I’m happy to say I am done with peaches for the year!
The final tally is 24 pints canned, 20 pints sliced and vacuum packed, 15 cups dehydrated. I am pleased with the outcome: I have enough peaches preserved to have peaches every week for a year!
Dehydrated peaches are great for healthy snacks and that is how I have always used them. I would like to experiment with them this year. For example, I can rehydrate them (cover with water and bring just to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer until tender, then drain) and use them in any recipe that calls for fresh or canned peaches. This means they are useful to make things like Peach Crisp, Peach Cobbler, Peach Cake, Peach Muffins, Peach Pie … you get the idea. I first want to try THIS recipe for Peach Hand Pies using dehydrated peaches.
The canned peaches are, of course, great for quick inclusion in a meal or recipe, or just for eating. I like having this shelf stable, ready-to-eat option available. These home canned peaches will have so much more flavor than we get from canned peaches from the grocery store.
The frozen peaches were sliced and have been vacuum-packed. This will extend their life two or more years. The nice thing about these is that I can thaw and use them to make yummy peach treats, or, I can decide to make them into something else that I did not want to fuss with just now – jam, syrup, pie filling. I can even dehydrate them later.
BOUNTY – FIRE PRINCE – CONTENDER
As you may recall, I ended up getting three varieties of peaches this year – two that I’d not tried before. So, how did I like them?
The Bounty peaches were huge. They completely covered my hand. Where I needed 12-15 peaches of the other varieties, I would only have to use 9 of the Bounty variety. They were sweet and firm. They were my favorite of the three to eat fresh. They were easy to peel (I peel with a knife, not by the dipping method), and the pit came out cleanly. I was impressed and will purposely look for them next year.
The Fire Prince peaches were standard-sized peaches, with a tangy-sweet flavor. They were easy to work, easy to peel without waste, and the pit came out cleanly. Since they were a little tart, while I did eat a small amount fresh, I definitely preferred the Bounty or the Contender.
The Contender has been a variety I have used many times before. They have a great flavor and I really like them for canning. They are a little wet for dehydrating which means they take longer to dry and leave a mess on the trays. They freeze fine also. They are a softer peach so are not quite as easy to peel as the other two varieties.
That’s Peach “Week” for 2022 from beginning to end. Coming soon … apples!