How to Can Peaches and Other Fruits with or Without Sugar.


How to Can Peaches and Other Fruits with or Without Sugar.

Peaches are used in these instructions because they are the quintessential canning fruit.

Not only do home-canned peaches look beautiful in the jars, but you can use them in everything from fruit salad to quick bread.

But the canning method here applies to other fruits as well.

There are two ways to safely can peaches and other fruit:

  • hot pack or
  • raw pack.

I am not a fan of the raw pack method because it almost always results in fruit float, which is when the fruit floats up out of the liquid it is canned in.

Raw pack fruit that floats to the top turns an unappealing brownish color.

There’s much less likelihood of that happening with the hot pack method.


  • Examine the peaches and choose those that have no bruises or other blemishes for canning (use imperfect fruit for chopped recipes such as chutney).
  • The peaches will have better flavor if ripe, but better texture once canned if underripe.
  • Split the difference and choose peaches that are aromatic but still firm.
  • If you intend to can peach halves rather than chunks or slices, be sure to choose a freestone rather than a clingstone variety of peach (clingstone peaches are nearly impossible to separate from the pits in neat halves).


  • Set up your boiling water


  • Bring a large pot of water (separate from your boiling water bath) to a boil over high heat.
  • If you’re canning freestone peach halves, cut then twist the peaches in half and discard the
  • If you’re working with clingstone peaches, cut a small x in one end of each peach.
  • Drop the peaches into the boiling water for 10 seconds.
  • This step makes peeling the peaches easier but also prevents discoloration in the peeled fruit.


  • Drain the blanched peaches in a colander, and when they are cool enough to handle, peel them.
  • You can also scrape off the darker areas where the pits were with a spoon, but this is optional.


  • If desired, cut the peaches into slices or chunks.
  • If you are working with clingstone peaches, it’s easiest to cut the pieces right off the pits rather than trying to first remove the pits.


  • Until recently, peaches were usually canned in a simple sugar syrup made of equal parts sugar and water, or sometimes twice as much sugar as water.
  • Although it is certainly still possible to do that, it makes better sense to can peaches and other fruit in unsweetened juice in these more health-conscious times.
  • You could also use plain water, but I find that some of the flavor of the fruit leaches out into the water, resulting in a bland final product.
  • My favourite juice to use for canning fruit is white grape juice because of its relatively neutral flavor and color.
  • Bring the canning liquid of your choice (sugar syrup, juice, or water) to a Add the peeled and sliced peaches and simmer them for 2 minutes.


  • Transfer the peaches to clean, hot canning jars using a slotted spoon.
  • Pack in the fruit tightly, but leave ¾-inch head space between the surface of the fruit and the rims of the jars.
  • Pour the hot liquid the peaches simmered in over the fruit.
  • The peaches should be completely covered by the liquid, and there should still be ½ inch of head space.
  • Press down on the fruit gently with the back of a spoon to release any air bubbles.


  • Wipe the rims of the jars clean and screw on the canning lids.
  • Process the jars of peaches in a boiling water bath, 20 minutes for pints or 25 minutes for
  • Adjust the canning time for your altitude if necessary.


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