Following up on my post Why Should You Learn Canning? from last week, I thought that I would offer an easy recipe that requires no prior canning experience. It also requires very little equipment, so it would be more economical for a beginner who is starting out without all the necessary tools.
Just so you know, for this recipe, I do not use a pressure cooker or a bath canner. I use a hot-pack method that was shown to me by my mother-in-law, who in turn, learned how to can from her family, who are all longtime homesteaders. Some refer to this as the invert method, because some set the jars upside-down on the counter while they cool. (I’m not sure why except that the fruit may spread better throughout the jam.) How it works is that you pack hot contents into hot, sterilized jars. When the jam cools, the jars seal. I have heard some say that this method is not as safe as using a bath canner, but I know some who have done it this way for many years without any issues. If you still prefer to use a bath canner, the recipe works just as well, and the bath canning instructions are also included with this recipe.
For equipment, all you need is the following:
- 4 half-pint jars with rings and new lids (You can reuse jars and rings, but it is best to use new lids each time you can, and in case you did not know, the lids can be purchased separately.)
- a large 8 qt. (or larger) pot (and other pots for boiling the peaches and the rings and lids)
- a jar holder (It helps to have one to retrieve hot jars out of the oven, hot water, etc.)
- a magnet lid lifter
- a ladle
- a large canning funnel
- a clean cloth or paper towels
- a headspace/foam skimming tool (very helpful, but not necessary)
- (Plus, you will need typical kitchen tools such as measuring cups, bowls, etc.)
Also, I highly recommend you have oven mitts for both your hands. This mixture gets REAL HOT while cooking and pouring. It is very easy to get burned.
Here is the recipe: