My son and his family live in a suburb of St. Louis.  A Christmas gift they sent me one year was a copy of their church’s cookbook which contained a recipe for peach preserves.  This is my adaptation which I named Missouri Peach Preserves in honor of its city of origin.

MISSOURI PEACH PRESERVES

  • Servings: 3 half-pint jars
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  • 4 cups fresh peaches *
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 Tblsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract

*I used 6 medium size freestone peaches

Measure sugar into a bowl and lemon juice into a cup and have on the stove, ready to use.

For easy peeling of peaches, immerse peaches in a pan of simmering water for about 30 seconds, drain, and peel will slide off easily.  Remove pits, slice peaches and place in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven.  Over medium heat, cook peaches, stirring occasionally, until they start to bubble.

Add the lemon juice and sugar, stirring over medium heat until sugar dissolves.

Bring mixture to a full boil and then cook at medium heat for approximately 10 to 15 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.  Peaches should be soft but not gummy and syrup should be starting to thicken.  Stir in almond extract.

Pour into a crock or heavy bowl (not metal) and let stand overnight.

The next morning, reheat the preserves to boiling.  Remove from heat and immediately pour into sterilized canning jars**.

Seal with lids/caps and process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes, counting after the water has started to boil again.  For a small number of jars, I like to use an asparagus steamer for processing.

Carefully remove the processed jars to a wire rack to cool.

From this batch, I got three half-pint jars and a half-cup bowl which was not processed and will be sampled first.

Note:  After sampling, I can report that the preserves turned out very well.  The consistency for spreading on hot toast or biscuits is just right straight from the refrigerator.

**Click here for a good website on canning and preserving food.