Peach Pickle

A sour-szoeet, fragrant preserve, Peach Pickle must be stored for at least

2 months before it is eaten. It will keep for up to

6 months. The pickle should be stored in clean, dry, vacuum-sealed glass jars. The weight of the peaches after they have been peeled and stoned should be

4 pounds. Serve the pickle with cold pork or

1 tablespoon cloves

1 tablespoon allspice berries, bruised

2-inch piece fresh root ginger, bruised

1 cinnamon stick thinly pared rind of

1 orange

2 lb. sugar

1 pint wine vinegar

5 lb. peaches, blanched, peeled, stoned and quartered

Tie the cloves, allspice berries, ginger, cinnamon and orange rind in a double thickness of cheesecloth. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the vinegar over low heat, stirring constantly. When the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to moderate and bring the syrup to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes.

Add the peaches and the bag of spices. When the syrup comes to the boil again, reduce the heat to low and poach the peaches for 3 to 5 minutes or until they are tender.

Remove the pan from the heat. With a slotted spoon, remove the peaches from the pan and pack them into clean, warm dry jars. Set aside.

Return the pan to moderately high heat and boil the vinegar syrup for 10 minutes or until it has reduced by one-third.

Remove the pan from the heat and let the syrup cool for 2 minutes. Remove the bag of spices and discard it. Pour the vinegar syrup over the peaches until it covers them entirely and comes to the top of the jars. Allow the jars to stand for 2 minutes and then add more syrup if the level has subsided. If there is any vinegar syrup left, bottle and reserve it because a certain amount of evaporation might occur during storage. Examine the pickle every few weeks and top up the jars with the reserved vinegar syrup if necessary.

Wipe the jars clean with a damp cloth. Seal the jars with the vacuum-lids. Label the jars and store them in a cool, dry, dark place.

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