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.
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.