Preserved peaches with cardamom
( MAKES 2 jars )
Photo by Tam West
When preserving peaches the trick is to get them when they are just ripe. If you find them firm that’s okay — after a day or three they will ripen up. Gently press them and when they give slightly you’ll know they’re ready. At this stage, when blanched, the skins should peel off easily and their flavour will be at their best.
To pack more peaches into your jars simply slice peaches and discard the stones. Cardamom seeds add a superb sweet aromatic spicy note to the peaches.
- Bring a large pot ¾-filled with water to the boil. Blanch the peaches by carefully dropping them into the water, four at a time. After 30 seconds take them out and place into a large bowl filled with iced water, this will stop the cooking. When cool slip the skin off or peel using a small knife. Blanch all the remaining peaches to remove skins.
- Put sugar, water and cardamom in a large pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Carefully place peaches into the syrup with lemon juice (to prevent discolouration), simmer gently until just tender.
- Spoon peaches and cardamom into sterilised jars. Bring syrup back up to the boil then pour over the peaches until syrup completely reaches the top.
- Place preserving lid on to jar then screw down ring or close rubber seal lid. Cool on sheets of newspaper on the bench overnight. The next day rinse jars well, dry and store away.
More preserves from Geoff
How to sterilise jars
Give your jars a good wash in hot soapy water, then rinse off well. Before you start, make sure you have the correct lids and or seals that fit all your jars, and you have enough. There are a few techniques that work well — put them through the dishwasher then place them in the oven (lying on their side) at 120C for 15 minutes, fan or normal bake, or carefully put them into a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes, then allow to drain upside down on a clean tea towel. Metal seals, lids and bands can be sterilised by placing in a metal bowl and, just before using, pour boiling water over and leave for a few minutes.