The peaches need to be perfectly ripe. If too ripe they will become mushy and if not ripe enough they will never soften in the poaching liquid and will have no flavor. Using free stone peaches is essential for the success of the Poached Peaches. If you have to dig out the stones you will have a sorry looking product. I used 10 peaches because that is what I had on hand. You could do this will less or more peaches. Just be sure that the peaches are emerged in the liquid and not crowding the pan. If you do a lot of peaches, unless you have a very large Dutch oven, you will have to poach in batches.
I do not add any spices to the poaching liquid as I want to taste the deliciousness of the peach without any other flavor interfering.
10 Perfectly Ripe Free Stone Peaches
3 Cups Granulated Sugar
8 Cups Water
Bring a pot of water to a boil. With a paring knife, mark a small x on the bottom of each peach. Don’t go deep. Drop the peaches into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove peaches to an ice bath to cool down, about 2 minutes. Remove peaches from ice bath and gently peel the skin off the peaches.
Cut peaches in half lengthwise and remove the stone.
In a large pan such as a Dutch oven, bring the sugar and 8 cups of water to a boil to dissolve the sugar and to thicken the liquid slightly, about 5 minutes. Place the skinned peach halves into the syrup and gently simmer for approximately 5 minutes. The peaches are ready when a thin bladed knife is inserted into a peach half without any resistance. Transfer the peaches to a platter to cool and reserve the liquid allowing it to cool to room temperature.
Place the cooled peaches into a large mouth jar and pour the cooled peach syrup over the peaches to the top of the jar. Cover the jar and refrigerate until ready to use.