Canning Peach Preserves


The triple digit heat has finally abated, just in time to get back to canning summer’s harvest. We have two peach trees and most of the fruit from the Red Haven tree went into the freezer. But the last of the peaches went into this batch of old-fashioned preserves.

I much prefer preserves over jam. Some people will tell you that there is no taste difference but they are wrong! This old recipe does not use any pectin, unlike newer preserves recipes. To me, preserves have a fresher fruit taste compared to jam or jelly. I’ve been following this particular recipe so long I could make it in my sleep. But the whole family looks forward to receiving peach preserves at Christmas, and the grandchildren love it year round.

The difference between preserves and jam? In preserves the fruit is “preserved” with the sugar and thus holds its shape while cooking. Most preserves combine fruit and sugar, and then sit for a while. The cooking process is slow and it will do no good to check temperatures when making preserves. Jam is made from crushed or chopped fruit and is cooked quickly after the sugar melts. Both should be made in small batches. Don’t be tempted to double fruit spread recipes. You will most likely end up with an over cooked, burnt mess, or will have to re-make an undercooked mess. Sadly, this is the voice of experience once again.

This post has been moved to our other site, Seed to Pantry, where you will find lots more information about canning and preserving.




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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at and

Comments (3)

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  1. wineberrel, I tried your “old fashion Peach Preserve’s” canning receipt. All seemed to go well. About 37mins into Peach/Sugar boil I put tea spoon of surup in fridge for 5 you suggested,. to thicken up. It was still a little juicy, how do I thicken it more? (It is plenty sweet) Thank you for your help. E-Mail:

    Ron Mccullough
    Vero Beavh, Fla.

    • Roberta, you may be a victim of the weather. Humidity can really throw off cooking times. But, there are a couple of things you can try. First, if you haven’t already processed the preserves in a water bath canner, go ahead and do so. Then let them sit for at least a day before opening a jar. Sometimes just letting them sit will work. Or, try putting them in the fridge for a day and see if that works. If they still don’t set up the way you want you can “repair” the whole batch. To repair:

      Put the jam back into a large saucepot and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice per cup of jam. Return to boiling and then follow the the original directions until it sets up the way you like. Good luck! Thanks for your question. Let me know how it works out.

  2. […] mixed fruit. While it’s not my most popular canning post (that would be a tie between the peach preserves recipe and the apricot syrup recipe) it does have its […]

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