Recently, my husband and I started to shop at a new produce market. It’s in the middle of the city, in a diverse neighborhood, set up inside an old grocery store. I love it because the prices are great and the produce is all marked with the location or farm from which it comes. Shop local!
A couple of weeks ago, I scored some beautiful peaches on sale on the discount shelf. They looked lovely to me and I have no idea why they were marked down but I jumped on them. I also got a bunch of white nectarines. I’d been listening to the Good Food podcast and heard a food expert say that they’re a better fruit to use in peach recipes because they’re more flavorful than peaches.
After the success of my Jane Austen’s Black Butter Jam, I’ve become convinced that I never need to buy another jar of preserves. I can just make it. I eat a lot of jam/jelly/preserves. I’m a big fan of bread and I like it with the fruity topping and a cup of tea just before bed.
I picked this recipe from the cookbook Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery, comprised of the former First Lady’s personal recipe collection, written and translated for the modern cook. I’ve tried a few recipes from the book before and I like it… it’s fun and challenging.
Here’s how Martha instructs us to preserve peaches:
Take a pound of ye fayrest (fairest) and best cullered (colored peaches you can get, wipe of theyr white hore (fuzz on the skin) with a clean linnen cloth, then parboyle them in halfe a pinte of white wine, and a pinte and half of running water, then pill of (pull off) their white scin and weight them and to a pound of peach, take 3 quarters of A pound of refined sugar, dissolve it in a quarter of a pinte of white wine and boyle it allmoste to ye height of a sirrup, then put your peaches, and let them ly (lie) in the sirrup for more then a quarter of an hour. If they require it, then pot them up and keepe them all ye year; they must have a little quick boyle in ye sirrup till they jelly.
Here’s how you can recreate this recipe.
12 peaches or nectarines
2 cup white wine, divided
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
Bring 1 cup of white wine and all the water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
Drop your fruit in, one at a time, and blanche for 1-2 minutes. Then dip the fruit into an ice bath and peel off the skin. Remove the stone or pit from the fruit and chop the fruit.
Dump out the wine and water in your saucepan. Put it back on the stove and add a cup of white wine and 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Bring it to a boil and stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved, then keep boiling until the liquid is reduced by half and starts to look syrupy. Add the peaches, reduce the heat to a simmer and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Sorry, I was too busy stirring the pot at this point to take photos!
Take the pot off the stove and let it cool, then run the mixture through the food processor and put into jars. You can refrigerate the jars or can them, depending on your preference.