Wednesday 7 September 2011

Pickled peaches

washed fruit and alcohol ready to go
We harvested our peaches last Friday as a storm was predicted and we were worried that they would drop and bruise.
Apart from one or 2 which could have done with a few days more they were ripe and we took our haul into the kitchen. We didn't actually weigh them but it was probably about 2 kgs of fruit, maybe a little more.

Next morning Niall came down and found a number of peaches rolled into odd corners of the kitchen and Tinka looking suitably angelic waiting for her breakfast.....hmmm

bottled and ready to store
We ate some--they're small, white fleshed, a bit fuzzy on the outside, but delicious. A few we gave to friends who dropped by and the rest we needed to store. 

Many French households have enormous chest freezers. We don't. We have an ordinary large-ish fridge-freezer which is already pretty full of frozen stuff, so we needed to store the peaches a different way. We decided to preserve them in alcohol. Boozy fruit at Christmas sounded very appealing! In addition, it is terribly easy: all one needs is glass preserving jars, alcohol--either flavoured or not for preserving,  and the clean fruit.

We had neither the glass preserving jars nor the alcohol so an expedition to the supermarkert was called for. In the wine and spirits section we found bottles specifically labeled as alcohol for preserving fruit so we went with these rather than brandy.

peaches getting 'pickled'
Once home it was 4 easy steps:

1. Sterilise jars

2. Rinse fruit and check for 'intruders'

3. Fill jars with fruits and alcohol

4. Store for at least 3 months in a cool dark place.

We decided to add some cloves and a cinammon stick to each jar for added flavour. Hopefully this will give the peaches a spicy taste. We now have to wait until Christmas to see if it is a success....


Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Niall and Antoinette:
Oh, white peaches...pickled or otherwise they are the fruit of the gods in our book. We love them.

Sozzled peaches at Christmas time sounds to us the perfect way to kick off the festivities!!

Craig said...

Sounds easy which = perfect in my book! Fruit and booze... what could be better! I knew that I liked you guys!

Jean said...

They look gorgeous - I hope they turn out well - see no reason why they shouldn't !!

PS word verification is pubslup !!

GaynorB said...

Better in alcohol than vinegar, methinks .....

Can you wait 'til Christmas?

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jane & Lance - we are indeed very pleased with our crop of peaches and hope they taste as good as they look in the jars. He certainly hope they will get the festivities off to a good start!

ladybird said...

I think they'll be great with some ice cream ...Martine

LindyLouMac said...

Lovely looking fruit, guess what we are harvesting this week, yes peaches. :)

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Craig - Easy always appeals to us :-) and when the result nicely boozy it's even better.

@Jean - pretty apt WV!

@Gaynor - we'll try ;-)

@Martine - Just what we were thinking :-)

@LindyLou - Thought the peach harvest was in July in your neck of the woods? Our peaches are small--more the size of large plums but the taste is good.

Diane said...

I have no peaches but I have bottled cherries, plums and figs. Last years were delicious. Diane

Tim said...

WV is "lot... hoc".... the sound you'll be making after eatin' them?

I got round the fuzziness problem... washed the loose 'fur' off under the tap just before eating... like a slightly rough white nectarine... the flavour is great though!
You will enjoy them as you need to bring a bit of Summer into the winter.

domi said...

looks delicious!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Diane - hopefully in a few years we'll have cherries and plums when our youg trees start to fruit. We have a fig tree but it needs some sorting out-- didn't produce any fuits this year.

@Tim - probably! :-) The alcohol we found in the store was 40% proof. We too noticed that when we washed them prior to bottling 'fur' came off. So they should be less fuzzy when we come round to eating them.
[Hadn't bothered to wash the fresh ones we ate as they weren't sprayed or anything.]

@ Nikki - we'll let you know when we open a jar round Christmas. Better still: we'll keep a jar so you can come over and try them yourself :-)

the fly in the web said...

The contents of those jars look very appetising...
I bottled peaches when we had a glut, but I used to paoch them in syrup and whop in high degree eau de vie...
This sounds much simpler.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Fly in the web - did a web trawl for recipes/ways to preserve and the simplistic appealed.

Once you've eaten the fruit you can then turn the liquid into liqueur if you strain it through a muslin cloth and add sugar syrup to taste. You get a peach eau de vie.