How to make your own canned peaches at home. Use freestone peaches for canned peaches as they are the easiest to work with. This recipe makes around 4-6 quart jars depending on the size of your peaches.
Sterilize the jars & equipment. Either fill the canner with water according to directions and bring to a boil. Submerge the jars, right side up, and simmer for 10 minutes before removing carefully and placing on a clean dish towel (OR simply run the jars and rings through the dishwasher). To sterilize the lids and rings submerge them into a small pot of boiling water for 10 minutes, remove with clean tongs and lay on a clean dish towel.
While the jars sterilize, peel the peaches. Have a large pot of boiling water, an ice bath and a large bowl of cold water with ascorbic acid (to prevent browning) ready. To make an ice bath simpy place ice with cold water in a large bowl.
To peel the peaches, gently cut a shallow X in the bottom of each peach using a paring knife and submerge in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Carefully remove the peaches from the boiling water and immediately place the peaches in the ice bath. To peel the peaches, starting with one corner of the cut end, gently peel the skin away on all sides. Place the peeled peaches in the prepared ascorbic acid water mixture to cover and repeat until all peaches are peeled.
Combine the water with the sugar and bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. The syrup must be hot before adding to the peaches in the jars.
Cut the peeled peaches into quarters (as desired), gently place inside the jars, packing them (careful not to bruise) until they fill the jars. Tap on the counter to help settle the peaches. Repeat for all jars.
Add the bourbon and vanilla pod if using (see below). Fill the with hot syrup to cover the peaches (fill to where the rim starts, about 1/2" from the top of the jar) and clean off the rim with a clean dish towel.
Place the lids and rings on the jars, place in canner in designated places for jars, submerge and "process" (simmer) for 25 minutes. Lay out a clean dish towel on the counter.
Carefully remove the jars from the water using the canning tongs and place on the clean dish towel to cool.
Once the jars have cooled and the lids have sealed (they will be indented or sucked in... you can hear them pop while they are sealing - repeat the processing if they don't seal), label with the date and place in cool dry storage until ready to eat. Once opened they will keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
*Add 1-2 ounces of bourbon (1 for a small jar and 2 for a large quart jar) plus 1 pod of vanilla to the jar of peaches before adding the syrup to make Vanilla Bourbon Canned Peaches