I spent the weekend peeling and pitting a hundred pounds of peaches for canning and was left with overflowing bowls of peach peels, skins and off cuts. Usually we give our kitchen scraps to the chickens and rabbits, but this was just TOO much. I’m not sure if a chicken can get a bad belly, but if anything will do it, peach peels will.
But, I couldn’t “just” compost. I mean, the chickens would get them anyway if I did that, and I didn’t want to toss them, so I looked beyond their browned edges and slimy bits and saw some beauty.
I tossed the whole mess, peach peels and pits included, into a huge pot. Added water, a bit of sugar (not much!) and simmered it on the stove for a few hours.
I was left with this epic peachy stew.
From there, we strained, and smashed and worked it so that any obvious “particles” were removed.
We passed it through the strainer about 6 times – working to get the sauce as clear as possible. In the end we had about 14 cups of liquid from almost 100 peaches.
We seasoned with sugar and lemon juice, added pectin (according to the package instructions) and canned it as jelly. It ended up being light and delicate, and perfect for a buttery english muffin.
BUT, we still had a leftover MASH of peach skins to deal with… still too much to hand out to the hens.
This was added into mason jars, and topped with VODKA and sugar. It will sit in a dark corner for 2 months, being turned every few days until it becomes a (to die for) peach liqueur, perfecting for making cocktails or drinking straight up!
In the end, from our 100 peaches, we got 2 dozen jars of peach jelly, 24 1L jars of canned peaches, and 6 1L jars of “peach liqueur”… oh, and 100 peach pits and NO other waste.
I think we used all we could this time.