Inspiring DIY projects, beauty recipes and advice to green your daily routine.

What To Do Peach Peels & Pits? Make Peach Jelly!

Posted by on Jul 25, 2013 in Food & Recipes | 8 comments

Peach Jelly With Vanilla BeanWhen planning to can honey spiced peaches this year I also wanted to develop a plan for using the leftover peels and pits, so I decided to make vanilla peach jelly. Fruit peels often contain a lot of pectin so jelly is an obvious choice when trying to figure out what to do with them.

An internet search revealed an extensive list of peach peel and pit jelly recipes, but none were specific enough for me. I’m new to canning and even newer to using pectin so I need the details that most recipes left out, such as how much pectin to use (most said 1 package, but that is not a measurement), head space, processing time, and how much jelly to expect from the recipe.

So I ended up doing a lot of reading and research on jelly making to cobble together this recipe and, thankfully, it works! Since I ended up with 52 ounces of delicious peach jelly with vanilla bean, and I only had to spend $3 on the pectin to make it, I think this recipe is a total winner and I hope you do too.

Spice Up Your Peach Jelly

Traditional peach jelly is delicious, but I decided to add the extra vanilla bean I had from making blueberry jam with vanilla bean last week. The vanilla bean enhances the fragrance and flavor profile, but the black vanilla bean seeds will be visible in the otherwise translucent, light orange jelly.

If you don’t want flecks in your jelly, but still want to spice it up, you could thinly slice an inch or two of fresh ginger and tie it in a cheesecloth. Add the ginger to the initial boiling of the peaches, let it sit in the water overnight, and keep it in during the second boiling.

Tips For Straining The Juice

Canning funnel turned into a juice strainerI wanted my jelly to be as clear as possible to show off the vanilla bean seeds. Since my metal strainer wasn’t fine enough to remove all the tiny peach bits, I rigged up my canning funnel to be a juice strainer.

To do the same, double up your cheesecloth and cut a piece large enough to cover the bottom of the funnel. Use an elastic band to secure the cheesecloth around the bottom of the funnel. Pour your juice through the strainer, one cup at a time. When the funnel starts to clog with peach bits and it’s difficult to get the juice to flow through, turn the funnel upside down in your sink and backwash it with running water.

As an added bonus, my funnel handle fit snugly under the handle of the pot to create a hands-free strainer.

A Personal Decision: Do You Want To Use Peach Pits?

Like the seeds of many fruits, peach pits contain trace amounts of cyanide. Although it would take massive amounts of peach pits to produce enough cyanide to poison a person, this could be a valid concern for parents of small children or those with multiple exposure sources. I’m noting this fact so you are aware and may choose to leave the peach pits out of your jam if you have concerns about it.

My decision was to use only the whole pits because when the hard out covering of the pit remains in tact, it’s unlikely to release cyanide.

Nicole knows making small changes for the greener add up over time and hopes you’re inspired to make some changes of your own after reading her articles. She focuses on easy, green, homemade personal products and green living tips for city dwellers. Nicole lives in Pittsburgh, PA and you can find her on twitter at @_nlg_.

Like this post? Subscribe to our email list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest for more green living tips!

8 Comments

Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Jann Mays

    Problems: 1) You listed 3 packages of Pectin… liquid or powdered? 2) Why didn’t you include lemon juice in your ingredients since it is the first thing listed in the recipe? What if I was ready to start making jelly and didn’t realize I needed lemon juice as well and was out? And, 3) I thought you were making jelly. Re-read your last line.
    Still, thank you for posting a jelly recipe using the peels. My mother used to do that and most recipes I found didn’t make use of the peels.

  2. KAREN

    1.Love your recipe. 2..pits and peels cooking as I TYPE. 3..SMELLS GREAT!

  3. Kristi

    I’ve looked all over and haven’t found an answer so I figured I’d come back here and ask, do you have to let the mixture sit all night or just 8 hours? I mean if you make it in the morning surely you could finish up that evening?

    • Nicole

      What you are trying to do is flavor the water so you have a great tasting jelly. If the water is flavorful after 8 hours then go for it. To help the flavors infuse more quickly you can also try stirring the mixture regularly.

  4. Aly

    I made this recipe a few weeks back- lovely taste and beautiful color. I now want to try it with nectarines but most of the other recipes I’ve seen dont call for hot water canning.
    The only complaint I had about this jelly was that it was a bit thin- now Im wondering if it was the canning that caused that- what do you think?

Leave a Reply