Now’s the time to enjoy the wonderful bounty of Hampshire County’s fresh peaches.

From canning to peach pies there are many ways to enjoy this locally grown fruit. Let’s not take for granted how easy it is for us to visit our local orchards and fruit stands to purchase this healthy product for our families.

One peach is an excellent source of Vitamin C. Peaches also offer vitamins including Vitamin A, Vitamin E, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin.

Canning peaches now is also a great way to preserve and enjoy peaches during the winter months. Peaches are high in acid and can therefore be processed in a boiling water canner. Adding syrup can help fruit retain shape, color and flavor.

Canning Peaches, Hot Pack Method

About 17.5 pounds peaches is needed to make 7 quarts. Dip fruit in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds until skins loosen. Dip quickly in cold water and slip off skins.

Cut in half; remove pits and slice if desired. Place fruit in antioxidant solution and drain before boiling.

In large saucepan, place fruit in water, juice or syrup and bring to a boil. Pack hot fruit into jars; cover with boiling liquid, leaving ½-inch headspace.

Raw packs make poor quality peaches. Commercial unsweetened apple juice, pineapple juice, or white grape juice can also be used.

Syrup solutions for 4-quart loads:

Very light: 6 ½ and ¾

Light: 5¾ and 1½

Medium: 5¼ and 2¼

Heavy: 5 and 3¼

Very heavy: 4¼and 4¼

Processing times for peaches

Pints: 30 minutes

Quarts: 35 minutes

Dial gauge – 7 pounds

Weighted gauge –10 pounds

Pints or quarts 10 minutes

For complete canning guidelines, steps and directions, please call 304-822-5013 or stop by the WVU Hampshire County Extension Service office for a “We Can Fruits” canning publication.

Source: WVUES We Can Fruits Food Preservation publication

Peach Jam

(about 8 half-pint jars)

2 quarts crushed, peeled peaches

½ cup water

6 cups sugar

Sterilize canning jars. Combine peaches and water; cook gently 10 minutes. Add sugar; slowly bring to boiling, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly until thick, about 15 minutes; stir frequently to prevent sticking.

Pour hot jam into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process 5 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Source: Cooperative Extension University of GA

Peach Jelly With Powdered Pectin

3 cups peach juice (about 3½ pounds peaches and ½ cup water)

5 cups sugar

½ cup bottled lemon juice

l box powdered pectin

To prepare juice: Wash and slice or chop fully ripe peaches. Do not pit or peel. Crush fruit. Place crushed fruit and ½ cup water in saucepan. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Extract juice.

To make jelly: Measure sugar and set aside. Measure prepared juice, powdered pectin and lemon juice into a large saucepot. Bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. At once, stir in sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down.

Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, quickly skim off foam. Pour jelly immediately into hot, sterile canning jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace.

Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process for 5 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Yield: About 5 or 6 half-pint jars

Source: Clemson Cooperative Extension Service

Peach Pie Filling

Select ripe but firm peaches. Red Haven, Redskin, Sun High and other varieties of similar quality are suitable.

Peel peaches.

To loosen skins, submerge peaches in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds and then place them in cold water for 20 seconds. Slip off skins and prepare slices ½ inch wide.

Place slices in water containing 1 teaspoon of ascorbic acid crystals or 6 500-milligram vitamin C tablets in 1 gallon of water to prevent browning.

For fresh fruit, place 6 cups at a time in 1 gallon of boiling water.

Boil each batch for 1 minute after the water returns to a boil. Drain but keep heated fruit in a covered bowl or pot.

Combine sugar, ClearJel, water, and cinnamon or almond extract in a large kettle. Stir and cook on medium-high heat until mixture thickens and begins to bubble.

Add lemon juice and boil sauce for 1 minute more, stirring constantly.

Fold in drained peach slices and continue to heat for 3 minutes, then fill jars with mixture, leaving 1 inch of headspace, and process without delay.


3½ cups fresh sliced peaches

1 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup + 1 Tbsp. ClearJel

¾ cup cold water

1/8 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

1/8 tsp. almond extract (optional)

¼ cup bottled lemon juice

6 quarts fresh sliced peaches

7 cups granulated sugar

2 cups + 3 Tbsp. ClearJel

5¼ cups cold water

1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

2 tsp. almond extract (optional)

1¾ cups bottled lemon juice




Recommended process times

For peach pie filling (pints or quarts) in a boiling water canner, in minutes at altitudes of:

0-1,000 ft.: 30 minutes

1,001-3,000 ft.: 35

3,001-6,000 ft.: 40

Source: Penn State Extension Service

Peach Crisp

Fruit mixture

2 cans of peaches (drained); save the juice

1 Tbsp. cornstarch or flour

¼ tsp. ground cloves

½ tsp. cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

Topping mixture

1 cup oats

¼ cup flour

¼ cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp. reduced fat margarine or reduced fat cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In an 8-by-8 baking dish place the peaches and then mix the cornstarch, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle over the fruit.

Mix the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the fruit. If using cooking spray, mix all the ingredients less the spray, sprinkle over the fruit and then just lightly spray the top. Bake for 45 minutes.

Source: WVUES Family Nutrition Program

Crunchy Fruit Kabobs

1-2 cups fruit (peaches, bananas, apples, pears) cut into bite-sized pieces

1 container of yogurt (6 to 8 ounces)

1 cup of low fat granola, crushed in small pieces, or 1 cup crispy rice cereal

Wooden skewers


Spread cereal or granola in a 9-by-13 pan. Place pieces of fruit on the skewers. Gently roll the fruit skewers in the yogurt, then in the granola or cereal. Serve immediately.

Serving size 2 kabobs; recipe makes 4 servings (8 kabobs)

Source: WVUES Family Nutrition Program

Peachy BBQ Chicken

2 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp.  olive oil

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 onion, chopped

3/4 cup whiskey

2 cups barbecue sauce

1/2 cup peach preserves

1 Tbsp.  Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup water

4 peaches, pitted and sliced into 8 slices each

Cooked brown rice


In a large skillet, melt butter and olive oil. Add chicken breasts and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove to a 9-by-13 baking dish.

Add onion to skillet and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in whiskey off the heat. Simmer for about 3 minutes to cook and reduce slightly. Add barbecue sauce, preserves, Worcestershire sauce and water. Bring to a simmer.

Pour over chicken and add peaches on top. Cover with foil and bake at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes or until chicken is done through and the peaches are softened. Serve over rice.

Recipe Source: University of Tennessee Extension Service

Gingerbread Peach Upside Down Cake

3 large ripe peaches

1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 box gingerbread mix

1-1/4 cups water

1 egg

Whipped cream

Peel and pit peaches. Slice each peach into about 16 slices. Spray 2 9-inch non-stick cake pans with vegetable spray. Lay peach slices in the pan to cover the bottom (make a fanned circle around the outside and then fill in the middle).

In a medium saucepan melt butter and add brown sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, whisking, until smooth and the sugar is melted. Pour carefully over the top of the peaches, being careful not to disturb the arrangement.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mix, water and egg. Whisk for 2 minutes. Pour carefully over the caramel and peaches to cover. Batter will just barely cover the peaches.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until cake is set. Cool for 45 minutes and then turn out onto a platter. Serve with whipped cream.

Recipe Source: University of Tennessee Extension Service

123 Peach Cobbler

½ tsp. cinnamon, ground

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 cup peach nectar

¼ cup pineapple juice or peach juice

2 cans (16-oz) peaches, sliced, packed in juice, and drained (or 1¾ pounds fresh)

1 Tbsp. soft (tub) margarine

1 cup pancake mix, dry

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup sugar

2/3 cup evaporated milk, fat-free

Non-stick cooking oil spray (for baking dish)


½ Tbsp. nutmeg

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

Combine cinnamon, vanilla, cornstarch, peach nectar and pineapple or peach juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture thickens and bubbles. Add sliced peaches to mixture. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

In another saucepan, melt margarine and set aside. Lightly spray an 8-inch-square glass dish with cooking oil spray. Pour hot peach mixture into the dish. In another bowl, combine pancake mix, flour, sugar, and melted margarine. Stir in milk.

Quickly spoon this mixture over peach mixture. Combine nutmeg and brown sugar. Sprinkle mixture on top of batter. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and cut into eight squares.

Source: A Healthier You, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Peach Breakfast Smoothie

8 oz. (1 cup) nonfat plain yogurt

1 cup low-fat or nonfat milk

1 fresh peach, peeled and sliced, or 3/4 cup frozen peach slices

1-3/4 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, hulled

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

2 whole strawberries (optional)

Place first 5 ingredients in a blender. Puree mixture for 15 to 20 seconds. Pour into 2 tall glasses and top each with 1 Tbsp. chopped nuts. Garnish glass with strawberry, if desired.

Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension 

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