Summer Preserving

All you need to do is roam the Farmer’s Markets to know the peaches are coming ripe. For those in Southern Oregon, Peach Palooza at Medford’s Harry & David is always the way to go when you’re planning on stocking the pantry with preserves. You can usually get really good peaches for under $0.40 a lb. Sometimes, even as low as $0.10 a lb.

Now, that’s all well and good, but it won’t do you much good if you can’t put all those peaches up somehow.

Enter Ball Canning. Ball is wonderful for the canning world through various products and recipes. I have a good stock of their Low/No sugar pectin in my pantry for times like these when I have a great crop.

I still have a good 10 Lbs of peaches in my freezer that need to be canned in one way or another, and I have found a truly Tremendous addition to the peaches this year.

Chai Spice

Last year I did some Peach Butter, using the recipe below, with 2 differences. I added about 1 Tsp Sweet Breakfast, and I put the mixture through a blender before heating.

This did well, but not quite as well as I was hoping. I never use a lot of sugar (1 Tbsp per 2 c fruit), because I want to taste the fruit, but the Sweet Breakfast overpowered some of the peach notes. I wasn’t too happy about that. I had thought that because Sweet Breakfast has no cloves, there would be no problem, but it needs to be added to a stronger, more sweetly flavored fruit like apples, raisins, or pumpkin to pull of it’s masterful art of flavor blending.

Fast forward to a peach pie I recently made with Chai Spice. Chai Spice, rather than overpowering, wrapped itself around the flavor of the peaches and said, “Here, let me give you a boost”. I was in heaven. The Cardamom in the Chai accentuated the natural tang, while the other sweet spices just kind of gave a mellow sweetness that sang the praises of a ripe, sweetly tart, juicy peach that is so often missed in pies and preserves.

Stay tuned, I’ll give you more accurate spice measurements as I get into my canning season.

This recipe is for their Auto Canner, and you will find the regular canning recipe in the package for the Ball® RealFruit™ Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin.

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