Make old-fashioned spiced peaches & homemade preserves with these vintage recipes

How to make old-fashioned spiced peaches in this vintage jam recipe

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How to make spiced peaches and peach preserves: Tips from 1918

Unless the materials used are good, you cannot expect perfect results. Discard all imperfect and over-ripe fruits, and the vegetables used should be up to standard.

In spicing and pickling fruits and vegetables, use only the best cider vinegar. If too strong, it is better to weaken it with water than to buy weak vinegar, which always lacks in flavor.

Whole spices are better than the ground spices, as they retain their strength longer. If ground spice is used, it should be freshly ground.

It is quite an art in combining different fruits so as to get a variety. This also often means quite a saving, since cheaper fruits may be combined with some of the more expensive kinds with the most satisfactory results.

How to make old-fashioned spiced peaches in this vintage jam recipe

Old-fashioned spiced peaches or jam

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

A vintage recipe from 1904


  • 6 pounds of peaches
  • 3-1/2 pounds of granulated sugar
  • 1 pint of vinegar
  • 1/2 pint of water
  • 1 ounce of cinnamon
  • 1/2 ounce of cloves
  • 1 tablespoonful of salt
  • 2 blades of mace


  1. Pour boiling water over the peaches and allow to set a few minutes, then drain and remove the skins.
  2. Tie the spices loosely in a cheesecloth bag and place in a kettle with the sugar and vinegar, water and salt.
  3. Boil for a short time, then add the peaches, a few at a time, and cook until tender.
  4. Skim them out carefully into a stone jar, and when all are cooked, pour the syrup over them.
  5. The next morning, drain the syrup from them, bring to a sharp boil again and pour over the fruit.
  6. Repeat once again, let cool, cover closely and store away for winter use.

Tips on making old-fashioned preserves and conserves

The secret of making good preserves is to keep the fruit as whole and as clear as possible.

The syrup should be rather thick before the fruit is added, and then the fruit simmered very slowly in this until clear and transparent; then it should be lifted carefully with a strainer into the glasses or jars.

The syrup should be boiled to the consistency of jelly before being poured over the fruit.

Vintage recipe for spiced peach pickles

Either freestone peaches or clings may be used for this purpose.

Peel, and leave whole. To each seven pounds of fruit, use four pounds of sugar, and one ounce each of cinnamon and allspice, and one teaspoonful each of cloves and mace, one pint of vinegar and one pint of water.

Place the sugar, water and spices tied in a muslin bag together in a preserving kettle, and bring to a boil; then drop in the peaches and cook until heated through.

Let stand in this syrup overnight; then pour off into a kettle, and add the vinegar. Boil down to the consistency of honey, pour over the peaches, arranged in glass jars, and seal.

Classic recipe for stuffed spiced peaches

To make these use large, firm freestone peaches, peel and halve.

In the center of each half, place a bit of gingerroot. Place the two halves together, and keep in place with splints from stick cinnamon.

Proceed as in the above recipe, only omitting the spices. The ginger root and cinnamon give the desired spiciness to these pickles.

Use white vinegar or clear vinegar, and white sugar for these pickles.

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Comments on this story

One Response

  1. One of my fondest memories from my childhood in the 1950s and 60s was eating my mother’s home canned pickled peaches. Her recipe was from her mother. She made only a certain number of pints of them each year, enough to give some away to family and friends, and enough to bring out to our holiday table at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and maybe a couple other times each year like my and my father’s birthday. I am pretty sure she limited the amount she made, so they would be a special treat, and I certainly considered them such. I have my mother’s recipe, and have occasionally made them, and while they are certainly tasty, they somehow just don’t quite seem the same without her touch on them. Must be that ‘mother’s love’ she put into each jar. What I would give to have her once again make me my favorite childhood meal one more time: leg of lamb with garlicky mashed potatoes and her gravy, asparagus, homemade rolls and butter, and a dish of those chilled pickled peaches…. thanks for generating a nice memory!

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