How to Make Homemade Peach or Nectarine Honey - Easily!
Homemade peach honey has the consistency of honey, is sweet and flavorful and, since you can either use juice or peelings from making peach jam or canning peaches. is a good way to use all of the fruit! It is generally made with fruit juice and sugar, but you can use other sweeteners, like Stevia (or if you prefer, Splenda) or honey from bees. Making and canning your own Peach honey or Nectarine honey is so easy. Here's how to do it, in simple steps and completely illustrated. I'll discuss peaches below, but you can substitute peaches, peaches or nectarines! Any variations will be spelled out in the directions inside the pectin.
For more information about stone fruits, see Peach Picking Tips
And for a variation, using peach mango juice, see this page on blogspot!
See this page for blueberry jam. this one for fig jam and for berry jams, see strawberry, blackberry, raspberry jam For easy applesauce or apple butter directions, click on these links. I've got some other pages for specific types of jam and butters, too, see this page .
- 8 cups peach juice (either fresh, from washed, sound pieces and peelings from fruit used for preserves, pickles, etc - OR canned peach juice)
- Jar funnel ($2 at Target, other big box stores, and often grocery stores; and available online - see this page) or order it as part of the kit with the jar grabber.
- At least 1 large pot ; I prefer 16 to 20 quart Teflon lined pots for easy cleanup.
- Large spoons and ladles
- 1 Canner (a huge pot to sanitize the jars after filling (about $30 to $35 at mall kitchen stores, sometimes at big box stores and grocery stores.). Note: we sell canners and supplies here, too - at excellent prices - and it helps support this web site!
- Ball jars (Grocery stores, like Publix, Kroger, Safeway carry them, as do some big box stores - about $7 per dozen 8 ounce jars including the lids and rings)
- Lids - thin, flat, round metal lids with a gum binder that seals them against the top of the jar. They may only be used once.
- Rings - metal bands that secure the lids to the jars. They may be reused many times.
- Jar grabber (to pick up the hot jars)- Big box stores and grocery stores sometimes carry them; and it is available online - see this page . It's a tremendously useful to put jars in the canner and take the hot jars out (without scalding yourself!). The kit sold below has everything you need, and at a pretty good price:
Peach (and/or Nectarine) Honey-making Directions
Step 1 - Pick the Peaches! (or buy them already picked)
Step 2 - How much fruit?
It takes about 5 to 6 cups of peach peelings, which takes at least several dozen peaches to get this many peelings. It does require a LOT of peelings, as they cook down!
Step 3 -Wash the fruit and sort!
I'm sure you can figure out how to wash the fruit in a colander of plain cold water.
Then you need to pick out and remove any bits of stems, leaves and soft or mushy fruit. It is easiest to do this in a large bowl of water and gently run your
hands through the fruit as they float. With your fingers slightly apart, you will easily feel any soft or mushy fruit get caught in your fingers.
Then just drain off the water!
Step 4 - Peeling the Peaches
Peaches and nectarines should be peeled, as their skins can be tough / chewy in jam. Peaches have such thin skins, you really don't need to peel them.
For those you want to peel, here's a great trick that works with many fruits and vegetables with skins (like tomatoes): just dip the fruit in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds.
Remove from the water using a slotted spoon and put into a large bowl or pot of cold water and ice.
The skins will easily slide off now IF the peaches are ripe! The more unripe they are, the longer you'll need to heat them. You can now eat the peaches, or
can them or make peach jam. etc.
For this recipe, we only need the peelings. Save all washed, sound pieces and peelings from the peaches. (if you are peeling the peaches in advance, keep the peelings refrigerated until ready to use).
I mentioned in the ingredients section that you can use canned peach juice. That's true, but it is much more difficult. The peelings add a lot of solid particulates which help the "honey" to thicken.
Step 5 - Make the juice from the peelings
Cover the peelings with water and slowly cook in a covered saucepan until they are soft. Then put in a cheesecloth bag and press to remove all juice. You may then drip the juice through a jelly bag and measure; or use the juice that was squeezed right from the cheescloth. The goal is to remove large chunks.
Step 6 - Wash the jars and lids
Now's a good time to get the jars ready, so you won't be rushed later. The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle, the water bath processing will sanitize them as well as the contents! If you don't have a dishwasher with a sanitize cycle, you can wash the containers in hot, soapy water and rinse, then sanitize the jars by boiling them 10 minutes, and keep the jars in hot water until they are used.
NOTE: If unsanitized jars are used, the product should be processed for 5 more minutes. However, since this additional processing can result in a poor set (runny jam), it’s better to sanitize the jars.
Put the lids into a pan of hot, but not quite boiling water (that's what the manufacturer's recommend) for 5 minutes, and use the magnetic "lid lifter wand" to pull them out.
Leave the jars in the dishwasher on "heated dry" until you are ready to use them. Keeping them hot will prevent the jars from breaking when you fill them with the hot jam.
Lids: put the very hot (but not quite boiling; around 180 F, steaming water is fine)
water for at least several minutes; to soften up the gummed surface and clean the lids. I just leave them in there, with the heat on very low, until I need them!
Need lids, rings and replacement jars?
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Step 7 - Cook
Place the juice in the saucepan and heat over medium to high heat. When it boils vigorously, add the sugar at the rate of one-half as much sugar as juice. Boil it down rapidly until it achieves the consistency of honey.
Or you can cook it down in a Crockpot overnight, on low!