One afternoon's worth of canning, including peach syrup (in the small, dark jars in front), peaches (the lighter jars on the sides), and apricots.
Here's how to do it. (Before you begin, you may wish to review the general instructions for using a boiling bath canner.)
What You Need:
about 8 cups fruit peels and pits (or cores)
6 to 7 cups water
approximately 4 cups granulated sugar
Large non-reactive pot
Mesh strainer or jelly strainer
Small bowl or saucer
Boiling bath canner
9 oz. canning jars
Canning lids and screw bands
Plastic handled utensil (like a spoon)
Cooling rack or bath towel
How to Do It:
1. Pour the fruit peels and pits (or cores) into the large non-reactive pot. Add the water. (In this case, I reused the water I'd used to blanch the peaches, since it already had a lovely peach color.) Bring to a boil.
2. Boil until the peelings are tender.
3. Place the strainer over the large bowl and ladle some of the mixture into it. Allow the liquid to drain into the bowl, and press down on the solids to extract more liquid. Once you've done this, you can throw all the solids in your compost pile; however, pits take a long time to decompose, so I suggest throwing those in the trash.
4. Measure the liquid, then return it to the large pot. Bring to a boil.
5. Add half as much sugar as you did fruit juice and reduce the heat to medium. Boil gently until the desired consistency is reached. I cooked mine for 2 hours. Don't expect this syrup to be thick like maple syrup; it will be more liquid-y.
6. When the peach syrup seems close to being ready, sanitize 9 oz. canning jars by filling the canner with water, adding the jars, placing the lid on the canner, and bringing the water to a boil. Boil the jars for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium or medium low and remove the canner lid until you're ready to fill the jars.
7. Prepare the lids by placing them in a saucepan, covering them with water, and letting them gently simmer.
8. Ladle the fruit syrup into a prepared canning jar, leaving 1/4 in. headspace. A funnel makes this job less messy. Wipe the edges of the jar with a clean cloth. Remove air bubbles. Place a lid on the jar, then add a jar band. Place the jar in the canner. Repeat with the remaining jars.
9. Put the lid on the canner, increase the heat, and process the jars for 10 minutes.*
* NOTE: If you live at a high altitude, read this important information about adjusting canning times.