For canning peaches allow to every three quarts of fruit four cupfuls of sugar and three quarts of water. Make a syrup with the sugar and water, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
Peel the peaches, pack in sterilized glass jars, and settle the fruit as much as possible. Fill the jars with the boiling syrup.
Place the glass top half way over the jar, but do not put on the rubber. Set the jars in the oven in pans half filled with boiling water. Close the oven door and cook the fruit for fifteen minutes.
Take from the oven, place on the rubbers, fill each jar with the boiling syrup. Fill so full that the scalding liquid runs over, then put on the top and seal.
Set the jars out of a draught* until cooled, then tighten the tops as much as possible.
When the peaches are large they must be cut in halves, and some of the pits left for flavor.
Yellow fleshed peaches. Lye solution. Sugar.
To make the lye solution, use one pound of ninety per cent. lye to three gallons of water. Stir with a stick to dissolve the lye in the water, and put on to boil in a very large porcelain-lined kettle.
Place the whole peaches, one layer only, in a wire basket, dip into the boiling solution and move the basket up and down to insure even action on all of the fruit. Allow the peaches to remain in the boiling lye-water exactly one-half minute.
Excepting with very green fruit the skin will dissolve immediately.
When the peaches have been immersed for the one-half minute, lift the basket, plunge it into a large dish of cold water, and wash the peaches thoroughly under running water. Pack as many halves of peaches as the jar will hold, overlapping them carefully. Cover with syrup and cook in a washboiler in the usual way. Then carry the jars to a table, remove the covers, throw a clean cloth over them to protect from mold spores and let them stand for twenty minutes.
Empty several of the jars into a stoneware bowl, and with these peaches refill the other jars, pressing in the fruit gently and letting the surplus syrup overflow. Readjust the covers, place the jars again in the washboiler, just bring to the boil and remove at once. Screw on the covers tightly.
The peaches are dipped whole into the lye, so that the cut pulp will not come into contact with the alkali solution.