Honey can be used for more than sweetening your tea and making baked goods. You can preserve foods with it too. Because of this resilient food’s natural acidity, its lack of water and the presence of hydrogen peroxide it creates a stable environment and allows the sticky treat to last forever.
Honey is a great way to preserve summer fruits. One of my favorite recipes is to pack peaches in honey and can them. They truly are delicious. For this recipe, I like to use a lighter honey so that the flavor is not overpowering. In general, the lighter the color of honey, the milder the flavor. Many like to use clover or orange blossom honey when canning fruit; however, feel free to use what you have.
2-3/4 cups – water, divided
1/4 cup – lemon juice
5 lbs. – peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into wedges
1-1/2 cups – honey
3 tablespoons – vanilla extract
6 small – strips lemon zest
In a large bowl, mix 1/4 cup water and lemon juice. Stir fruit in gently, coating all pieces. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring honey and remaining water to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Cover pan to keep contents hot.
Pack fruit gently into 6 hot sterilized pint jars, filling to 1/4 inch from top of jar, and place a piece of lemon zest in each jar.
Fill jars with honey mixture up to 1/4 inch from tops. Wipe rims of jars; top with lids. Screw on bands.
Place jars on rack in canning kettle of hot water, adding water if necessary to bring water level to 1 inch above tops of jars. Bring water to a rolling boil; boil for 25 minutes. Remove jars carefully and cool on a wire rack. *Apricots or nectarines may be substituted.