Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Peach and Mixed Fruit syrups

As promised, I've made some peach syrup from the leftover liquids from canning some peaches.

If you remember, I had 3 bowls of different leftover items: peach skins/pits, anti-browning water (made from water and Vitamin C), and sugar water.

I combined all three and cooked it for about 1 hour.  Once it cooled slightly, I did the first of two strainings.  This was to mainly get the large pieces of fruit and pits separated from the juice.  Then, I started straining through a cloth to remove the fine suspended solids.

As you can see, the pulp is very fine and it clogs the cloth very easily.  I would have to rinse the cloth quite frequently.  Once all the juice was strained, I measured a ratio of juice to sugar (2:1) into a large pot.  I had 3 litres of juice (which is approximately 12 cups) so I added 6 cups of sugar.

On the side of the pot is my candy thermometer.  To get a nice syrup, I shoot for around 220ºF.  In the past, it used to take me about 30-45 minutes to get there, but I'm finding I'm needing closer to an hour now.  I think it has to do with me being at elevation.  Regardless, you want to boil the mixture down until it reaches a nice syrupy consistency when you put a spoonful on a side plate.  It will cool quickly on the plate and you will be able to tell if it is thick enough.  If you cook it too long, it will turn into more of a jelly so it's not a big deal.  It will still melt on a hot waffle or a pancake.

As you get closer to the syrup stage, you must start keeping a careful eye on the heat.  As you get close, the mixture will start to foam.  If you aren't paying attention, it can boil over.  That really sucks because trying to get burnt sugar off your stovetop is a major pain (ask me how I know  LOL).

As you can see from the about picture the colour is quite deep now, and the syrup is very clear.  Off it goes into jars for processing.  Syrup needs 5 minutes in a boiling water bath (I process for 10 minutes because I'm at elevation).

So, from 3 litres of juice and 6 cups of sugar, I end up with three 500-ml jars.

I also made some mixed fruit syrup, today.  I keep a Ziploc bag in my freezer for fruit scraps.  I toss it all in there, cores, peels, etc.  Now that the bag was full, it was time to make some syrup.  First, the fruit is covered with water in a large pot and cooked for 1 hour.  Then, I went through the same process as described above.  Following are the pictures of the Mixed Fruit syrup process.

At the end of the day, I have 3 jars each of Peach Syrup and Mixed Fruit Syrup.