It's black boy peach season, they are beautiful eaten fresh when perfectly ripe but to be honest I prefer them cooked as I think cooking them takes them to another level. So, out come the preserving jars, pop them in a low oven to sterilise them at 120 degrees.
I make a basic syrup, 1 cup of sugar to 5 cups of water as I don't like them too sweet. Melt the sugar into the water over a low heat then bring to the boil, reduce the heat so there's just a gentle simmer.
While that's happening get on with preparing your peaches. When you have a lot of fruit this can become quite tedious and time consuming. For peaches that I'm going to bottle I have a cunning method: slice the peach in half around it's natural crease and twist apart, leave the skins on, remove the stone (which comes away very easily in this variety). Once you have done a good amount carefully put them into the sugar syrup. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on a low heat (they still need to feel slightly firm, don't overcook them or they will turn to mush). Scoop out the fruit and place it into your sterile jars (the wide necked jars are much easier to fill), the skins will slip off easily as you are doing this if you prefer them skinless. Ladle the hot syrup over the fruit in the jars filling to the brim, then run a knife down the edge of the jars to release any trapped air bubbles. Top up with the liquid to the jar brim again if needed then seal the jars. When they cool wipe them over with a damp cloth to remove any stickiness. Easy peasy.
I made 8 jars of bottled peaches and 2 jars of sauce. The sauce is made by cooking chopped peaches with 50% sugar, so if you have 500g chopped weight of peaches use 250g of sugar and the juice of 1 lemon, cook gently until the sugar dissolves then add 1 cup of water, keep cooking until the fruit is soft. Use a stick blender to puree the mixture then bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and pour carefully into sterile bottles/jars. This is lovely poured over ice cream or greek yoghurt.
Now I'm waiting for the rest of these to fully ripen so I can make jam and chutney: