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Peach Orange Preserves with Ginger

July 23, 2012

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If you want a richly flavored peach preserve with lovely hints of orange and ginger, this is it — deliciously sweet, but not cloyingly so.

Also, because it cooks for 40+ minutes on the stove, it caramelizes into a gorgeous deep orange color.

But if you’re reluctant to try canning because you fear bacterial contamination, know it IS a serious consideration… but also entirely preventable.

It’s actually quite straightforward to can properly & safely. And since I started canning last summer, my adventures with jams & pickles & salsas have been a real treat! So don’t let fear restrain you. Go for it!

That said, there are a few “rules.”

The first is that you can’t simply make up canning recipes. Safe canning requires the right ratio of sugars & acids. But you CAN add a small amount of flavoring agents to existing recipes that you find from trusted sources.

The second rule is that you need to prepare and use the right equipment. The main requirement is to have a large pot of water to both sterilize the empty jars and then to vacuum pack the full jars.

If you want to try canning, read up on the process & make sure you have the proper equipment & ingredients before you begin.

I recommend the guide from the Ball canning jar company. It’s very thorough & reliable.

The recipe below originated at food.com. I then decided to add a bit of ginger to make the recipe my own. The results were delicious!

You’ll Need:

2 quarts pitted and roughly chopped ripe peaches (about 8 – 9 cups — buy about 5.5 lbs & you’ll have enough)

3/4 cup slivered orange rind (from 1 large navel orange)

1 1/2 cups roughly chopped orange sections (from 1 1/2 peeled navel oranges. Use seedless or remove the seeds)

2 tbs lemon juice

5 cups sugar

1 tbs minced ginger

A large heavy bottomed soup pot

A potato masher

15 4 oz jelly jars with rims & lids (or use 8 oz jars, I used both)

Other canning supplies per Ball

Steps:

1. Put all the ingredients in the soup pot & bring to a boil, stirring regularly until the sugar melts.

2. With the potato masher, smash the fruit. This will give a lovely varied texture to the fruit in the finished product.

3. Continue boiling on medium heat for approximately 40 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mixture is quite thick and sets on a cold spoon.

4. Skim any foam from the top of the mixture.

5. Fill sterilized jars, tighten rims & lids.

6. Process filled jars submerged in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

7. Remove jars from the water bath & set onto the cutting board covered with a dish towel. Listen for the vacuum seal pops.

8. Allow the jars to sit undisturbed for 24 hours.

9. Label each jar with the prepare date & the use by date (no more than 1 year ahead).

10. Store in a cool dark cabinet or closet.

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