This past weekend, I picked up some apricots and peaches at the farmer’s market. We, then, went cherry picking, bringing home both eating cherries and pie cherries. Since then, I have had this desperate need to make something with both the stone fruits and the cherries. I, really, wanted to see what they would be like canned together.
To prepare the cherries, we washed them and then pitted them. Not much to it. Just be aware that cherries spit juice everywhere.
The stone fruit requires peeling – well peeling is more because the fuzz can be unpleasant. I prefer my peaches and apricots peeled if I am just eating them (or canning them for fruit). When making jam, I leave the peels on.
To peel a peach or apricot, you boil them and then shock them in ice water. The fruit has to be ripe. I had a few apricots that were not completely ripe and peeling was tough. One refused to be peeled at all. No worries – I cut it up and put it with the rest of the apricots, good chance no one will notice.
This is my technique which may or may not work for you: I bring a large pot (not stock pot though) of water to a boil. I, also, have a large bowl filled with very icy water. You want lots of ice. Boil the fruit for 1 minute and drop into the ice water. Give the fruit a few seconds and the peels should slip right off. If they don’t, then your fruit was not as ripe as it should have been.
I saved all my peels and this morning my husband threw about half of them in our morning smoothie. The flavor was great. We didn’t lose all that great nutrition and fiber. And the fuzziness was not a problem.
For the jars pictured above, I created 4 different experiments. Two jars with peaches and two with apricots. I mixed them with pie and eating cherries.
For the peaches, I cut up one peach and set it on the bottom of the quart jar. Then I added the chosen cherries on top and gently pressed them into any empty spaces. Then repeated. The quart jars only held two peaches.
I repeated the same technique for the apricots but I was able to get 3 apricots in. Not quite 3 layers – more like 1 1/2 apricots then cherries, repeat.
I made a simple syrup of 2 cups sugar to 2 cups water.
To can, water bath for 25 minutes (add time for elevation).
This is the first time I’ve actually attempted mixing my fruit. I’m so excited to try the fruit and it’s hard not to just pop the tops now and sample. I know that I may not make a decision that I want more until it’s too late this season but I have something I can tuck away for next year. I guess it depends on how long I hold out (and no opening any jars until all the fresh fruit is taken care of) and how long the harvests hold.