Spiced Refrigerator Pickled Peaches
Some of us grew up enjoying pickled peaches, while others may find them unfamiliar and odd. This classic Southern food first appeared in a cookbook in the 1700s. Both sweet and tart, serve pickled peaches alongside ham and turkey, or diced and spooned over ice cream, pancakes or waffles.
- 4 pounds peaches (freestone preferred; choose peaches that are ripe and slightly soft to touch)
- 8 cinnamon sticks
- ½ teaspoon per pint crushed red pepper, optional
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 2 teaspoons whole cloves
- 4 teaspoons apple or pumpkin pie spice
Peel peaches and cut into halves or wedges and then place into 8 pint or 4 quart-sized jars. Add cinnamon sticks (1 per pint or 2 per quart jar). If using red pepper for a bit of a kick, add to jars as well.
Heat sugars, vinegar, water and spices to a low boil and cook for about 10 minutes to thicken into a thin syrup. Remove from heat.
Carefully ladle the hot syrup with spices over peaches (leaving ½-inch head space if canning).
Refrigerate and enjoy in a day or two once spices and peaches marry. Keep in refrigerator up to a few months. Or, if you’d rather, can per industry recommendations (10-minute water bath).
During off season, you can make these using canned peaches for homemade Christmas gifts!
Once you have enjoyed all the peaches, use the remaining syrup as you would other syrups or just add more peaches.