Everyone loves peach pie. Sometimes, though, you want to change it up a little. Thanks to Northwest Cherries and the Washington State Fruit Commission, I ended up with a large amount of peaches to play with this year (and also made the Rum Spiced Peach Butter I blogged about recently), so I decided to can a bunch of pie filling for this winter. Imagine it… fresh peach pie in the middle of winter, with a scattering of blueberries throughout the filling? I’m drooling just thinking about it. So run out, grab yourself some peaches and blueberries, and put some of this away for the winter. It also makes amazing Christmas gifts… if you can bear to part with it!
The basic recipe here started out as the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s peach pie filling recipe. Note for anyone not practiced at canning: there are excellent tips on canning that can be found at the NCHFP website. I cut the sugar in half, and substituted a quarter of the peaches for blueberries. I also added more spices, because in the wise words of Shepherd Book, “The important thing is the spices. A man can live on packaged food from here ’til Judgment Day if he’s got enough rosemary.” So first, you need to peel your peaches. You can blanch them in boiling water for 60 seconds, then make an ‘x’ on the bottom and take the peel off that way, or just use a peeler. Place the sliced fruit into a bowl of citric water (something with fruit preserver or lemon juice or citric acid added). Wash the blueberries and throw them in with the peaches.
Combine water, sugar, clear jel, and spices. Stir and cook over medium high heat until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. (Clear Jel is a brand name for a modified cornstarch thickener. It doesn’t cloud the filling the way normal cornstarch does, doesn’t thicken enough to interfere with the canning process, has no aftertaste, and freezes better. It also won’t break down when you heat it for baking a pie, the way cornstarch will.)
Add lemon juice and boil mixture 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Fold in drained and rinsed peaches and blueberries, cooking for 3 minutes more.
Fill prepared jars without delay, leaving 1 inch head-space, top with sterilized lids and rings, and process in a water bath canner for 30 minutes.
Let settle for 5 minutes after turning off the heat on the canner, then place on a towel or cutting board to cool for 12 to 24 hours.
Peach Blueberry Pie Filling
- 4.5 quarts peaches
- 1.5 quarts blueberries
- 5 1/4 cups cold water
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 cups + 3 tbsp clear jel
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 3/4 cup lemon juice
Prepare water bath canner, jars, lids, and rings as per standard guidelines
Peel peaches by hand or by blanching in boiling water for 60 seconds, making an 'x' in the bottom, and pulling off skin. Remove pit and slice into large pieces. Wash blueberries. Keep in a bowl covered with citric water (using fruit preserver, lemon juice, or citric acid)
Combine water, sugar, clear jel, and spices in a large pot. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until thick and bubbling.
Stir in lemon juice and cook for 1 minute. Rinse fruit, fold in, and cook 3 more minutes.
Fill prepared jars without delay, leaving 1 inch head-space. Place sterilized lids and rings on and turn finger-tight. Process in a boiling water canner for 30 minutes.
Turn off heat, let rest 5 minutes, then use a jar lifter to move to kitchen towels for 12-24 hours while they cool.