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Peach Preserves on a Sunday

September 7, 2009

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We decided to go peach picking one afternoon down in Lincon, Ontario and happened across these beauties. Monster peaches were the norm on the trees in Cherry Avenue farms and we filled up our baskets with 24 lbs of them. Unfortunately they don’t keep like you’d want them to so the best way to preserve that flavour? Peach preserves!

Sarah and I were planning on a bit of wine tasting Thursday, having some time off after our trip (being very much between things at the moment) but unfortunately our inside guide had to reschedule. Not being ones to get deterred we headed off down the QEW to Niagara to Cherry Avenue Farms to go peach picking! Having peach jam in mind we were pretty stoked to pick a ton of peaches. What we didn’t realize was that we got a tractor ride too! Sweet deal. And at $1\lb you couldn’t go wrong with the fruit. We froliced in the peach trees for an hour or two, filled up on the juiciest peaches we could find and headed home with 24lbs of gorgeous red and orange goodness.

Pot o Peaches for Preserves

Peach Preserves

Essentially all you do is take your fruit, cut it up into a pot, sprinkle in enough sugar to sweeten it (this isn’t jam, you don’t put in equal parts fruit and sugar) and cook until reduced to a thick sauce. Remember that your fruit is going to reduce so don’t over-sweeten at the beginning. Near the end add enough lemon juice to taste and serve immediately on vanilla ice cream or toss in some mason jars for later. Make sure you read up on safe canning methods before you do so.

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In the end we used about 20lbs of peaches for the jam (ate some, mmm) which gave us 17 jars of preserve. I’m assuming if we’d made proper jam (with certo and masses of sugar) we’d have at least doubled that. However….. we both prefer the taste of a preserve over crazy sweet jam.

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