Okay so some of you are thinking "how is this playing with your food?"
I am on a healthy path and don't want to add ANY processed sugar to my diet. Not only is sugar bad for us, it's a poison and it's GMO. So, I had to figure out how to can without using sugar as a preservative. After some research, I found
Playing with my food is staying one step ahead of the processed demons: sugar, grains, salt and soy So I play with it to make it the best version possible!
And this allowed me to pressure can my peaches, with no added sugar and allowing them to keep their beautiful color!
It's like bottling summer to keep on your shelf for later!
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
The first step is to gather all the things that you need.
Peaches - I got about 100 pounds but you don't need that much you can do just a few
Four Large Bowls - two of them microwave safe. One for holding the peaches ready to be skinned, one is for the skins and pits, and two for holding hot water to help the skins slide off. Obviously, if you have a basket or something, you don't need the first bowl.
A pressure cooker - I used the one that I cook with. I don't have a pressure canner. If you don't have one either, just know what the settings on yours are so that you know how many PSI are at each setting or if you have a ball canner (a little weight on top that jiggles) know what the different weights are. Most are 5, 10 and 20 lbs PSI. Mine with the switch is 8 and 15 lbs. PSI.
A sharp knife for peeling the skins off the peaches
Canning tongs or tongs to fish the jars out of the water, since the water gets HOT!
Quart or Pint jars- 1 per 8 peaches or if you are using pints less so. I used quart so I know how many filled them, but it was a little trial and error to get the right amount in to the jar. Check the jar edges for nicks. Use bad ones for storing stuff, like spices or flax seed (that's what I store) so that little creatures can't get to it, but when you don't need that perfect seal.
Canning lids and rings- new. I always recommend getting new lids because you never know when you dropped one and it scratched the seal or your Bassett Puppy chewed on the lid, making it warp. Boxes of new jars have a box of new lids and rings. If not, you can get new rings usually where they sell the jars.
Canning magnet or tongs to pull the lids out of boiling water
Saucepan for boiling aforementioned lids
Papertowels for wiping the jars before setting the lids on them, and for wiping up the copious amounts of juice that will seem to collect and get everywhere. And if you're really lucky, it will also attract loads of fruit flies.
Step 2: Set Up Your Assembly Line
Set up the pressure cooker with water filled to about halfway.
Fill the two microwaveable bowls with water about 3/4 and heat them up in the microwave till they are hot but not boiling.
Put the rings and lids into the saucepan and put enough water into the saucepan to cover them. 1 ring and lid per jar.
Proceed to boil the lids to sterilize them.
Put the jars into the dishwasher or scrub them in the sink with hot soapy water, rinse and let dry.
Turn on the heat underneath the pressure cooker but do not put the lid on yet.
Drop several of the peaches into the hot water in the bowls.
Let sit for a minute or two.
Pick up one peach and peel off to now loose in skin with a sharp knife.
Slice the peach in half around its middle, pull out the pit and the stem end, and drop into one of the clean jars.
After you have peeled and cut a few peaches, push them down into the jar with your hand, pressing out as much air and compacting as much as possible.
Fill the jar to 1/4 inch from the top. This is called headspace and it's very important. Peaches won't swell too much but you need that little bit of space to get a good seal.
With a paper towel wipe the edge of the jar.
With your tongs or magnet take out one lid and ring and place it on the jar screwing it down hand tight.
Place the jar in the pressure cooker.
If the cooker is tall enough put it in upright, but if its not tall enough you can lay it on its side.
Place a lid on the cooker lock it down and set your setting to 1 or 5 pounds.
Turn the heat on to high get the pressure up until the relief valve starts blowing out steam, then turn your heat down to maintain that level. put any timer on for 10 minutes or watch your clock.
After 10 minutes release the pressure by flipping the switch to blow or by gapping the relief valve. then on lock the cooker and set the jar up right on the counter.
After a minute or two you will hear the pop of the lid sealing down. If you don't hear the pop or you run your hand over the lid and it still pops up and down, take off the ring, take off the lid, and inspect the contents. Sometimes, the contents (peaches) will shift and then you will have some come out under the lid causing a lack of seal. If this happens, shift the peaches back again, maybe remove (eat) the top one, clean off the lid, reseat the ring and run it again for 10 minutes under pressure.
Don't full around with this. If you don't get a seal, you can eat it, but don't put it on your shelf, you will have a fermented explosion in a week... experience talking here.