Pickled Peaches

Louisa Macculloch’s cookbook contains many recipes for pickling, preserving, and jellying oranges, plums, tomatoes, and peaches. This makes perfect sense considering her husband, George Macculloch (1775-1858), grew these fruits among the over thirty fruits and vegetables on his 19th-century farm. His garden journal records the dates that peaches were harvested, usually late July through early October, from 1829 to 1856. The garden journal is available digitally here, where you can page through each year to see what was growing on the Morristown farm.

In March, MHHM started a citizen scholar program calling for volunteers to help transcribe George Macculloch’s garden journal. Help is still needed on this project. It offers a glimpse into life in 19th-century New Jersey and provides a valuable indoor project while keeping cool the summer. If you would like to find out more email cwinslow@maccullochhall.org.

Pickled Peaches
3 3/4 -4 lbs. of sugar to 7 lbs. of fruit. Peel peaches & stick 3 cloves in each peach. Put sugar in preserving kettle with one quart of vinegar & 2 oz. each of cloves & stick cinnamon. Boil five minutes after the sugar is dissolved. Put the peaches in the boiling syrup a few at a time & cook until tender, but not soft enough to fall apart. When all are cooked, boil syrup down to half the quantity, or until it is a very rich thickness, then pour over the peaches.

Adapted Pickled Peaches Recipe

This recipe does not require boiling and canning. “Quick” Pickled Peaches should be stored in the refrigerator and kept for up to two weeks. Use two clean Mason jars with lids and rings for this recipe.


3 cups sugar
3-4 pounds fresh peaches (approximately 8 or 9 peaches)
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of cloves
2 cinnamon sticks

Bring a pot of water to a boil while washing peaches. Blanch the peaches in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain, rinse in cold water, and peal the peaches. Cut peaches in half, remove the pit and insert three cloves in each half.

In another pot, heat vinegar and cinnamon sticks and stir in sugar until dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the prepared peaches and reduce to low heat. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove peaches with a slotted spoon and divide into two mason jars. Heat liquid to a full boil then pour liquid over peaches to about ½ inch from the rim. Let cool to room temperature, wipe the jar rims and seal with lids and rings. Refrigerate. After three days in the refrigerator, open and enjoy on salad, with meat dishes, or as a dessert.


For other flavor options, try these recipes:
Peaches with honey and ginger.
Peaches with pickling spices.

Glass jars of pickled peaches.

Topic: Munchie Monday
Age / Level: High School, Life Long Learner