Peach Mint Preserves

August 27, 2009 in cookbook, review


In concert with the Can Around the Nation canning event this weekend (see this post for more details Join the Canvolution!) in Somerville, MA where I will be teaching pressure canning, I am sharing a review of a cookbook I received on putting up food!

The cookbook is called Putting Up: A Seasonal Guide to Canning in the Southern Tradition and it was written by Stephen Palmer Dowdney.

These recipes are meant to have a southern bias. When I lived in the south, for decades, I never hooked into the Southern Canning Scene (as it were) so I dont know if these are, in fact, old southern goldies.

I can say that they all sound delicious! I can also say that the recipe I tested out, for Peach Mint Preserves, is delicious and easy. I share my experience with it below.

The author of this book, Stephen Palmer Dowdney, has quite a varied background, from Citadel grad to United States Army: Airborne, Ranger and Special Forces qualified, other various activities, and is the owner of Rockland Plantation Products, a company focused on canning traditional recipes previously found in pantries all across America. Its from a background of producing small batch preserves in a commercial setting for 12 years in the deep south (South Carolina) that Dowdney writes this book.

For book review

After the introduction is a chapter called Canning and in it the author spins a beautiful remembrance of an idyllic childhood on a southern self-sufficient plantation next to the ocean. From there he launched into many other endeavors but 50 years later, he came back to a nurturing place when he began to make the preserves and pickles of his grandmother.

Note that to use this cookbook you MUST read the Canning chapter and in particular the “How” part. He explains in great detail all the fundamentals of boiling water canning (no pressure canning in this book). Please read this section completely. You will need to understand what he means by hot packing, raw packing, etc to be able to do the recipes.

The book is then organized into recipes by month of the SOUTHERN food calendar. I note it’s southern-ness as I live far north of South Carolina so what we get, comes into season at a different time. If you are working with produce from the store, seasonality will not be an issue. If you live up north and are putting up the bounty of your own production or that of local farmers markets, you will need to adjust your monthly expectations!

The chapters, with sample recipes, include:

Part One: Canning

Part Two: The Recipes


  • Lowcountry Pluff Mud


  • Artichoke Pickles
  • Artichoke ChowChow


  • Strawberry Preserves
  • Pickled Asparagus


  • Strawberry-Orange Marmalade
  • Pickled Beets


  • Green Tomato Chow-Chow
  • Very Berry Preserves


  • Pickled Shrimp
  • Dilled String Beans


  • Garden Vegetable Soup
  • Hot Pepper Jelly


  • Whole Fig Preserves and Jam
  • Watermelon Rind Pickles


  • Pear Relish
  • Corn Liquor BBQ Sauce


  • Pumpkin Chips
  • Sweet Potato Butter


  • Cranberry Chutney
  • Mint Jelly


  • Christmas Morning Marmalade
  • Field Pea Relish

Part Three: Afterthoughts


So now, on to the Peach Mint Preserve! I can tell you it comes out delicious and it is quite easy to do.

Peach Mint Preserves

Peach Mint Preserves (page 118)


  • 4 C peaches (peeled)
  • 1/2 C chopped mint, packed tight
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 pack pectin or 1/3 C bulk pectin
  • 5 1/2 C sugar

He provides canning notes, as follows:

  • This is a hot pack, acid recipe
  • pH is not an issue, no testing is required
  • Recipe makes 6 1/2 pint jars
  • Recipe can be halved or doubled


Prepared and place all ingredients except the sugar into the pot.

Peach Mint Preserves

Over high heat, with much stirring, bring to a strong boil. Add the sugar and stir hard, bring to a rolling boil (Watch out for hot sugary splatters!)

Begin the 1 1/2 minute timing before canning: but after 1 minute, check for signs of jelling (see book for details).

Peach Mint Preserves

Hot pack according to the book.

Peach Mint Preserves

Peach Mint Preserves

Peach Mint Preserves

Peach Mint Preserves

And then, Enjoy!

putting up: Peach Mint Preserves

Product Details:

putting up: Peach Mint Preserves