Old Fashioned Spiced Peaches

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spiced peaches

Old Fashioned Spiced Peaches is a retro recipe poised for a comeback.  These easy classic Southern pickled peaches were always on our Thanksgiving table when I was growing up, and I think they’re one of the best ways to preserve summer peaches.

*This recipe is made with peaches generously donated by the Washington State Fruit Commission.

old fashioned spiced peaches in a canning jar

These spiced peaches will add a vintage touch to your Thanksgiving menu

Spiced peaches remind me of my mom. We always had spiced peaches on our Thanksgiving table and she loved them. As kids I don’t think we gave them a second thought, I probably never even ate them, at least I have no memory of it. But you don’t need to taste these peaches to get a sense of their vivid flavor because the aroma is so evocative. As an adult, I find them irresistible.  

ladling spiced peaches into jars - 2

I love this recipe for the end of summer when there are still loads of fabulous peaches around, but our thoughts are starting to turn to fall. These peach preserves are a nice way to marry the two seasons and to bring that end of summer produce to our holiday tables.  

Spiced peaches make really thoughtful (and unexpected) food gifts, too, so plan to can extra.  

fresh peaches in a wooden bowl

What you’ll need for canning spiced peaches

  • peaches (choose ripe but still firm peaches for this recipe)
  • whole cinnamon sticks and cloves
  • apple cider vinegar
  • sugar
  • a water bath canner
  • canning jars (I use Weck jars)

old fashioned spiced peaches, in glass canning jars

Pro peach peeling tip:

I don’t bother with the whole boiling water/ice bath process for peeling peaches, I find it’s much easier to peel them just like I do apples, with my serrated vegetable peeler. I’m guessing that vegetable peelers have gotten much better over time, but the myth that peaches are difficult to peel has stubbornly held on.  

whole peaches studded with cloves

You can slice your peaches or you can actually leave them whole, which is a traditionally Southern way to do it.  Stud the outside of the peaches with whole cloves, and proceed as directed.  There’s nothing more luxurious than serving whole spiced peaches at your holiday table…people will definitely ooooh and aaaah.  

A note about whole spices

Whole spices are great to have around during the holidays, they can be used in lots of festive recipes like mulled wine and mulled cider.  I’ve used them in my spiced cocktail cherries, too. Buy them from stores like Cost Plus World Market, and you can always order them online.  

I kept these spiced peaches simple and classic with just cinnamon and cloves, but there’s no reason you can’t add other spices if you like.  Try cardamom, star anise, coriander, allspice, or even a vanilla bean.

a large jar of spiced peaches

When canned your peaches will last up to a year. You can also skip the canning and keep yours in the refrigerator for up to a month, provided the peaches stay immersed in the liquid.

How to use spiced peaches

  • The most popular way to use spiced peaches is at the holidays.  Serve them like you do cranberry sauce, in a bowl on the table. They’ll make a deliciously colorful addition to the classic holiday dinner plate.
  • Spiced peaches are wonderful with baked ham, roast pork, or fried chicken.
  • Try them alongside Indian curries and biryani dishes.
  • Dice them and add to grain salads or even chicken salad.
  • Get adventurous and make an ice cream sundae with them!

Old Fashioned Spiced Peaches
Rate this recipe
4 ratings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: makes 4 pints

spiced peaches

Old Fashioned Spiced Peaches is a vintage preserve recipe poised for a comeback. These easy Southern pickled peaches were always on our Thanksgiving table.


  • 3 lbs (about 7 large) peaches
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar (5% strength)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp whole cloves


  1. Put the vinegar, sugar, water, and spices into a large non-reactive pan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil covered for 5 minutes, then uncover and boil a further 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile peel and slice your peaches.
  3. Add the peaches to the pot and bring back to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes.
  4. Fill sterile jars with the peaches and liquid, leaving 1/2 inch free space at the top. Boil in a water bath canner for 5 minutes (pint jars) or 10 minutes (quart jars) Note: if you live above 1,000 feet altitude you will need longer boiling times, see this chart


Choose ripe but firm, blemish free peaches.  Discard any brown spots.

I like to peel my peaches with my serrated peeler, but if you prefer the boiling water/ice bath method, go for it.  Simply immerse your peaches into boiling water for 30-60 seconds and then plunge them into ice water.  The skins will slip off easily.

This recipe adapted from pickyourown.org

old fashioned spiced peaches in a canning jar

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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    Georgia Plett
    September 11, 2019 at 6:32 am

    I put cloves in whole peaches once when I canned and it left brown spots all over the peaches so now I just leave cloves in the bottom of jar. I have been making spiced peaches for years.

  • Reply
    Tricia B
    September 10, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    I could find a dozen uses for these wonderful peaches! Great recipe – thanks for bringing it back ;)

  • Reply
    September 10, 2019 at 9:48 am

    If you can find a variety of peaches called Veterans peeling is very simple. They do not need blanching or a peeler. You can just pull the skin off them much as you would a blanched peach or a banana. I find it cuts down on the heat in the kitchen during the summer.

    • Reply
      September 10, 2019 at 10:37 am

      Wow, I’ve never heard of those, so they taste good as well?

  • Reply
    September 10, 2019 at 8:23 am

    These look scrumptious. How would you adjust the ingredients for spiced pears? The idea of pears and Thanksgiving is equally tempting. Thanks, as always.

    • Reply
      September 10, 2019 at 10:39 am

      Great idea, I should do those too for the blog. You can leave the spices as is, or add some cardamom pods (crushed to open them) and maybe some fresh ginger!

      • Reply
        September 11, 2019 at 11:50 am

        yes spiced pears please

        • Reply
          September 11, 2019 at 12:31 pm

          Ok, I’m on it!

  • Reply
    Phyllis Bergst
    September 10, 2019 at 7:54 am

    Oooh what memories this brings back. I’m going to try to see if I can match my grandmother’s taste with your recipe. And, on my 80th birthday, what a present

  • Reply
    September 10, 2019 at 7:47 am

    I am excited you posted this recipe as my dad recently asked me if I’d ever made them. He’d been trying to find pickled peaches in his local shops to no avail. Hopefully I can adjust since I don’t have a canner. Thanks!

    • Reply
      September 10, 2019 at 8:00 am

      They’ll last in the fridge for several weeks, even if you don’t can…and you could use frozen peaches and make it later, if you want it for Thanksgiving. Be sure to peel the peaches before freezing in that case.