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The art of canning is making a comeback

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Vanilla Bean-Infused
Peach Preserves

5 pounds ripe peaches

4 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 whole vanilla bean, halved and scraped (but retain seeds)

Zest from 1 lemon

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Once water is boiling, score an X in bottom of peaches with a knife, careful not to dig too deep. Blanch peaches by placing them in boiling water for 45 seconds, then immediately transfer to ice bath. Peel or rub off skins from peaches. Slice peaches in half, remove pits, and then cut into smaller pieces.

Discard water from pot, and add peaches, sugar, lemon juice, zest, vanilla bean pod and seeds. Bring to a simmer, and then transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

Bring preserves to a simmer in a large saucepan, skimming foam from surface as necessary. Continue to cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

To seal and process, fill hot, sterilized jars with hot preserves, leaving 1/4-inch space in each jar’s neck. Wipe down rims of jars and cover tightly with sterilized lids and screw tops. Working in batches, transfer jars, using tongs or a jar clamp, to the rack of a large canning pot filled halfway with hot water, being sure to keep jars upright at all times. Add enough hot water to cover jars by 2 inches. (Jars should be spaced 1 inch apart, and should not touch sides of pot.) Cover, and bring to a boil. Process jars in gently boiling water for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 24 hours.

Once jars have cooled, test the seal. Press on each lid. If lid pops back, it is not sealed; refrigerate immediately, and use within 1 month.

Makes about 6 jars.

Recipe adapted from “Peach Preserves,”
Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2007.

Updated: September 15, 2013 6:18AM



In the age of Pinterest, Etsy and easy access to do-it-yourself web tutorials, one long dormant trend in food has been resurrected, much thanks to the Millennial generation whose interest in this movement has peaked with its potential for ingenuity and the right to exercise a little bit of artistic license.

Canning and preserving has made a comeback!

Of course, for home economists, it never left the mainstream. However, Millennials have embraced this practice, promoting its benefits to both younger and older generations who may not have experienced the same gusto of preserving that their parents and grandparents experienced years before.

The revival stems from so many different factors. Many people want to know what goes in their food — certain ingredients, either due to allergies or just plain disgust, are undesirables. Others want to enjoy the life of the organic, and preserving at home is the easiest and cheapest way to live that life.

But for the majority of people (mostly Millennials) who have found a new interest in canning and preserving, their enthusiasm in the hobby isn’t necessarily driven by the desire for the healthy or natural — although those are welcoming attributes — it’s driven by the desire to do-it-yourself.

There’s a sense of pride that goes along with making something from scratch, especially when the ingredients come from your backyard garden. And for Millennials banking on the joys of sustainable living, a whole slew of other crafts sprout from preserving, from label-making and packaging to creating your own home-spun recipe from an original.

And that’s what this recipe does. A classic peach preserve saves summer in a jar. This one takes the ripest Midwestern peaches of summer and infuses them with vanilla bean for a delicious jarred take on peaches and cream.

True canning and preserving enthusiasts who have jumped on this reignited hobby should take a class to master the craft.

Getting the correct ratios, working out kinks in sealing, and learning to integrate other fruits, vegetables or ingredients is a must for those looking to advance in the craft. But in the meantime, this recipe will satisfy those new to preserving and those who simply want to save that glorious flavor of summer’s sweetest peaches for just a little while longer.



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