For this month’s can jam topic, stone fruit, I decided to get a little crazy. The recipe I was looking for, essentially a drunken stone fruit pickle, was difficult to come by. But here’s the thing–I sort of got addicted to eating peaches and bourbon together this summer, in crisps, in pies, and in cobblers…oh the cobblers. I got addicted to the flavor combo in a crack addict sort of way, and I can’t let it go, not even for this challenge. The pairing is so damn tasty, I just can’t leave my precious bourbon out.
I was totally planning on adding some bourbon to my white peach butter, which I also canned, but I forgot to add it until the jars were in the canner, and then sheer laziness kicked in. There was no way I was going to unearth the molten hot cans, dump their contents back into a pot, add bourbon, adjust flavor and consistency, all while cleaning and re-sterilizing the cans so I could re-can the stuff. HELL NO.
More after the jump.
And I was sort of already hooked on the idea of doing a peach pickle, so combine that with the crack-like affects eating peach and bourbon together has on me, and it’s pretty obvious– I HAD to include bourbon. I did some research, and from what I could tell, as long as you do not adjust the amount of liquid, sugar or vinegar in a pickle recipe, substituting liquids shouldn’t be a problem. If someone knows differently, please let me know. The recipe I used called for water, which I substituted with bourbon.
I combined this recipe with the spices from another recipe I found online, creating a spicy, sweet bourbon pickled peach recipe. The pickling syrup tasted awesome, so I can’t wait to try the actual pickle in a month. And just in case the experiment doesn’t work, I made a mere three jars.
Now, getting your fruit pickles drunk is no easy task, and I could not include all my tips in the recipe, so I’m included a few extra tips right here. You can not just dump the bourbon on the fruit and expect it to get drunk. Hell no. Especially if it’s fancy fruit. I suggest you start by talking nicely to your fruit, make friends with it. Maybe put on some smooth jazz to ease any friction, and hey, a nice back rub never hurts. Do what you can to relax the fruit before you drown it in hard liquor and have your way with it.
It’s what a classy canner would do.
So here’s a question for all you fellow canners out there…noticed the space at the bottom of my jars? No matter how much I pack the fruit in, be it peaches or cherries, after the fruit pickles are processed, there is always a gap at the bottom of my jars because the fruit softens, and it drives me crazy. Does anyone know how to prevent that?
And here’s a peep at my white peach butter too—
Recipe: Leena’s Spicy Bourbon Peach Pickles
Summary: Inspired by recipes from Small Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and a Better Homes and Garden refrigerator pickle.
- 2 pounds of peaches, peeled, halved and sliced
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 1/8 cup water
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- small piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and cut into thin slices
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp yellow mustard seed
- 6 cloves
- Place the vinegar, bourbon, water and sugar in a pot over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Add spices, lower heat, cover pot and boil gently for 5-7 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and place one in each clean, hot sterilized jar.
- Pack the sliced peaches into the jars as tightly as possible. Cover with pickling syrup, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace at the top of the jar. Process 15 minutes for half pint jars. Makes 2-3 half pint jars.
Microformatting by hRecipe.