To sterilize jars, submerge clean jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. Jars should remain in hot water until they are ready to be filled. For complete instructions, refer to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's canning guidelines. Our instructions are for conventional canning jars with screw-on rings; for instructions on using Weck jars, go to weckcanning.com and click on "canning safety."
- 5 pounds ripe peaches
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Score an X in bottom of peaches with a paring knife. Place peaches in boiling water for 45 seconds, then immediately transfer to ice bath. Remove skins from peaches. Halve peaches, and remove pits. Cut each half into 6 to 8 slices.
Bring peaches, sugar, and lemon juice to a simmer in a pot, and then transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
Bring preserves to a simmer in a large saucepan, skimming foam from surface as necessary. Continue to cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
To seal and process, fill hot, sterilized jars with hot preserves, leaving 1/4-inch space in each jar's neck. Wipe rims of jars with a clean, damp cloth, and cover tightly with sterilized lids and screw tops. Working in batches, transfer jars, using tongs or a jar clamp, to the rack of a large canning pot filled halfway with hot water, being sure to keep jars upright at all times. Add enough hot water to cover jars by 2 inches. (Jars should be spaced 1 inch apart, and should not touch sides of pot.) Cover, and bring to a boil. Process jars in gently boiling water for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 24 hours.
Once jars have cooled, test the seal. Press on each lid. If lid pops back, it is not sealed; refrigerate immediately, and use within 1 month.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2007