1951 Brandied Peaches

Greetings!  I had the opportunity to attend a tourism event in Portland, Oregon this past weekend, so it has been a very busy time.  I cannot wait to share the photographs and details of the trip.  It is a beautiful part of the country and after this trip, I am ready to pack up the covered wagon and head Northwest!

In the meantime (while I work out those details of packing and moving ;)), I wanted to share a recipe for one of our favorite canned foods, Brandied Peaches.  As you might remember, I spent a tortorous very long weekend two weeks ago in the kitchen canning.  It is hard work, I ‘m not going to tell you otherwise.  However, once you get into the rhythm of things, you will find that it becomes easier.  You will also be one happy camper when you have your own canned goods and do not have to rely on your local grocery store for everything.  It will taste far better, too.

I made Brandied Peaches last year and we enjoyed them throughout the cooler months when peaches were not available.  They are very tasty by themselves.  How could brandy and South Carolina peaches be anything but?!  Better yet, serve them over homemade vanilla ice cream or with fresh whipped cream and pound cake.  They are simple desserts, but quite delicious and are served up with lots of love from your kitchen!

Put the peaches in an ice bath after a quick blanching

This recipe is an oldie, but a goodie.  It it originally appeared in The New York Times in 1951.  After all, the delightful combination of peaches and brandy hasn’t changed much over the years.  However, the recipe has been updated to ensure safety in the canning process.

Leave the blanched peaches a few minutes in the ice bath to cool down and then drain and dry them

The recipe calls for cutting the peaches into quarters.  Depending on the size of your peaches, slice them to a size that fits neatly in the jars (typically, quarters or eighths).  The South Carolina peaches have been quite large the last two summers, so last year I cut them into eighths.  This year I cut them into quarters as the recipe suggested.

As I mentioned in the last canning post, you need to be flexible when canning and have extra jars, lids and rims sterilized and ready to go.  I doubled this recipe since I was taking the time to do the canning.  One recipe called for 2 pint-size jars, but I ended up with 3 pint-size jars per recipe in order to get them to fit nicely.

Once they are cool enough to handle, peel and slice them

I was processing them at a higher altitude, so they needed to cook longer (follow the altitude adjustment directions in your canning manual).  I thought the larger slices of peaches would hold up better to a longer cooking time and so far, they are looking pretty good to me! 😉

Process in a hot water canner

There was quite a bit of peachy juice left over after cooking the peaches.  As your momma probably told you, don’t waste any food…so we didn’t!  Mr. Bunkycooks went right to work whipping up some cocktails with this sweet syrupy concoction and they were mighty tasty.  If we perfect any of them, I will be sure to let you know. 🙂

Have a great week!

1951 Brandied Peaches

This recipe appeared in an article in The Times by Jane Nickerson. Updated canning instructions were added by Eugenia Bone. You will need two pint-size wide-mouthed Ball or Kerr jars with bands and new lids, available at many hardware stores or online.

* I doubled the recipe. If you are going to go to the trouble to can, you should make as many jars as you can. I needed three pint-size wide-mouthed jars per recipe rather than two.


3 pounds ripe peaches
3 cups sugar
About 1/2 cup brandy


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Using the tip of a paring knife, make a shallow “X” in the bottom of each peach. Add the peaches, one at a time, to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Remove the peach from the water and plunge into a bowl of ice water. Repeat with the remaining peaches. Peel off the skins, then pit the fruit and quarter the flesh.

2. In another large pot, combine 3 cups water and the sugar and bring to a boil. Add the peaches and simmer until just soft.

3. Have the jars, bands and new lids scalded and ready. (To scald, dip the jars and rims in boiling water. You don’t need to sterilize the jars, as you will be processing them for more than 10 minutes.) Simmer the lids in hot water to soften the rubberized flange. Gently pack the peaches into the jars.

4. Boil the leftover syrup until it thickens slightly, then spoon it over the fruit, filling the jars ¾ full. Use a butter knife to release any air bubbles caught in the jars. Pour in enough brandy to fill the jars, leaving ¼ inch of headroom. Wipe the rims, cover with the lids and screw on the bands fingertip-tight. Place the jars on a rack in a big pot and cover with 2 to 3 inches of water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to medium and gently boil for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and then, after about 5 minutes, remove the jars. Allow them to cool, untouched, for 4 to 6 hours. Check the seals and store in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Refrigerate after opening.

* Cook's notes - If you are canning at a higher altitude, be sure to consult the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving for proper instructions and canning times.

Recipe courtesy of The New York Times