Every year we put away peaches for pie filling. Usually we put our pie filling in the freezer, but freezer space is always at a premium, so this year I made a few quarts of peach pie filling to bottle.
It was easy.
And, it's pretty.
AND we can use it for pancake topping.
AND it has nutmeg in it and nutmeg is my favorite spice. I heart nutmeg.
AND the recipe is flexible and you can make a ton at a time, which you can't do with jelly or jam, [ask me how I know], as long as you know how to do math, which you should.
This is how I did it.
First I figured the proportions of stuff I needed for a basic single pie: 4 cups of peaches plus the other pie filling stuff.
Then I took my Giant Bowl of cut up peaches and I measured them. I had 14 cups.
14 divided by 4 is 3 1/2. I multiplied everything in the recipe by 3 1/2.
All of you experienced cooks are rolling your eyes. I don't blame you. To you this is second nature and we love you for it. This explanation isn't for you.
Nope, this is for all you new cooks out there just figuring out what to do with your Giant Bowls of peaches that you now have because you were smart enough to take advantage of free food when you saw it. Good for you!
Back to the regularly scheduled recipe....
Peach Pie Filling for 1 pie:
4 Cups cut up peaches
1 T lemon juice
Put this in a heavy saucepan. Blue pans are the best. Just sayin'.
Mix in a bowl:
1 Cup sugar
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 T cornstarch
Add the sugar mixture to the peaches and heat it until thick and clear. Put in clean, hot jars and process. [30 minutes for quarts.]
Now, since I had 3.5 times that many peaches, I multiplied everything by 3.5:
14 Cups peaches
3 1/2 T lemon juice
3 1/2 Cups sugar
7 T cornstarch
1/2 tsp nutmeg [because it was easier than 7/16 tsp. Really.]
Follow the cooking directions as above.
Note: You CAN NOT do this with jam and jelly and candy recipes. Those have to be cooked one batch at a time. Trust me.
You CAN do it with applesauce, fruit butters, soups and stuff like that.
UPDATE: These will keep on the shelf beautifully for 6 months.
I've seen books that say that you shouldn't can with corn starch because it separates on the shelf. I watched these bottles pretty carefully to see if that happened, and when. They were just fine - and very delicious - for 6 months. I opened the last one at 8 months and it had started to separate some clear liquid out from a gelled mass. It was still delicious. I'm doing more next year.