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.

Ingredients

Equipment

 

Peach (and/or Nectarine) Honey-making Directions

This example shows you how to make fruit honey from peaches (and other stone fruits)!

If you are starting with peach juice, skip to step 6.

Step 1 - Pick the Peaches! (or buy them already picked)

It's fun to go pick your own and you can obviously get better quality ones! (Damsons are shown in the photo at left)

 

 


 

 

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), itís 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?

Get them all here, delivered direct to your home, at the best prices on the internet!

 

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.

If it doesn't thicken, you can mix 1/3 of a packet of pectin with 1/3 cup of sugar and mix it in.  That will thicken it.

Or you can cook it down in a Crockpot overnight, on low!

 

 

 

 

Step 8 - Fill the jars and put the lid and rings on

Fill them to within ľ-inch of the top, wipe any spilled jam off the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them. Then put them into the boiling water canner! 

This is where the jar tongs and lid lifter come in really handy!

 

 

 

 

Step 9 - Process the jars in the boiling water bath

Keep the jars covered with at least 2 inches of water. Keep the water boiling. In general, boil them for 5 minutes.  I say "in general" because you have to process (boil) them longer at higher altitudes than sea level, or if you use larger jars, or if you did not sanitize the jars and lids right before using them.  The directions inside every box of pectin will tell you exactly.  The directions on the pectin tend to be pretty conservative.  Clemson University says you only need to process them for 5 minutes.  I usually hedge my bets and start pulling them out after 7 minutes, and the last jars were probably in for 10.  I rarely have a jar spoil, so it must work.

Note: Some people don't even boil the jars; they just ladle it hot into hot jars, put the lids and rings on and invert them, but putting the jars in the boiling water bath REALLY helps to reduce spoilage! To me, it makes little sense to put all the working into making the jam and then not to process the jars to be sure they don't spoil!

 

Step 10 - Remove and cool the jars - Done!

Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight) You can then remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok.

Once cooled, they're ready to store. I find they last up to 12 months. But after about 6 to 8 months, they get darker in color and start to get runny. They still are safe to eat, but the flavor and texture aren't as good. So eat them in the first 6 months after you prepare them!

This recipe closely follows Clemson University's lab tested peach butter recipe.


Other Equipment:

From left to right:

  1. Jar lifting tongs
    to pick up hot jars
  2. Lid lifter
    - to remove lids from the pot
    of boiling water (sterilizing )
  3. Lid
    - disposable - you may only
    use them once
  4. Ring
    - holds the lids on the jar until after
    the jars cool - then you don't need them
  5. Canning jar funnel
    - to fill the jars

You can get all of the tools in a kit here:

Answers to Common Questions

  • Can I use a combination of peelings and peach juice?

    Yes! That's what I often do! You may also add pureed peaches (put them through a food processor or blender)

Comments and Feedback


 

Ball home canning kit water bath canner

Home Canning Kits

Features:

  • Everything you need to get started with waterbath canning (fruits,pickles, jams, jellies, salsa, sauces and tomatoes)
  • 21-1/2 qt. enamel water bath canner
  • Funnel, jar lifter, lid lifter, bubble freer spatula
  • Ball Blue Book

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also s simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if your want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!

Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Usually ships in 1-2 business days

Canning books

Canning & Preserving for Dummies
by Karen Ward
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Usually ships in 24 hours

Click here for more information, reviews, prices on Amazon.com for Canning and Preserving For Dummies




The Ball Blue Book of Preserving

This is THE book on canning! My grandmother used this book when I was a child. It tells you in simple instructions how to can almost anything; complete with recipes for jam, jellies, pickles, sauces, canning vegetables, meats, etc. If it can be canned, this book likely tells you how! Click on the link below for more information and / or to buy (no obligation to buy)

Click here for more information from Amazon.com about the
Ball Blue Book of Preserving



Can't find the equipment? We ship to all 50 states!

Use our Feedback form!

 

Home Canning Kits

This is the same type of  standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids! To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!For more information and current pricing:

Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Usually ships in 1-2 business days

     

Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.

Need lids, rings and replacement jars?  Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes?  Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!

>