difference. 

Difference Between Jam and Preserves | Difference Between

  One of the big differences listed is Preserves are typically not jelled while Jam is. Think of Fig preserves where whole figs are cooked in a sugar solution. Same with strawberry preserves. One of my favorites is scuppernong (Muscadine) hull preserves. The size of the fruit in the end product is typically much bigger in preserves than in jam.

  The high temperature from the boiling sugar kills bacteria and is one of the reasons we don't typically process jelly, jam or preserves in a water bath too.

  My mom always used Pectin, my MIL did not. I never use it in mine.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline John357

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Re: Peach Preserves
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2019, 08:29:35 AM »
Thanks.  Then I went back and reread your initial post, it looks like you made preserves and I made jam.  smiley_thumbsup

Something else I did was to reduce the amount of sugar about 25%, might have had an effect on the lack of jelling.  And another thing I heard about on the web and tried:  I added about 1 tsp of butter when boiling down the fruit.  It made it so there were no bubbles at all in the jars and no foam on top.

John
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Peach Preserves
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2019, 07:25:49 PM »
    I'd definitely think the sugar reduction affected jelling. I never heard about the butter reducing foaming. We just stirred rapidly, always with a wooden spoon, when the mix started foaming. I liked the foaming (except when it boils over :() because it means the water is evaporating quickly and everything is moving along well.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"


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