Monday, August 31, 2009

i think i can - peach pie filling and other canning accomplishments

I have been a canning maniac this month. Not that I've had time for any of it. I've stayed up until the wee hours of the night washing, skinning, slicing, boiling. . . Sometimes I forget how much work canning really is when I'm ordering huge boxes of summer fruit. Usually the deal through our group buy is just too good to pass up. Like 25 lbs. of peaches for $7.50. Seriously, how could I not can this year? It's been a marathon push, but with only 24 lbs. of pears to go, I think I can can a little more!

Out of this crazy canning spree the Three Birdies have collectively canned cherry pie filling, apricots, raspberry jam, strawberry jam, plum sauce, peaches, peach pie filling, salsa, pizza sauce, and more. And Jessica even used her dehydrator to make some yummy fruit leather! As tired as I get of spending countless hours on my feet in a steamy kitchen, you can't beat the taste of home-canned fruits in the dead of winter. That's really why I do it. It really makes me and my family happy.

This simple fresh veggie salsa was really good, but it would've been a lot easier if I had a food processor (what a great Christmas gift that would make--hint, hint, Christian). Chopping all those vegetables by hand took for-ever!

These are my half-pints of pizza sauce. I found the recipe at This was really easy and the half pints are just the right size for two homemade pizzas! I'm also loving the new silver lids and rings from Ball. Look how cute the design is on the top of the lids!

And these new jar shapes (also from Ball brand) are so cute for jam. Just add a ribbon and a tag and they're ready for gifting!

I'll be canning these sweeties tonight. I mostly just do quarts, but last year I also tried Ball's recipe for pear butter. It's yummy on toast or English muffins.

Last year we told you about Stacy's awesome peach pie filling, but she couldn't find the recipe! It disappeared for a while, but we finally found a copy of it online and can finally share it with you. I made up a batch and prettied-up the jar for a thank-you gift. Super easy and sweet. Just layer patterned paper on coordinating card stock and wrap it around the jar. I used Tacky Tape or Glue Dots to secure it. Then tie a pretty bow and attach a coordinating tag. I also traced the inside of the ring on patterned paper and cut it out and adhered it to the top.

So, without further ado, here is a link our beloved peach pie filling recipe. It comes to you from, a wonderful pick-your-own produce guide and canning resource. They are wonderful--so much good info on their site. I made pie-in-a-jar with this filling this week, and man was it delish! So good that my husband and I each had a half-pint of pie for breakfast. (I know, we're terrible, but it was THAT good.)

Canning is a wonderful skill to have--it helps us to be self-sufficient and frugal. We're lucky enough to have friends, family, and a church organization that have taught us these skills, but if you don't have these resources, there are tons of books and Web sites that offer step-by-step instructions for all types of canning recipes. We especially recommend the Ball Blue Book of Preserving. It's a good canning "bible." If you haven't tried canning but would like to, we suggest starting small--watch for bulk orders from your local farmers and try at just one type of fruit this year. Have any canning accomplishments you'd like to share? We're always looking for new ideas, so share it with us in the comments!

It's been a lot of work, but I love breathing a sigh of accomplishment as I stack my jars in the pantry, ready and waiting for a crisp winter day. I think I'm going to make myself a little present after the pears are done to congratulate myself on all that hard work. Can you guess what it will be?

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29 Responses to “i think i can - peach pie filling and other canning accomplishments”

Renee•Candy Stick Lane said...

FABULOUS pics and post! Can't wait to see what the new oven mitt looks like! Im sure it will be fab to! XO

Kim said...

I've been canning salsa lately, but your pizza sauce intrigues me!! I'm just wondering, how does it taste?

Lo said...

yum, yum, and more yum :)

Annalyn said...

This was such a fun post to read. I am trying to do another day of salsa canning this next week. The link to your salsa recipe didn't come up for me...anyway, I couldn't believe your price for, do you know any hook - ups like that down here in Draper??
thanks! Erin Johanson

Allie said...

Way to go an all that canning!
And ummm....I need that apron.

Tiffany said...

Such cute jars - would be great gifts. Canning is hard to do. So good job to you.

Christy said...

hey question for you regarding pie in a jar. I wanted to make that for my dad so that he could have just a piece of pie when he wanted it and I was thinking he could just pop it in the microwave when he wanted one. But then I thought that the crust might get soggy if I made them and then froze them... do you ever make them and save them? And if so, how?

Lindsey,Alyssa and Carly said...

WOW- $7.50?? Where'd you get a deal like that. I paid $29.00 for a 'lug' or case of peaches (about 48 peaches, not sure how many lbs). Youth for Christ sells them for a fundraiser and they come ea summer on a truck from Colorado. First time canning them, but next summer maybe the pie filling too! Thanks for the recipe- can't BELIVE how much canning you've done. Enjoy your blog!

tracie said...

i love your blog. i check what you little birdies are doing daily. i would LOVE to can peaches, but they're so expensive here in Pittsburgh. I do have concord grapes just about ready to be picked.

thanks so much for sharing!
tracie from pittsbugh!

feel free to check out my blog @

MMW said...

Help Help Please. I am drooling over your pizza sauce recipe - and WANT to can it too. But I read somewhere that olive oil should not be used in canning because of the risk of botulism. Is that right? Did you freeze your pizza sauce OR did it work out well "water-bath-processed" and "stored on the shelf"?

I also picked 48 lbs of peaches today. And I'm surfing for peach recipes right now. Yummy looking peach pie filling.

Thanks Little B.S. xoxo MMW

Becky said...

All I can say is YUMMY! YUMMY YUMMY!

Small House said...

Thank you for the recipe, and great ideas.

Staci @ Designing and Motherhood said...

Hi! I just found your site and now am following. I have been canning like a bandit too. I am getting ready to do salsa and peaches. So this was very helpful info. I love the papers on the jars. I haven't tackled pie filling but will with my peaches. I have lots to learn. Check out my canning and gardening adventures on my blog. Take care. Staci

Deanna said...

As an extension agent who LOVES your site, and instructor on food preservation, I would recommend in addition to your fab recommendations the site. It's sweetness on paper if you can. :)

They'll have an updated 2009 version in November.

Happy Canning!

P.S. LOVE your pictures!

Lisita said...

Where did you get your peaches this year? I was in on a group order last year but it didn't pan out this year. Would love to know your source if you are willing. I might be too late but it's still worth a try. Thanks!

Jani Jo said...

Kudos on all of your canning! I agree it's shear madness, but totally worth it. One you should try if you have extras in your garden, is sweet/hot 'pepper jelly'. This is our family's absolute favorite. It's what I take to every dinner party and potluck:)

Morgan said...

We just canned pears, Jams (pear, apple, and blackberry), and apple pie filling. It was a lot of fun, but very exhausting! The peeling took more time than anything else.

I'm so excited to have "from the farm" fruit all winter long! It was worth all the hard work!

Plus, making the apple pie filling made the kitchen smell SO good!

Becca said...

wow, that is great. i have been wanting to can peaches for awhile, but can't find good deals. Where did you get yours or do you know how to find a good deal for Iowa? I did my first canning today by myself, it was pickles...I am excited to do more.

sewhipbaby said...

Love the scalloped label on the pear butter. What did you use to make it?? It's such a perfect shape!!

Carrie said...

what a great post! when we moved down to florida from Seattle, I was all too excited to start making my favorite strawberry lavender honey jam. We went to the field to pick the strawberries when I was told that I missed the season by 4 months! Talk about dissappointment!! Now we're moving back to Seattle--and I can't wait to can this next year and use these recipes;)

Connie said...

Thank you, thank, you, thank you for this post! I am new to canning this year and have been looking for a few good canning recipes. I love the variety.

Ashleigh said...


Great post.

2 comments - 1 question and 1 recipe.

First the question - I live in the Netherlands and can't find normal canning jars with metal lids - just the all glass ones with the hinged glass lid. It has a rubber seal and a metal latchy thing. Can I do normal canning in this kind of jar if I just boil them to clean them? Anyone know??

Second, the recipe for some very tasty jam that'll help you use up pears & carrots. It's from Cheryl (obviously) at a B&B in Canada:


1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
1 1/2 cups peeled, chopped pears
1 can crushed pineapple, un-drained
3 tbsp bottled lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp (each ) ground nutmeg and ground cloves
6 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
1 pkg of liquid fruit pectin (57 grams)

Combine carrots, pears, pineapple (including juice), lemon juice, and spices in a stainless steel saucepan. Stir frequently and bring mixture to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Boil gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Measure and set aside the sugar. Whisk Fruit Pectin into the carrot mixture until dissolved. Stir frequently and bring to a boil over high heat. Add sugar. Stir constantly and return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for one minute. Remove from heat and skim off the foam. Ladle into hot sterilized jars, following the headspace recommendations, heat processing and cooling procedures.
Makes about 6 x 250 gram jars.

{amy k.} said...

I was just thinking I wish I would can some salsa and fruit.... and here you are with this post! Thanks for the extra inspiration!

katy said...

wow - i just stumbled across your blog yesterday and LOVE IT!!!

I live in Seattle and was wondering - where do you find peaches for so cheap???

Crafty Mama said...

Like everyone else I need to know, where do you get those fabulous peaches?

family said...

I love your blog!!! You really speak the right language at the right time. My girlfriends and I are canning this week - tomatos and peaches! YEAH! Thanks for the recipes - from Buffalo!

Kathleen W. said...

I canned some salsa last month, and found a really easy trick for peeling all the tomatoes. Freeze them! Then cut an "X" on one end, drop them in a bowl of warm water and they peel off easily. Plus they're easier to chop, since the juices don't run all over. Here's my canning post on it

I'm going to make some applesauce later this month, like I did last fall. You're tempting me to do peach filling too.

Natalie said...

ahhh canning is so intimidating. one of these days.... one of these days i really will learn the world of canning. you do an awesome job though! everything looks great and all your links and tutorials are great. love this little blog. i just joined the blogging world a little bit ago and can't believe how many crafty and creative people are out there- too fun!


Kristina said...

I know this is an old post, but I just found it, and I had to share--my mom taught me to can last summer and I did orange marmalade, strawberry jam, strawberry banana jam (my great-grandmother's recipe--YUM), pear butter, etc., and salsa a few times. And yeah, ever since, I've been hinting at my husband that I want a food processor! Lol. Love your guys' site.

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