This is my great-grandmother Shaw’s recipe for sweet pickled peaches. I remember my mom making these from the tiny white peaches that grew around our house when I was growing up, even if she doesn’t remember that.
So when my grandma (other side of the family) showed up with a 10-pound bag of not-quite-ripe nectarines picked from her tree, I knew immediately what must be done. This recipe is a great way to use not-quite-ripe fruit. As soon as the syrup started boiling, filling the kitchen with a very familiar sweet-sour cinnamon smell, I knew I was doing the right thing.
These are best if you can let them cure in the jars for a couple of days before eating them on their own (mind the pits!) or serving alongside barbecue.
- 7 pounds peaches or nectarines
- 3¾ pounds sugar
- 1 quart (4 cups) white vinegar
- 2 ounces whole cloves
- 2 ounces cinnamon stick
- Pare the peaches (not necessary with nectarines).
- Poke a whole clove into each peach; use two cloves per peach if they’re big’uns.
- Combine sugar, vinegar, and cinnamon in a large pot and bring to boil, covered, over high heat. Boil 5 minutes.
- Add fruit and cover. Set timer for 10 minutes. The pot should be boiling again after 5 minutes. Allow fruit to boil another 5 minutes.
- Scoop fruit out and into wide-mouth jars.
- Boil syrup another 5 minutes, then pour over fruit.
- Makes 10 quarts
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