Thursday, October 27, 2011

Snow Day for Moms!

Rumor has it you can make jellies from peach peelings and pits, so I had to try it out.
Happiness is a day of picturesque snowfall that covers the grass but leaves the roads clear so the kids go to school!  I did some deep cleaning in the kitchen and finally got to those peeled peaches, peels, and pits that had been residing in my refrigerator since Sunday.  Thank goodness for Fruit Fresh and lemon juice!

After boiling for 30-45 minutes until the skins are somewhat translucent, I strained the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer and several layers of cheesecloth.

I boiled and strained on Tuesday night while making dinner, putting the whole mess in the refrigerator overnight so it could continue dripping.  What you see here is about one cup of juice.  There was not enough peach on the peels to rate any kind of food mill action so they were tossed out.

Wednesday, I looked at several jelly recipes and decided that one cup of juice plus 2 tablespoons of pectin and one scant cup of sugar would work.  I hate cleaning candied fruit juice off my glass top stove (hate my glass top stove, too, but that's another story!), so I used a pot far larger than would first come to mind.  Thank goodness for that, because memory served me right and it did boil up pretty spectacularly.  I brought the juice and pectin to a boil, then added the sugar and brought it back to a boil for one minute before pulling it off the stove to a hot pad on the counter.  Last time I left jam sitting on the burner, it burned - have I mentioned I hate glass top stoves?

Excuse the blur, I just had to show the color!

The end result was three 4 oz jars of a mild-tasting peach pit jelly, exactly half the amount of peach jam created from the same batch.

3 cups of chopped peaches, scant 3 cups of sugar, two tablespoons of lemon juice, boil 'til it looks right
I've made the pectin-less peach jam before, in a more peach preserves form than jam. Same skillet technique, only this time, knowing I was not going to try to reach an impossible gel point!  I could just eat it with a spoon right out of the jar!

One peach pit jelly already in sample mode

After a successful jam session, I shared my thrifty preservation with a friend who asked innocently, "Aren't peach pits poisonous?"  This sent me racing to both my garbage can and Google where I found that, Yes, Virginia, peach pits do indeed contain a form of cyanide.  Sigh.  Fortunately, a careful investigation revealed no cracks or loose pits were involved in this canning experiment.  For the record, I would have automatically tossed them had they been cracked or broken, but it never hurts to be sure!

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