Preserved and Pickled is once again honored to have been chosen as a Canbassador for the Washington State Fruit Commission. Last year we preserved some Pickled Italian Plums, Nectarine Jelly and Boozy Peach Sauce. This year we received a big box of peaches and decided to keep with the boozy theme. What can I say, there is just something about the peach and bourbon combination that tickles my taste-buds.
What exactly is the Canbassador program, you might ask? Well, I received a box of stone fruit (this year it is strictly peaches) from Washington State which I was encouraged to preserve (like I needed encouragement), blog about my efforts, and use SweetPreservation.com as a resource - great resource, check it out, so noo problem, right?
Since my Boozy Peach Sauce is so delish, and since its really sweet to have that summer-peachy-sunshine taste during those cold winter months (here in the Northeast, anyway), it was a no-brainer.
Since I practice preserving, believe in simple, elegant pairings, and am always on the lookout for unique combinations of flavors for my pickles and preserves, Jim Beam is my bourbon of choice for these highly distinctive, divinely delicious, uniquely Bourbon Peach Preserves.
Bonus, Kentucky Bourbon is part of American history: "Bourbon history, much like the Beam family bourbon dynasty, mirrors U.S. history. Rebellion. Progress. Heroes. Facts. Legends. It's why bourbon is, and will always be, America's Native Spirit—a spirit the Beam family has had a tremendous hand in helping to create, foster and grow, both in the U.S. and abroad, as key players in a great American story" (find link below).
"America's Native History", "The Canning Revolution" - it just goes together like Apple Pie and Vermont Cheddar. So get in the kitchen and tell me you don't agree.
BOURBON PEACH PRESERVES
10 pounds or 20 large Peaches (more or less), Pitted and Sliced into halves or quarter segments
1/4 Cup Honey
1/8 Cup Sugar
3 1/2 Cups Water
1 Pint Bourbon, more or less
2 slices Lemon or 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
8 Quart Jars
I used wide-mouth jars and I highly suggest you do to, because it is easier to get your ingredients in and out.
Simple Syrup - Syrups should be made at least the day before, it needs to be cool when packing your fruits. The good news is it can set in the refrigerator for a bit. According to Putting Fruit By, you can estimate 3/4 pint of syrup for each quart jar of fruit. For a Light Syrup dissolve 2 cups Sugar to 4 cups water. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. When sugar is completely dissolved, remove from heat and return to room temperature. Place in container. Refrigerate at least overnight. Can be stored in refrigerator and used within a few weeks.
Peel and cut peaches. To keep them from browning, place slices in a gallon of water mixed with 1/4 cup lemon juice. Combine Honey and Water and in a non-reactive pot over medium heat (or have your Simple Syrup ready).
Bring honeyed water to a boil for 2 minutes stirring constantly. Allow to simmer about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. If using Lemon Juice, you will add directly to jar with Bourbon when packing.
Have sterilized canning materials and Hot Water Bath read to go. Pack Peach Slices into hot, sterile jars. Discard lemon slices from honeyed water. Ladle over fruit, leaving 1/2 inch head room and making sure there are no air pockets.
Alternatively, add 3/4 tablespoon Lemon Juice and 4 tablespoons Bourbon to each jar (I prefer this method). Fill to 1/2 inch of rim with Simple Syrup leaving 1/2 inch head-room and checking for air pockets. Cap.
Either method, boil in Hot Water Bath for 10 minutes. (This means do not start the timer, after you have immersed the jars, until the water is rolling.) Remove jars, set to cool, check lids.
Rest for a minimum of two weeks on a dark, cool shelf before opening so the flavors can mingle. May remain on cool, dark cellar or pantry cupboard for a year. Refrigerate after opening.
What To Do With Them:
UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE - Sprinkle a well-buttered, flat (9x9 is nice) cake pan with brown or raw sugar, then layer with slices of drained fruit. If halved put the pit side down. Cover with butter cake batter (or yellow cake batter) and bake until done. Serve with crème fraîche or fresh whipped cream with a splash of the juice. (You can follow this recipe for any variety of preserved fruits - try Rhubarb)
ROASTS - Warm Bourbon Peach Preserves and serve with roasted pork, chicken, or especially duck.
CAKE GLAZE - Mix the preserved juice with enough confectioners’ sugar to make it thick and creamy, but still runny enough to pour, then spoon it over simple cakes, muffins, cupcakes, or sweet rolls.
BOURBON PEACH POPSICLE - Puree the peaches and juice, pour in a mold, freeze with Popsicle stick. Need I say more?
ICE CREAM – Pour it on.
STRAIGHT OUT OF THE JAR