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Preserved Peaches


The skin can easily be removed from peaches, leaving a smooth surface, by placing them in a wire basket and plunging it for a moment into boiling lye. The lye is made by adding two cupfuls of wood ashes to four quarts of water. From the lye put the fruit into cold water and rinse it several times, then rub off the skin. Cut each peach in two and place again in cold water to preserve the color until ready to use. Place in a porcelain-lined kettle three quarters the weight of sugar you have of fruit. Add a very little water to dissolve the sugar. Let it boil a minute, and take off any scum that rises. Then add as much fruit as will float without crowding, and cook until it is transparent, but not until it loses shape. Remove each piece separately as soon as it is cooked. When ready to fill the jars place them carefully in a pan of boiling water; have the tops and rubbers also in hot water. Part of the fruit has become cooled while the rest was cooking, but, as it must go into the jars hot, place it again in the boiling syrup, a little at a time. Use a ladle or cup to dip out the fruit; run a spoon-handle around the inside of the jars after they are filled to liberate any air bubbles. Add enough syrup to fill them to overflowing, and adjust the rubber and top on each jar as it is filled. Any juice that is left over may be boiled down to a jelly, or it may be bottled to use as flavoring or for sauces.


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The Century Cook Book (1901).

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