Summary: This is a scrumptious treat that was highlighted in the Recipe Redux column that Amanda Hesser used to write for the NYTimes Magazine. I’ve made this recipe countless times, and it always receives rave reviews!
TIP: This recipe is easiest when the peaches have gone from cling to freestone. Otherwise, you have to pare the peach away from the pit which tends to shred them a bit. They’ll still taste great but it’s a lot more work and not quite as pretty.
- 3 pounds ripe peaches
- 3 c sugar
- ~1/2 c brandy or Cognac
- 2-3 pint size canning jars (Ball, Kerr, Weck)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Using the tip of a paring knife, make a shallow “X” in the bottom of each peach. Add the peaches, one at a time (I never do this; just add as many as fit, and then use a slotted spoon to move them to the ice bath), to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Remove the peach from the water and plunge into a bowl of ice water. Repeat with the remaining peaches. Peel off the skins, then pit the fruit and quarter the flesh.
- In another large pot, combine 3 cups water and the sugar and bring to a boil. Add the peaches and simmer until just soft.
- Have the jars, bands and new lids scalded and ready. (To scald, dip the jars and rims in boiling water. You don’t need to sterilize the jars, as you will be processing them for more than 10 minutes.) Simmer the lids in hot water to soften the rubberized flange. Gently pack the peaches into the jars.
- Boil the leftover syrup until it thickens slightly, then spoon it over the fruit, filling the jars ¾ full. Use a butter knife to release any air bubbles caught in the jars. Pour in enough brandy to fill the jars, leaving ¼ inch of headroom. Wipe the rims, cover with the lids and screw on the bands fingertip-tight. Place the jars on a rack in a big pot and cover with 2 to 3 inches of water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to medium and gently boil for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and then, after about 5 minutes, remove the jars. Allow them to cool, untouched, for 4 to 6 hours. Check the seals and store in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Refrigerate after opening.
- Double, triple this…you’ll want more than you think! And save the leftover peach simple syrup: it’s great in iced tea or over ice cream.