Peach Pie Filling

Peach lovers will enjoy this homemade filling in a hot cobbler or pie any time of the year. For a quick dessert, cut squares of thinly rolled puff pastry dough and spoon peach filling into the center of each square. Fold in half and seal the sides with a fork. Cut a slit in the top and place on baking sheets. Bake in a 400°F (204°C) oven for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Yield

makes about four pint jars

Ingredients

1 cinnamon stick (about 3 inches), broken into pieces
2 teaspoons whole cloves
12 cups sliced pitted peeled**** peaches**, treated to prevent browning* and drained
2 cups finely chopped cored peeled apples***, treated to prevent browning* and drained
2 2/3 cups granulated (white) sugar
1 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions

Tie cinnamon stick pieces and cloves to a square of cheesecloth, creating a spice bag.

In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine peaches, apples, sugar, raisins, lemon zest and juice, vinegar, nutmeg and spice bag. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat, cover and boil gently, stirring occasionally until thickened.

Meanwhile, prepare boiling water canner, jars, and lids. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

Ladle hot pie filling into hot jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot filling. Wipe rim with clean cloth. Center lid on jar. Screw band (ring) down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude*****. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed. Store.

Additional Information

* To treat chopped apple and sliced peaches to prevent browning, apply a produce protector according to the manufacturer's instructions or submerge fruit in a mixture of 1/4 cup lemon juice and 4 cups water. For more information about treating your fruit to prevent browning see Preventing Discoloration when Canning Fruit.

** Choose peach varieties that are firm and good for cooking, such as Red Haven and Redskin.

*** To ensure they maintain their shape and texture, select a variety of apples suitable for cooking, such as Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Lady or Rome Beauty.

**** For tips on how peel peaches, see Cutting and Peeling Fruit for Canning.

***** If you are canning above 1,000 feet sea level, see Canning Altitude Adjustments to find how much additional processing time is needed.

Place a clean towel on your work surface to absorb water from the hot jars as you take them out of the water bath (boiling-water) canner to be filled, and again once the jars are processed. The towel prevents hot jars from coming into contact with cooler countertops. Significant temperature differences can cause jar breakage.

A jar lifter is very helpful for handling hot, wet jars. Because they are bulky and fit loosely, oven mitts — even water-resistant types — are not a wise choice. When filling jars, an all-purpose rubber glove, worn on your helper hand, will allow you to steady the jar.

A clear plastic ruler, kept solely for kitchen use, will help you determine the correct headspace. Each filled jar should be measured accurately, as the headspace can affect sealing and the preservation of the contents.

When preparing jars and lids, prepare a couple extra in case your yield is larger than you expect. If you don't have enough jars, place any leftovers in an airtight container; store in the refrigerator and use within a few weeks.

Before using jars, inspect them carefully for any chips, cracks or fractures. Discard any imperfect jars.

See Canning & Preserving Glossary for a description of terms used in this recipe.

Before canning each season, review canning procedures. See Canning & Preserving Basics to refresh your memory with the procedures.

Recipe Courtesy Of

Ball Home Preserving

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