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As anticipated my sister Cheryl arrived at 1pm carrying not two, not three, but five large bags of ripe peaches from her trees in Las Vegas. In addition to this haul, she was toting two large bowls of apricots, the last of the crop from the two trees she had in her yard. It is an extravaganza of jam, preserve, and whatever we can come up with in the next two days. We discussed a game plan and got to work prepping the fruit. 

Isabella cutting the apricots


Cheryl's daughter, my niece, has two daughters and they were anxious to help Nona, which is grandma in italian, get the fruit cut and ready for the cooking pot. It was great to see Isabella working with us carrying on the tradition. 




This last few weeks our local Vons grocery store has had the Kerr jars on half price and I picked up four cases of half pints in anticipation of all the work, but now seeing how much she brought we are heading out again tomorrow to get another few cases. 

The peaches are small in size and we had a bit of trouble deciding on peeling them or not. The skins were really thin but we decided to do the first batch peeled. After that since it was going faster not to peel them we decided to cut the pieces smaller to avoid getting a chewy large piece of peel. These peaches are very juicy and sweet. I am really enjoying these first few batches just being the "classic" recipes and tomorrow we will work on some more adventurous combination's.

As for the apricots, we did a classic recipe for the first six cups of fruit, but Cheryl had been thinking about pineapple and off she went in search of the best fresh pineapple. She returned from the store with a perfect specimen and she got to work dicing the entire fruit. We did the combo and it turned out to be a great flavor combo for the apricots. Cheryl seemed confident before we started, I was converted!
After dinner we got back to work on two additional batches, these are six full cup batches of fruit, with another apricot pineapple and another combo, blueberry peach. As I am typing this post, I just turned off the last 10 minute water bath of the night.
Total for day in jars:  5 - Apricot Preserve
                                            7 - Peach Preserve
                                            6 - Peach Preserve with peels on
                                          11 - Apricot Pineapple Preserve
                                            7 - Peach Blueberry Preserve
                                         36 - Half Pint Jars!

Here are the recipes for today's work!

Still in the pot -  classic Apricot Preserve
Apricot Preserve

6 cups apricots, chunked, seed removed - do not peel!
2 cups cane sugar
4 1/2 T. Ball Flex Batch no sugar/low sugar pectin
3 T. bottled lemon juice

Cut and measure apricots and put into dutch oven, heating till the apricots begin to break down, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally so that you don't burn the fruit. Add 2 cups of sugar or 1 cup, taste for you level of sugar you want, then add an additional cup if you don't think that it's sweet enough. The flex batch allows you to use less sugar and still get the proper gel. Once you get the right flavor, add the lemon juice and bring to a boil and then add your pectin, return to a boil, meanwhile prepare you sterilize jars and lids. 

Ladle recipe into jars, clean rims, and process in water bath for 10 minutes at a full boil. Remember to put your jars in before it boils and bring the water to a boil and then start your timing. Remove the jars after the 10 minutes and let cool on a dish towel over night not moving them. Do not put hot jars directly on your counter. The cold counter may crack hot jars.
Classic Peach Preserve

Peach Preserve

6 cups peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped
2 cups cane sugar
4 1/2 T. Ball Flex Batch pectin
3 T. bottled lemon juice

Cut and measure peaches and put into dutch oven, heating till the peaches begin to break down, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally so that you don't burn the fruit. Add 2 cups of sugar or 1 cup, taste for you level of sugar you want, then add an additional cup if you don't think that it's sweet enough. The flex batch allows you to use less sugar and still get the proper gel. Once you get the right flavor, add the lemon juice and bring to a boil and then add your pectin, return to a boil, meanwhile prepare you sterilize jars and lids.

Ladle recipe into jars, clean rims, and process in water bath for 10 minutes at a full boil. Remember to put your jars in before it boils and bring the water to a boil and then start your timing. Remove the jars after the 10 minutes and let cool on a dish towel over night not moving them. Do not put hot jars directly on your counter. The cold counter may crack hot jars. 

Apricot Pineapple Preserve
Apricot Pineapple preserve - Use 4 cups of apricots and 2 cups of diced fresh pineapple. Use 2 cups of sugar and 4 1/2 T. Ball Flex Batch no sugar/low sugar pectin. Follow the same process as the apricot preserve and enjoy!








Blueberry Peach Preserve


Blueberry Peach preserve - Use 2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries and 4 cups peaches. Use 2 cups of sugar, 3 T. bottles lemon juice and 4 1/2 T. Ball Flex Batch no sugar/low sugar pectin. Follow the same process as the peach preserve and enjoy!

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