puttin' up peaches

Preserving peaches can be a bit of a pain mainly because you have to peel every. single. peach. But in the end, it's totally worth it. Rather than stick with a traditional heavy syrup, I went for a less-sugary version infused with aromatic vanilla beans. I'm most excited about pulling a jar off my shelf in mid-December and re-visiting their sweetness.
Big thanks to Arounna for giving me that beautiful Weck jar in the front!

makes 5 pints
4 lbs freestone peaches
1 lemon, sliced
2 C sugar
5 C water
2 vanilla beans, split and each cut in thirds

1. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Fill another large bowl with cold water and lemon slices.

2. Peel the peaches by dropping 4 at a time into a pot of boiling water for about 1 minute. Remove peaches with a slotted spoon and dunk them into the ice bath. The skins should slide off easily. Once peeled, slice into quarters and put them into the lemon water.

3. In a pot combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil.

4. Tightly pack peach quarters into sterilized mason jars. Top peaches with hot syrup leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Slip a vanilla bean piece into each jar. Screw on lids.

5. Process jars in a pot of boiling water for 20 minutes.

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