Do you can? My kitchen is packed full of fruits and vegetables that need to be processed: peaches and tomatoes waiting to be canned or made into sauce or salsa, cucumbers and beets to be pickled and zucchini waiting to be frozen. There is a swath of basil in the garden destined to become pesto for the freezer.
Canning and preserving is something that I’m relatively new to, and until just a few years ago had no experience with. I have to say there is something immensely satisfying about the basement shelves packed with jams, pickles, and preserves, and a freezer full of fruits and veggies waiting to become smoothies, soups and Sunday dinners. If you think you might like to give canning a try, one of the best online resources is Pick Your Own, which walks through every step clearly, with photographs and tips for canning just about everything. It’s the next best thing to having a grandmother beside you.
While I am up to my eyeballs in canning I thought I would rerun last year’s post about finishing off the peaches (there’s hope!) and about one of our favourite winter treats to make with them.
Last night my girls helped my husband and I finish canning the last of the peaches for the year. Over the summer I have been fiddling with peach cobbler recipes to use up a few forgotten jars of peaches canned last summer. We landed on this recipe which has become a family favourite. To make sure we have enough peaches to last us until next season we picked up one more bushel on Saturday, which are now happily sitting in their own juice, patiently waiting on shelves in my basement until its time to bring them out to enjoy a bit of summer in the dark of winter.
Although we love our home canned peaches, this recipe is even more fabulous with fresh (if you have a few soft ones waiting to be used up) or you can use two of the larger cans from the grocery store. When using fresh I add a quarter cup of sugar or honey to the base. I am sure as our peach supply dwindles, or when we need to feed a crowd, that the recipe will work well with some added berries or pears and a little extra crust.
1 litre canned peach slices, drained
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger or nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup boiling water
1 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, combine peaches, cinnamon, ginger, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 9″ square baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.
4. Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon topping. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.