The first time I heard of pickled peaches I was skeptical. To me, pickles are vinegary and sharp, with a hint of spice. It's something you eat with your sandwich or when you are craving something salty. So when I learned about pickled peaches I expected a strange savory and vinegary bite. However, the minute I opened my first jar of pickled peaches, I knew my first assumptions were way off.

What are Pickled Peaches?

Sweet, sour, and spicy, pickled peaches have been around centuries and recipes can be traced back to cookbooks of the 1800s. The Domestic Cookery by Elizabeth Ellicott Lea published in 1846, features ten different peach recipes, including one for pickled peaches and cherries. According to the cookbook:

"If peaches, wipe them well with a coarse towel; if cherries, cut the stems half off, but do not stone them; put them in jars, and to every half gallon of vinegar it takes to cover them, put a pound of sugar, and cloves and cinnamon to taste; boil and skim it well, and when nearly cool pour it over the fruit; for three successive days pour off the vinegar, and boil and pour it on again."

We suggest eating these out of the jar with your fingers, adding them to your cheese board, topping your fried chicken and even serving as a topping over ice cream.

How to Make Pickled Peaches

Before you begin, make sure you have all of the necessary canning equipment you need, including mason quart jars, a large pot, a slotted spoon, cheesecloth, and a funnel.

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Start by bringing about 4 cups of water to a boil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Remove from the heat and drop in the peaches. Cover, and let stand 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the peaches from the hot water and place in an ice-water bath. When cool, use a paring knife to remove the skin.

Bring 1-quart of white vinegar and 6 cups sugar to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling, bring to a simmer and reduce for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place your spices (whole cloves, peppercorns, allspice) in a cheesecloth and tie with a string. Add to the vinegar mixture along with the cinnamon stick.

Add half of the peaches into the vinegar mixture and cook 10 minutes. Remove peaches and repeat with the remaining peaches. Spoon the peaches into sterile jars and top with remaining syrup. Wipe the jars clean and seal with lids and rings. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes to seal. Let sit for 6 hours until cool enough to handle and store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

Watch: 8 Reasons Your Body Craves Pickle Juice

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Pickled Peaches 

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes

servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups water
  • 6 lbs peaches
  • 1 qt white vinegar
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp whole cloves
  • 2 tsp allspice berries
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 4 cinnamon sticks

Instructions

Start by bringing about 4 cups of water to a boil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Remove from the heat and drop in the peaches. Cover, and let stand 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the peaches from the hot water and place in an ice-water bath. When cool, use a paring knife to remove the skin.

Bring 1-quart of white vinegar and 6 cups sugar to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling, bring to a simmer and reduce for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place your spices (whole cloves, peppercorns, allspice) in a cheesecloth and tie with a string. Add to the vinegar mixture along with the cinnamon sticks.

Add half of the peaches into the vinegar mixture and cook 10 minutes. Remove peaches and repeat with the remaining peaches.

Spoon the peaches into sterile jars and top with remaining syrup. Wipe the jars clean and seal with lids and rings. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes to seal. Let sit for 6 hours until cool enough to handle and store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.