Honey Packed Peaches
2-3/4 cups water, divided
1/4 cup lemon juice
5 lbs. peaches*, peeled, pitted and cut into wedges
1-1/4 cups honey
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
6 small strips lemon zest
In a large bowl, mix 1/4 cup water and lemon juice. Stir fruit in gently, coating all pieces. Set aside. In a small saucepan, bring honey and remaining water to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Cover pan to keep contents hot. Pack fruit gently into 6 hot sterilized pint jars, filling to 1/4 inch from top of jar, and place a piece of lemon zest in each jar. Fill jars with honey mixture up to 1/4 inch from tops. Wipe rims of jars; top with lids. Screw on bands. Place jars on rack in canning kettle of hot water, adding water if necessary to bring water level to 1 inch above tops of jars. Bring water to a rolling boil; boil for 25 minutes. Remove jars carefully and cool on a wire rack.
*Apricots or nectarines may be substituted.
Source: National Honey Board Website, www.honey.com