Sweet Pickled Peaches (or Nectarines)

Pretty pink syrupy fruit

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 I would do with them. 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 made the right decision.

Each fruit is impaled with a whole clove before cooking

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. Try the pickling syrup added to a gin and tonic or a rum and juice cocktail.

Pickled Peaches Recipe — Printable!

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Sweet Pickled Peaches (or Nectarines)

Ingredients

Scale
  • 7 pounds peaches or nectarines
  • 3 3/4 pounds sugar
  • 1 quart (4 cups) white vinegar
  • 2 ounces whole cloves
  • 2 ounces cinnamon stick

Instructions

  1. Pare the peaches if you want (not necessary with nectarines).
  2. Poke a whole clove into each peach; use two cloves per peach if they’re big’uns.
  3. Combine sugar, vinegar, and cinnamon in a large pot and bring to boil, covered, over high heat. Boil 5 minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. Scoop fruit out and into wide-mouth jars.
  6. Boil syrup another 5 minutes, then pour over fruit.
  7. Seal and cool.
  8. Makes 10 quarts

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Original recipe card!

 

 

 

26 Comments

  1. Ashley R. on April 16, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Would this recipe work with Apple Cider Vinegar? Do you think the flavor would be too much or overwhelming? I usually don’t keep white vinegar on hand, except for cleaning.

    Thanks!

    • Hilah on April 18, 2013 at 10:55 am

      I think the flavor would work very well, Ashley!

      • Liz Brandt on August 14, 2020 at 10:29 am

        I noticed you said just let cool after filling and capping the jars. Do you not put them in a water bath, or did I read past something? I would want to process in a way that I could keep them several months. I’m not a fan of pressure cookers

        • Hilah on August 18, 2020 at 9:24 am

          I haven’t ever tried to water process these. I just pour the boiling syrup over, then cap and cool. They usually pop down as they cool, but they would not be shelf stable. I keep them in the fridge.

  2. Carolyn on July 23, 2015 at 12:02 am

    Thank you, refreshing site. Will try to stay connected thru recipes or something. Our peaches didn’t
    turn out to good, but first time for making pickled peaches. I now know why Grandma always used whole peaches. These peaches were small, the recipe was for a two day ordeal, and they would have been perfect but were over ripe Clings, so they didn’t ring properly when we cut them in half. Used the smashed parts for jam, so we didn’t waste anything. Anyway thank you for your recipe, that I will use later when the other tree of clings get ripe. We have an abundance of garden and fruit. Froze yellow crookneck squash with cornmeal, and shredded zucchini today. Need to can tomatoes and freeze 2 ft. long green beans ( love these Chinese beans). Thanks again, kind of long winded once I get started.
    Carolyn

    • Hilah on July 23, 2015 at 10:38 am

      Oh yes, Carolyn, that’s a great point about small peaches being too much trouble to section. Thanks for reminding me of this recipe 🙂 I’ll have to make them soon with some local peaches.

  3. Dill pickle queen! on August 1, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Do these jars need to be processed like traditional canning requires? If not, how long will these last for if kept in a refrigerator?

    • Hilah on August 2, 2016 at 11:28 am

      We always just poured the hot liquid in and sealed them. As long as they pop down, they are good on the shelf for a couple months at least but I bet you will eat them faster than that 🙂

  4. Stechen on July 20, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Did you know a peach can be blanched and peeled like a tomato? No loss of glorious peachy goodness

    • Hilah on July 20, 2017 at 4:11 pm

      Yes! 😀 I don’t think I would peel pickled peaches, though, since they would probably disintigrate

  5. Win on August 11, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    The recipe says to pare the peaches but you say you wouldn’t peel pickled peaches. Im confused. Sorry…Do I peel the peaches before pickling them?

    • Hilah on August 11, 2017 at 6:56 pm

      Sorry for the confusion. I don’t peel them, but the original recipe from my great-grandmother said to peel them. I double-checked with my mom and grandma and they both agree peeling is optional and the peaches stay together better when left unpeeled.

  6. kathy on September 14, 2017 at 5:21 am

    Oh, the recipe card!!! I have an abundance of not quite ready peaches (still!) so I’m going to try this. This will be our last year with the peach tree- selling the house after losing mom in January- I’m trying to make use of every peach possible…and it has been a record year for them! Thanks for this <3

    • Hilah on September 15, 2017 at 7:18 am

      Enjoy, Kathy!

  7. Myrna on August 13, 2018 at 9:11 am

    When you add your fruit and cover, you actually only have the fruit in the syrup for 10 minutes, correct? Always loved my Grandmas! Giving this a try with my small peaches!

    • Hilah on August 13, 2018 at 10:05 am

      Right! Basically, once the syrup starts boiling, you want to let it boil for 5 minutes. It takes about 5 minutes to come to boil, usually, so 10 minutes total. Enjoy these pickled peaches! I should make some again, too!

  8. Myrna on August 13, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Thanks, can’t wait to make them!

  9. Ann on September 15, 2018 at 8:44 am

    I have a bunch of green peaches that are small and are not going to ripen. Can I use them in this recipe and whole?

    • Hilah on September 15, 2018 at 9:08 am

      I think this recipe is perfect to use those last peaches. I’ve done it with small green nectarines and they were great

      • Ann F on September 15, 2018 at 2:46 pm

        Great! I cant wait to get started. One more question. Can I water bath can them. I have so many I cant possibly eat them all in a couple of weeks

    • Ann on September 15, 2018 at 3:02 pm

      Can I water can them?

      • Hilah on September 15, 2018 at 3:08 pm

        Sure! I don’t see any reason you couldn’t, but I have not tried it

        • Ann on September 15, 2018 at 6:51 pm

          Im happy to report I just finished water bath canning my first batch of these. They came out fabulous! Thank you for sharing your recipe. I think these would be great with a little ice cream. Yummy! My bf has a peach tree that produces peaches. However the peaches never get very large and they fall off the tree before they can truly rippen. A fantastic way to make the best of the fruit. No waste here! Yayyyy

          • Hilah on September 15, 2018 at 7:17 pm

            Marvelous! Thanks for letting me know, Ann. So happy you like these. They’re one of my favorite things. If you drink alcohol, add a little of the syrup to a gin and club soda, too 🙂



  10. Ann on September 15, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    I’m thinking the syrup would be a fantastic addition to a vodka peach martini

    • Hilah on September 16, 2018 at 7:14 am

      ooh yeah!

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