Spiced Peaches

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2-3 pounds of large peaches or 8 pounds of small peaches

3 1/4 cups sugar

5 cups water

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp vanilla extract

Wash the peaches. Peel by dipping them in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds, then plunging them into ice water to cool quickly. Slip off the peel, halve the fruit, or slices, then pit and scrape the cavity to remove the red fibers, if desired (these fibers tend to turn brown during storage).

As the peaches are halved, prevent darkening by placing the fruit directly into an anti-darkening solution

ANTI-DARKENING TREATMENT (to protect fruit's colors):
An easy way to prevent darkening is to slice the fruit directly into water containing 1 teaspoon of ascorbic acid powder per gallon of water. Or crush and dissolve six 500-milligram vitamin C tablets per gallon of water. There are also commercial anti-darkening products on the market; just follow package directions.

Cook Meanwhile, combine the sugar and water in a large pan. until the sugar dissolves. Add the Cinnamon and vanilla to the syrup.

Drain the peaches. Blanch the peaches one layer at a time in the syrup only until the peaches are heated through, about 3 minutes.

Pack each jar with hot peaches (cavity-side down) or slices, leaving 1/2-inch of head space.

Bring the syrup just to a simmer, then remove from heat and ladle the hot syrup into one jar at a time, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Remove air bubbles by running a flat non-metallic spatula down the sides. Wipe jar rim with a clean, damp cloth. Attach lid. Fill and close remaining jars.

Process in a boiling water canner for 25 minutes (30 minutes at 1,000 to 3,000 feet; 35 minutes at 3,000 to 6,000 feet; 40 minutes at 6,000 to 8,000 feet).