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These Easy Peach Preserves without pectin taste like biting into a juicy peach at the peak of Summer! Only two ingredients and a little patience stand between you and the taste of ripe peaches all year round. 

Peach Preserves

I first made peach preserves with Abigail, my first sous chef at the Restaurant. In the Summer of 2018 Abigail decided she wanted to make peach preserves, an epic amount of peach preserves. She got her grandmother’s recipe from her aunt; we went to Union Square Farmer’s Market and bought 2 bushels (that is like 80 pounds!) of peaches; and then started peach preserve production in my NYC apartment. It was a roaring, albeit sticky, success!

At the end of each Summer I try to have several jars of these peach preserves alongside cherry preserves, mixed berry jam (with pectin) and quick strawberry jam. Then I can enjoy them on homemade buttermilk biscuits, with cheese and crackers, in yogurt or cottage cheese, on French vanilla ice cream, or even as a filling for peach crisp cupcakes or linzer cookies! My favorite way to eat them though is on my spicy peach pork chops.

Why you will love these peach preserves!

  • Just two ingredients! They are made with just fresh peaches and sugar.
  • No pectin needed. Pectin does make for thicker preserves, but it is not needed. This recipe makes rich, syrupy preserves.
  • This recipe will double or triple! Unlike other peach preserve recipes out there, this recipe is only limited by the size or number of your pots. For the best results, make the recipe by weight. I’ve included instructions below.
  • Instructions for canning or not. If you just don’t have it in you to can these preserves, no stress! They will keep for three months in the refrigerator!

What is the difference between peach preserves and peach jam?

Peach preserves contain larger pieces of fruit and are often looser than peach jam or jelly. Peach jam is made with fruit puree and is often thicker than preserves but not as thick as jelly. Jelly is typically made with just fruit juice like grape jelly.

Peach Preserves
apple butter in clear jar with spoon on marble.
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Ingredients Needed

  1. Peaches: Make sure you choose fresh, ripe, peaches when they are in season! New Jersey peaches are lovely or you can order Georgia Peaches from The Peach Truck, or my favorite GA peach farm!
  2. Granulated Sugar: There is a significant amount of granulated sugar in peach preserves. The sugar helps pull out the peach juices and replaces the moisture inside the peach, which is what preserves it. The sugar also helps thicken the preserves.

How to Make Peach Preserves

Follow these simple instructions for the best peach preserves. There are more detailed instructions and measurements in the recipe card below.

Prepare the peaches

Step 1: Peal and remove pits.

Peel peaches using one of three methods. For very ripe peaches it is best to peal by pulling the skin off with a pairing knife. For perfectly ripe peaches, slice an “x” in the bottom of each peach and drop in boiling water for 30 seconds. Pull out with a slotted spoon or spider and place in ice water. Use a pairing knife to pull skin off starting at the “x”. The last way is to peel peaches is with a fruit peeler. This is best for medium firm peaches. For more detailed instructions watch my YouTube video “How to peel a peach 3 ways!”

Step 2: Slice peaches off the core and dice. The size is not important, just make the pieces about the same size or you will have over done bits and underdone bits. Weigh your peaches or measure using a cup measure.

If they are freestone peaches, slice around the center and twist to remove flesh from pit. If they do not twist easily apart, just slice the flesh off the around to pit as close as possible. It isn’t worth fighting with them.

Step 3: I don’t want to be the unpopular kid, but, unfortunately, for the best peach preserves you must do a little math. I have a math degree, so hold my hand and it’ll be fine.

Take the weight of your peaches (pealed & sliced) and divide it by 2,000. Then multiply that number by 1700. That will give you the weight of sugar that you need for your amount of peaches in grams. You can do the same math for measurements in volume. Divide the cups of peaches by 10 then multiply by 7.5. That is your personal sugar measurement.

Step 4: Combine sugar and peaches in a pot or large container. Stir to coat peaches. For the best results allow to sit overnight. This is called maceration and it optional.

Cook the preserves

Step 5: Put the peaches, sugar, and any accumulated juices in a tall-sided pot. Heat gently until sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm. Bring it to a boil and then reduce to low. Skim any foam that collects on the surface. This will keep your preserves clear.

Step 6: Allow to simmer for 2 hours or until the peaches are beginning to become translucent. Not all the peaches will be at the same stage of doneness, so don’t stress if some are still a vibrant peach color. Test a small amount on a frozen plate. They should thicken and the peach should be tender and soft.

If you overcook the peaches, they will be tough and chewy. You didn’t spend an hour peeling and cutting them to have tough preserves! The consistency of the liquid is loose. Peaches have an incredible amount of moisture. You will have more syrup than peaches, so just accept this an get excited about the possibilities of peach syrup on pancakes and in sorbet.

How to Can Peach Preserves

Step 7: Sterilize your jars. While the peaches cook, sterilize your jars by submerging them in boiling water for 15 minutes or in the dishwasher (I greatly prefer this method). Keep warm in the water until ready to use.

Step 8: Fill the jars! Invert the jars on a clean towel to dry. You want to use them warm. Use a ladle to fill the jars with peaches, straining out some of the liquid before transferring. A canning funnel would be super helpful here. Fill to within a ½ inch of the top of the jar.

Step 9: Top them! Place lids in simmering water for 5 minutes. Don’t forget that you need to use a new top each time you can! They should also be used warm. Wipe each jar clean then place lid on and tighten down the outer ring.

Step 10: Fill a canning pot or a large, deep pot fitted with a metal cooling rack about half full with water. Bring the water to a simmer and then carefully lower each jar into the water. Add water as necessary so that it covers the jars by at least an inch. Boil for 10 minutes for 4,8, or 12 ounce jars. Boil 15 minutes for 16 ounce jars.

Step 11: Let cool 10 minutes in the water before removing carefully using canning tongs.
Allow to cool down to room temperature 12-24 hours. Be sure they are spaced a few inches apart to allow for circulation. Check the little button on the top – it should be depressed and should not be popped out. If it is popped out, just keep them in the refrigerator and use within three months.

Skip the proper canning if you want. If you don’t feel like really canning them, just store them in clean jars in the refrigerator. Your secret is safe with me!

Chef Lindsey’s Recipe Tip

Freestone peaches make for the easiest prep but they don’t ripen until later in the Summer. If you want to make peach preserves early in the season, simply slice the flesh as close to the pit as possible for the least amount of waste. To use those pits to their fullest, bring equal parts sugar and water to a boil and then infuse with the peach pits. Cool and use to sweeten teas all summer long!

Storage

Without using proper canning techniques, peach preserves will keep for a month in the refrigerator when cooled to 70 degrees within 2 hours then below 41 degrees within the next 4 hours. They will spoil faster if they are contaminated…say, by eating them straight from the jar.

Peach Preserves

How to use leftover peach canning syrup?

  • Use like Maple Syrup: The extra peach syrup is delicious on pancakes or French toast
  • Sweetener: Stir into yogurt, oatmeal or cottage cheese for a little peachy sweetness!
  • Cocktails: Use it in place of simple syrup in your favorite cocktail
  • Lemonade or Sweet Tea: Use as the sweetener in lemonade or sweet tea. Add some macerated peaches for a refreshing Summer drink!
  • Meade: One viewer from the YouTube video for these Peach Preserves even made meade from his peach syrup!
  • Baking: Use the leftover canning syrup to soak layer cakes or peach cupcakes. You can also mix the syrup with a little lemon juice and use it to soak the cake in your favorite trifle!
  • Roasted Stone Fruit: In a bowl, toss pitted, halved cherries, peaches, nectarines and plums with the syrup and lemon juice to taste. Add a little vanilla or almond extract, if desired. Then roast on a parchment lined baking sheet until soft and tender. Serve over vanilla ice cream for an easy dessert.
Peach Preserves
How ripe should peaches be for preserves?

The riper the peach, the better the flavor of the preserves. You want to choose peaches that are fragrant and yield when gently squeezed. They should not be excessively bruised. You can always cut out the bruised parts.

How to know when Peach Preserves are done?

Peach preserves are done when most of the fruit is translucent and the juice is slightly thickened. To test spoon a bit of the peach preserves on a frozen plate and place back in the freezer for a 2 minutes. Tilt the plate vertically and run your finger through the preserves. They should hold a line and only slowly move down the plate rather than just running off.
Over cooked peach preserves are tough and chewy. It is best to test early and often.

Do you have to skim the foam off the preserves?

You don’t have to do anything, but skimming the foam from the cooking preserves will ensure your final product is clear and the color is bright. If you leave the foam, the resulting preserves will be cloudy and dull in appearance.

How do you remove foam from preserves?

The easiest way to remove foam from preserves is to use a ladle. While the preserves are cooking, periodically use a medium to small ladle to remove the foam. Press the ladle down gently into the preserves and allow the foam to simply slip over the sides on the ladle and then discard. Repeat until all the foam has been removed.

How long will peach preserves last?

Without using proper canning techniques, peach preserves will keep for a month in the refrigerator when cooled to 70 degrees within 2 hours then below 41 degrees within the next 4 hours. They will spoil faster if they are contaminated…say by eating them straight from the jar.

Can you reduce the sugar?

You can but the results will not be the same. Depending on how much you reduce the sugar, the preserves might not get as thick. You can read about the science behind that in this article. I would also not suggest reducing the sugar because it is the “preservative” in these preserves. Even properly canned preserves will spoil without enough sugar.

How do I adapt this recipe for the amount of peaches I have?

For the most accurate results, you will need to do this conversion by weight and make sure all variables (sugar and peaches) are in the same unit. In this example I am using grams.
 
Take the weight of your peaches (pealed & sliced) and divide it by 2,000. Then multiply that number by 1700. That will give you the weight of sugar that you need for your amount of peaches in grams.
 
I have a B.A. in math and a pastry degree, so you can trust me with all you pastry math needs!

Peach Preserves in jar
4.96 from 64 ratings

Peach Preserves

These Easy Peach Preserves taste like biting into a juicy peach in the peak of Summer! Only two ingredients and a little patience stand between you and the best peach preserves all year round.
Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 2 hours
Total: 3 hours 28 minutes
Servings: 20 people

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Peal and remove pits. If they are freestone peaches, slice around the center and twist to remove flesh from pit. If they do not twist apart, just slice the flesh off the around to pit as close as possible. It isn't worth fighting with them.
  • Measure or weigh your peeled and chopped peaches before you add the sugar. The 3.8 kg of whole peaches should yield about 2 Kg chopped peaches or 10 cups.
  • For each 10 cups or 2Kg (2,000 g) of peaches add 7 ½ cups or 1,700 g sugar. See note below for calculation tips.
  • It is best if you allow the sugar and peaches to macerate in the refrigerator overnight but it isn’t necessary.
  • Put the peaches, sugar, and any accumulated juices in a tall-sided pot. Heat gently until sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm, stirring occasionally. Bring it to a boil and then reduce to low. Skim any foam that collects on the surface. This will keep your preserves clear.
  • Allow to simmer for 2 hours or until the peaches are beginning to become translucent. Not all the peaches will be at the same stage of doneness, so don’t stress if some are still a vibrant peach color. Test a small amount on a frozen plate. The should thicken and the peach should be tender and soft.
  • If you overcook the peaches, they will be tough and chewy. You didn’t spend an hour pealing and cutting them to have tough preserves! The consistency of the liquid is loose. Peaches have an incredible amount of moisture. You will have more syrup than peaches, so just accept this an get excited about the possibilities of peach syrup on pancakes and in sorbet.
  • Meanwhile sterilize your jars in boiling water for 10 minutes or in the dishwasher. Keep warm in a clean towel until ready to use.
  • Keep a pot of simmering water on for the lids.
  • Use a ladle to fill the warm, sterilized jars with peaches, straining out some of the liquid before transferring. A canning funnel would be super helpful here. I don’t have one so I just made a bit of a mess and then cleaned it up.
  • Place lids in simmering water and simmer 5 minutes. Don’t forget that you need to use a new top each time you can!
  • Wipe each jar clean then place lid on and tighten down the outer ring.
  • Fill a canning pot or a large, deep pot fitted with a metal cooling rack about half full with water. Bring the water to a simmer and then carefully lower each jar into the water. Add water as necessary so that it covers the jars by at least an inch. Boil for 10 minutes for 4,8, or 12 ounce jars.Boil 15 minutes for 16 ounce jars.
  • Let cool 10 minutes in the water before removing carefully using canning tongs. Allow to cool down to room temperature 12-24 hours. Be sure they are spaced a few inches apart to allow for circulation. Check the little button on the top –it should be depressed and should not be popped out. If it is popped out, just keep them in the refrigerator and use within three months.
  • Alternately skip the proper canning if you want. If you don’t feel like really canning them, simply cool the preserves to 70 degrees (room temperature) within 2 hours then below 41 degrees within the next 4 hours. Store them in clean jars in the refrigerator. Your secret is safe with me!

Video

Notes

Flavor Tips – Choose peaches that are ripe but not overly ripe. Ideally they will be soft and yield to a gentle squeeze, but not be too badly bruised or rotting. Small bruises can be cut out. 
Technique Peel peaches using one of three methods. For very ripe peaches it is best to peal by pulling the skin off with a pairing knife. For perfectly ripe peaches, slice an “x” in the bottom of each peach and drop in boiling water for 30 seconds. Pull out with a slotted spoon or spider and place in ice water. Use a pairing knife to pull skin off starting at the “x”. The last way is to peel peaches is with a fruit peeler. This is best for medium firm peaches. For more detailed instructions watch my YouTube video “How to peel a peach 3 ways!
Helpful Tools – If you choose to properly can the preserves, you might want a canning pot and jar lifter. 
Storage – When properly canned, peach preserves will last for several years. If not, store in the refrigerator and consume within three months. 

Nutrition

Calories: 352kcal | Carbohydrates: 90g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 20mg | Potassium: 185mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 87g | Vitamin A: 489IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: American
Calories: 352
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I hope you enjoyed this professional chef tested recipe. Check out our other delicious, chef-developed recipes for Jams + Jellies!

Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

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28 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe. I am trying this as I type! Will this take the full 2 hours to cook if I have the recipe?

    1. Hi Karin! Sorry it’s a couple days after your peach preserve making, I hope they were wonderful! Gonna go ahead and answer your question, because it might help more people! The cooking time can depend on size of your pot and ripeness of your peaches. If you halve the recipe, I do think it’d take a little less time. Keep an eye on it and make sure you’re checking on its consistency so the peaches reach the right texture! I’d estimate around 1 to 1.5 hours. Happy canning!

  2. I noticed that there wasn’t any acid added to the fruit. Is the preserves mixture acidic enough without it?

    1. Hi Kevin! Peaches are a naturally acidic fruit, and this recipe uses a solid amount of sugar for preservation. If you use the proper canning technique, they can last for years from this recipe with no added acid! If you want extra insurance, citric acid or lemon juice can be added, or using pH strips to make sure you’re below 4.6. Happy canning!

  3. 5 stars
    So delicious! It’s November; I’m enjoying some on my oatmeal and it is like biting into the sweetest fresh peach. This summer I made two different recipes for preserving peaches and this one is by far the best! Letting the peaches macerate overnight really makes a difference!

    1. Hi Annalisa! Thank you for coming back and leaving such a glowing review! I’m thrilled these preserves are helping you through the chilly season! <3

    1. Hi Maria, That is a great point! It (an irritating) limitation of the recipe plug-in that I use. I have to add it to the notes. It will vary depending on the size of you batch but, as written, this makes about 4 pints plus 1-2 pints of extra liquid. I’ll update the notes for others ~Lindsey