I have a vivd Fall memory of my Mother – Libby – at the stove, stirring a pot of Spiced Peach Pickles. When they finished simmering, they went into sparkling clean Ball jars and processed until sealed in a water bath. We didn’t live on a farm – but Mom would hunt out the best cling peaches she could find. These had to be perfect, small, jewels. Fruit was plentiful in our San Francisco Bay Area before Silicon Valley replaced the orchards at the south end of San Francisco Bay.
Here is the recipe she used. Mom was born and raised in Indiana and nothing would do but this hallmark canning book published in Muncie, Indiana.
1 piece ginger root
2 sticks cinnamon
1 tablespoon whole allspice
1 tablespoon whole cloves
5-6 cups sugar, divided
2 cups water
3 cups apple cider vinegar
24 small, firm-ripe, peeled peaches (clingstones are best)
Tie spices in cheesecloth. Combine spice bag, 2 cups sugar, water, vinegar in a large pot. Bring to boiling; add peaches a few at a time (so they have room to move around). Simmer until heated thoroughly. Carefully remove the peaches. Repeat until all peaches have been heated. Pour boiling liquid over the peaches, cover, and let stand for 3-4 hours. Carefully remove the peaches from the liquid. Add 2 more cups sugar to liquid and heat to boiling. Pour back over peaches and let stand 12-18 hours in a couple place.
Pack peaches into hot Ball jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Add remaining 1-2 cups sugar to the liquid. Bring to boiling, pour over peaches, leaving the 1/4 inch head space in the jar. Adjust caps, Process pints and quarts 10 mins in a boiling water bath.
If you are new to canning, check out the Ball Website for everything you need to know and more (this is not a paid promotion – it’s simply my go-to place when I want accurate info)