Monday, September 5, 2011

Bourboned Canned Peaches

Millions of peaches, peaches for me...


(btw, not claiming ANY photography skills in the least!)

We have what I consider to be the BEST farmers market in the DC/metro area. It's one block away from where we live (score) and open year-round (double score). I wanted to try my hand at bourbon peaches so I shopped around recently and found a great deal on a half-bushel of peaches from a local orchard. Then, the icing on the cake... pint jars were two cases for $11 at the local hardware! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Thanks to my addiction to Pinterest, I had found and saved this recipe and decided to give it a shot. Eric and I picked through and sorted out the best 20 lbs of the peaches and gave them a quick bath in boiling water before plunging them in ice water to get the skins off easily. After removing the bad spots/bruises, we sliced each peach into 8 slices, then started on the simple syrup. Following the recipe, I brought 10 cups of water to boil, then added 3 cups of my favorite brand of sugar (In the Raw), which gave the syrup a nice brownish color. I let the syrup simmer to reduce while I got dinner together.

After dinner, I put a batch of the peach slices into the syrup to soften and simmer, got my jars ready (after sanitizing them in the dishwasher), and prepared my lids and rings. After the first batch of peach slices simmered for about 10 minutes or so, I got out my jar funnel and slotted spoon and started scooping the simmered peach slices into the jars. After filling the jars to within a half inch of the rim (to allow for head space), I ladled the hot syrup over the peach slices. Then came the fun part-- adding the bourbon! The recipe stated to add about a half a shot, but I think I might have been a bit generous :)

I had to do the jars in batches of course, so I put in six to start with and processed for about 10 minutes, maybe a bit more. While the first batch cooled, I prepped and processed the second batch, until all the peach slices were accounted for. Right before processing my last batch of slices, I had a brilliant idea-- why not can and process the syrup the peaches had been simmering in? It was just a simple syrup of water and sugar, and after all that simmering, I'm sure it had a TON of peach flavor... so I filled about 3 pint jars' worth and processed those in the last batch. Can't wait to add that to iced tea/low-call sparkling lemonade/pancakes...!!

I can't wait to give these bourbon peaches to friends/family as gifts. I already promised two to the girls at the hardware store who hauled out the last two (!!!) cases of on-sale pint jars for me. One for my foodie friend at work, one for my girlfriend and her hubby... I'm thinking of shipping a few home to mom and dad too!

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