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Monday, September 24, 2012

A Plethora of Peaches! (plus a yummy pumpkin spice peach strussle recipe)

One of three boxes!
I love the Nothwest.  We have so much to offer; beautiful scenery, bountiful harvests, the weather is never to 'extreme' save the wildfires here and there.  This time of year, especially this year, is a time of transition for us.  You begin preparing for the winter snows, the frosts, and cold.  This time of year we are busy outside, we go to the 'bluff' to pic fresh ....you name it...apples, peaches, pears, cherries, berries, etc.  I have learned a new art....canning! 
I wound up with 60 lbs of peaches this year! 60 lbs! Not even I can get creative enough to bake all those peaches into some sort of delicious treat.  My girlfriend suggested I invest in a water bath pot, and some jars.  I thought, this will be a great learning experience for my kids.  So off I went to purchase the supplies.  Holy Mooly, a word of advise: NEVER wait until canning season to purchase your supplies.  Even Wal Mart was picked clean.  I managed to find the supplies I needed and headed home to get started.  I researched, made phone calls, even my neighbor came over to give pointers.  You see, I like to know what I am doing before I...well....do.

The girls are eagerly awaiting the first batch of peaches!
It was a learning curve, I wont deny that, and sticky...just plain sticky...partially because my girls "slipped" the peaches for me.  Lots of peachy juiciness running down arms and elbows to the floor below.  Husband wasn't to thrilled with the mess (that is until he later had a chance to try the finished product...now he's hooked). 
I went with a light syrup
  • 1 Cup Sugar to 3 cups water
    • I use organic evaporated cane juice (the big bag from Costco)
                                                                   While the girls slipped I sliced, coated in lemon juice and threw them in the awaiting syrup pot, where I simmered them for 10 minutes, then into the awaiting jars.... I washed my jars ahead of time in the dishwasher and left them in so they stayed warm.  From there into the hot bath for another 20 minutes.  In some jars I sprinkled pumpkin spice seasoning for future pies and crisps.  I happened to make a crisp for breakfast this morning...oh my yummy awesomeness! The pumpkin spice had infused into the peaches, add some cinnamon strussel topping...(recipe below)
All in all we did pretty good.  24 quart jars full to the brim, some frozen slices, and a yummy large crisp.  Good Stuff! 

The "fruit" of our labor....bad pun I know.
Pumpkin Spice Peach Strussel

1 quart canned or fresh sliced peaches (my peaches are already "infused" with the pumpkin spice)
1 tbsp pumpkin spice

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
cinnamon to your liking (I use about 1 1/2 tbsp)
stick of butter

mix the pumpkin spice with your sliced peaches and place in your pan juices and all. Its easiest to just sprinkle it across the top then give it a good toss.
Mix topping, melt butter and pour into topping mixing until wet.  Sprinkle on top of peaches and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until topping is crunchy. 
Let sit for about 10 minutes and serve!


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