I’ve had lots of requests this week from readers who want to know how I make homemade peach syrup. Because I’d imagine that some people don’t know anything about canning, I’m going to take you through the entire process – step-by-step – as if you were working along side of me in my kitchen. If you already know how to can, you can skip down to the bottom of the post to get the printable recipe.
Note: You can make multiple batches of syrup at once. The determining factor is what size of pan you use.
Note 2: If you make a single batch of the syrup and you aren’t into canning like I am, you can pour the syrup in a jar and keep it in the refrigerator.
Note 3: Peach syrup makes a wonderful gift. People love it.
- Canning processor (steamer or water-bath)
- Canning jars, rings, and lids
- Lemon Juice
Boil some water in a pot. As Mom and Grandma always said, “Put a lid on that pot. The water will boil faster!”
Place a few peaches in a strainer. Make sure the strainer has a handle on it or you’ll get yourself into trouble. I received this strainer as a wedding gift. It’s so 70′s!
Immerse the peaches in the hot water for about 30 seconds. Don’t leave them in there too long or you’ll end up with mushy peaches.
Take the peaches out of the hot water and spray them with cold water until you can handle them.
Slip the skin off of the peaches.
Cut the top off of the peaches, remove the pits, and cut them up.
MAKING THE SYRUP
Measure the peaches as you are cutting them up. You’ll need about 5 cups of chopped peaches for each batch. You can make multiple batches at once.
Put the chopped peaches in a large, sturdy pot. I have a number of Revere Ware soup pots that I use.
Revere Ware pans last more than lifetime. I highly recommend them. I own several large Revere Ware soup pots. I inherited the pot you see in this particular photo from my mother-in-law.
Add 2 cups of sugar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for each 5 cups of chopped peaches.
You are going to mash the peaches while heating them. I use a potato masher.
Stir and mash the peaches while heating until the sugar completely dissolves.
Now, you are going to blend the peaches and liquid until smooth. I use my Blendtec blender to do this. I resisted getting a Blendtec for years because they pretty pricey. But my husband wanted me to have one so badly that he finally bought one and gave it to me as a Mother’s Day gift.
I love it! I use it often, because it works so well. It has special settings – such as soups and syrups – that allow you to push a single button and walk away. The blender heats the liquid up and processes it to the syrup stage. It only takes 90 seconds to make the syrup!
You don’t have to have a Blendtec to make syrup, but it sure speeds up the process.
Here my required action shot. The blender is working.
Go, blender, go!
If you have a Blendtec blender (or another brand that heats the liquid to the syrup stage), test the liquid to see if it is thick enough. If it is, the liquid will be kind of thick and will slowly drop off of the spoon. If it runs off of the spoon quickly, it isn’t syrup yet.
If your blender doesn’t have a syrup setting, the next steps show you how to turn the liquid into syrup.
Once all the peaches are blended, taste the syrup. If you decide that the syrup needs more sugar, pour it back into a pot, because you need to reheat it.
If your blender doesn’t have an automatic syrup setting, you must put it in the pot so that you can boil it until it becomes syrup!
Bring the liquid to a boil, testing as it heats up. Once it has reached the syrup stage, immediately remove the pot from the heat.
Skim the foam off of the top with a large spoon.
CANNING THE SYRUP
Pour the syrup through a wide-mouth funnel into clean canning jars. I use pint jars, but you can use any size you wish.
Leave 1/2 inch head space. If you happen to get any liquid on the rim, wipe it off.
The rims MUST be clean or the lids won’t seal.
This is a trick my mother taught me: Increase the odds that the lids will seal the first try by simmering them in water for about a minute. Fish them out with a fork when ready to use.
Put the canning lids on the jars.
Put the rings on the jars and tighten. If you hold the bottom of the bottle with a dish towel, it is easier to tighten the ring.
PROCESSING THE JARS
Here comes the controversial part of this post…
I use a steamer while canning fruits, pickles, jams, jellies, syrups, and juices. I’ve used one for 36 years and my mother has used one longer than that. My mother-in-law used one, too. Steamers speed up the process dramatically and the food gets super hot. It actually boils inside of the bottles.
However, for some reason, certain people think that steamers are dangerous because they believe that the food doesn’t get hot enough.
But here’s the thing… The lids seal tight in the steamer. The food boils. I can’t imagine why that is a problem.
I have never, ever had any trouble with the food that I have processed in a steamer and I’ve been at this for a long, long time.
When you use a steamer, you don’t have to wait for a huge pot of water stuffed full of bottles to boil before you can begin timing the processing. Believe me when I say, this saves a lot of time.
I have a water-bath canner, but I only use it while making applesauce. (I use it like a big soup pot.) But when it is time to process the jars, I use my steamer.
If you hate the idea of steamers, then just use a water-bath canner.
To each their own.
Now… on with the show…
Put some water in the bottom of the steamer. Put the bottles on the steamer shelf, taking care not to place them on top of the holes. You can process seven jars at a time.
Once steam starts shooting out of the holds in the steamer’s lid, set your timer for 15 minutes. If you are using a water-bath canner, start your timer when the water boils.
Once the 15 minute processing time is up, carefully place the bottles on your counter, cooling rack, or a cutting board. I have a granite countertop, so I can place them directly on the counter.
Oh – and use a hot pad when you pick them up. You’ll see why as soon as you touch one of the bottles. They are hot!
The rings will be loose. Do not re-tighten them!
As the bottles cool, you will begin to hear little high popping sounds coming from the jars. That’s a GOOD thing. It means that the lids have sealed.
Once the bottles are cool, tap on the lids. If you hear a high-pitched, tinny sound coming from the lids, they have sealed. If you hear a low-pitched thunk while tapping, the lids haven’t sealed.
If the lids haven’t sealed, put the bottles in your refrigerator to use immediately, or replaced the lids with new ones and reprocess.
You’ve done it! Admire your beautiful jars of syrup. Homemade peach syrup is wonderful on pancakes, French toast, waffles, German pancakes, ice cream….you name it
Note of encouragement: If you haven’t ever bottled before, it might feel overwhelming. But really… it isn’t as hard as it looks. If you have questions, feel free to add a comment to this post and I’ll help you out. You can save a lot of money by canning your own fruit - particularly, if you grow a garden and have some fruit trees.
Why you should plant fruit trees: If you own your own home, I highly -HIGHLY – recommend that you plant some fruit trees. They are beautiful – particularly in the spring as they bloom. Ripe fruit picked from a tree is amazing and you’ll save so much money over time. Fall is a great time to plant fruit trees because nurseries have fall sales and the fruit trees don’t have to struggle through a hot summer while taking root.
Two Options for Processing Jars (Available from Amazon.com)
Some steamers use a flat, wire rack to hold the bottles, rather than a shelf like mine has. My mother-in-law’s steamer has a rack. I inherited it from her so I have two steamers now. I can process a lot of jars at once!