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Sun-Cooked Peach Preserves

Sun-Cooked Peach Preserves

Serves: Makes 4 to 5 half-pint (8-ounce) jars


6 cups peeled, sliced peaches (about 6 large, ripe, but still slightly firm peaches)

4 cups granulated sugar

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Place the peach slices, sugar, and lemon juice in a 2-quart stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Stir to combine. Let the mixture rest 30 minutes to let juices seep out of the peaches and so the sugar can dissolve.

Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and let the mixture simmer 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat.

Turn the peaches and juice into a clean 2-quart glass casserole dish with a glass lid or a glass bowl on top of which you can place a clean sheet of glass or glass plate. Cover the dish with the lid or plate. Place on a table outdoors for at least 6 hours of full sun daily. Stir once or twice a day.

At the end of each day, bring the peaches inside and refrigerate covered. Depending on the amount of liquid in the peaches and the intensity of the sun, the preserves should come together in 2 to 3 days. The peach slices should look translucent and the juices should thicken, although they will not thicken as much as commercial peach preserves.

Pack the preserves into 4 to 5 sterilized (run them through a dishwasher cycle) half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace at the top. Secure with sterilized lids and jar rims. Refrigerate. Or, if the preserves are for family enjoyment, just transfer to a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap before refrigerating.

These preserves will keep unopened in the fridge for up to 3 months. Once opened, they will keep for 2 to 3 weeks.

This recipe was submitted by Anne Byrn as part of her July 2017 story, How to make sun-cooked, Nashville-style peach preserves.