OK, this is an embarrassing post – but it’s an important community service that is contained within. I will swallow my pride (:)) for the greater good…
I used 15 liters (16 quarts of peaches) for jam and other preserves last year. This year I used 24 liters (25 quarts). Peaches are very affordable in bulk – I tried to buy 15 liters this year, was encouraged to buy 21 liters as that was $4 more and the kind farmer threw 6 liters more in – total price was $23.
My previous experience with peaches was made up of eating them fresh or from a tin can. I made two painful mistakes that you can learn from (or, perhaps, already know):
- Buy freestone peaches. I didn’t do this last year. They can be smaller than their counterpart but they have a wonderful feature – their pits remove relatively easily.
- Peeling peaches. Peels get tough in preserving – thus this is an important part. Potato peelers get clogged. My pairing knife wasn’t great – I was taking as much peach as I was taking peel – however practice paid off. I was fairly proud of my much improved knife skills this year until I recently learned that there was no reason to use a knife. You can peel peaches by blanching them for less than a minute in boiling water and then cooling them in cold water (the same way I’ve done tomatoes). It’s a quick instant peel. D’oh.
Live and learn – hopefully this will help some of you or give others a laugh at my expense.