I bought a box of lovely peaches that came from Utah last week. My intent was to bottle most of them right away. But life kept happening. The tilapia water needed changing (again). Friends kept popping by for mulch from the driveway (Steve is happy about that!). Busy, busy, busy.
Anyway, the peaches got a little soft. So I did not want to do the traditional hot pack, because when soft fruit is cooked, it gets mushy.
So my peaches got the raw pack treatment. The difference is that with hot pack-you put the peaches into the syrup, and heat them prior to packing into jars. With raw pack-you put the peaches into the jars, and pour the hot liquid on top of them.
With hot pack the peaches lose some of their liquid into the pan, and shrink. The shrinking is done before putting them in the jar. So your jars full of fruit-stay full of fruit after their canning bath.
With raw pack, the shrinking is done during the canning bath. So they become smaller in the jar. Even though I filled the jars to the top, and even mashed them down a little, the peaches are floating. Magic? Not really.
Is there any thing wrong with them? No. They are sweet when they are soft, and needed a lighter syrup. But if I were going to enter my peaches into a fair, or a contest; I would have bottled them when they were firm, given them a heavy syrup, and used the hot pack method. They would have been more uniform, which is what a judge would be looking for.