My good friend, Cara Chigazola, is the sous chef at Oleana, one of Boston’s best restaurants, and the author of the awesome food blog, Food, Foragaing and Farms. This week she’s been writing about canning and her recipe for peaches is irresistible. Simple, healthy and flavor filled. Her trick? Roasting the peaches. As she wrote to me, “roasting them gives them a whole new level of “peachy-ness”. Yum.
From Food, Foraging and Farms:
After weeks of saying that I was going to can a case of peaches, I finally did it. And it was so much easier than I though it would be. The thing that was fueling my procrastination was the peeling of the peaches. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I wanted no part in it. I considered tricking friends into coming over and peeling peaches for me. But in reality there really weren’t many peaches left since I have been eating them every day with granola or having them in smoothies. Finally for my birthday a friend gave me a canning book called “Food in Jars”. Its a great book to have if you are into canning by the way. In the book was a recipe for peach butter. But it wasn’t the peach butter that I was interested in, it was the method in which they peeled the peaches. Instead of blanching and plunging the peaches in ice water which kind of waters down the peaches. You just cut the peaches in half and roast them for 30 minutes. Then when they come out of the over you can simply pull the skins right off. And the best part is the peaches caramelize a bit adding great flavor and they are hot and ready to go right in the jar!!!
The only problem that I have had with these canned peaches so far is that I am not sure they are going to make it through the winter because my husband has been eating a jar a day since. I may have to hide the remaining jars until January when summer desperation sets in. He’ll thank me then….
Roasted Canned Peaches
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Start with as many peaches as you can handle. I started with about 8 pounds of peaches. Cut each peach in half and remove the pit.
Line a large non-reactive baking dish, glass or ceramic, with peaches face down in an even layer. I ended up using 4 baking dishes. You can roast them in batches if you don’t have extra making dishes around. Roast for 30 minutes or until the skins can be removed easily. While the peaches are roasting process your jars in boiling water and set aside. It’s best if your jars are ready when the peaches come out of the oven.
After you remove the peaches from the oven, let cool for a few minutes then remove the skins by pulling them off the peaches. The skin should come off easily but if you come across a few stubborn ones use a pairing knife to peel them off. When the skins are removed place the peaches into jars using a clean spoon. (I sanitized my spoon in the water I use for boiling the jars.)
Fill as many jars as you need to. But reserve a few peaches because as the jars sit the roasted peaches let off an awesome juice and they deflate a little allowing for my peaches to be packed in. Once your jars are full add the lids and process in a water bath for 25 minutes. Remove from the water bath and let cool on a towel or wooden cutting board.
When the jars are cool put half in your pantry and the other half hide from your family until January. You’ll thank me later…
Read more from Cara at Food, Foraging and Farms and follow her on Twitter @Foodfarmforage