Masala Chai Spiced Pickled Peaches

8-10 large peaches, pitted, peeled and sliced
2 cups water
2 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 inch knob ginger, sliced
8 whole cloves
1/8 cup green cardamom pods
12 black peppercorns
12 allspice berries
2 cinnamon sticks
8 whole cloves
2 tablespoons loose black tea, in a tea ball

Prep your jars/lids. Evenly divide the spices and peach slices between 2 quart-sized jars. Set aside.

Combine the water, vinegar, ginger, tea ball, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a low boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Remove ginger slices and discard. Pour brine over the peach slices, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove any bubbles. Seal and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.

Yield: 2 quarts

Note: A great source for canning information is the Blue Book guide to preserving. I highly recommend it for learning how to can.

My thoughts:

Sweet Preservation asked me to be a Canbassador again this year, tasked with spreading the canning word, so of course, I said yes.The Washington State Fruit Commission sent me a huge box of gigantic peaches and nectarines. I didn’t feel like jam so I thought I’d make a batch of fruit pickles. I haven’t made any in about 4 years and I miss the bright sweet-tartness they add to a cheese plate, salad, sandwiches and even savory meat dishes. The inspiration for these came from the masala chai my husband learned to make when he lived in Texas of all places. We had all of the ingredients on hand but if you don’t, any Indian or Nepalese market should have them. The peaches have a great spicy-sweet flavor going on and a pleasant warmness from the spice mix.


  1. Cheers,

    The recipe looks great, but remains a bit confusing. The ingredients mention many other spices (allspice, cinnamon, etc.) that are not mentioned afterwards. My guess is that they are added at the time of the boiling and then removed as well, in view of their absence in the quart jars. ¿Could you please clarify this?

    Also, ¿how long will the preserves last?

    Thanks a lot!

  2. The spices are added to the jar in the beginning along with the peaches, it is the first strep listed above. They are not removed, as you can see, they are in the picture of the final product floating among the peach slices. The cinnamon stick is still in there too, at the back of the jar.

    Like most preserves, once processed, they should be shelf-stable for about a year.

  3. Hey Rachel,
    This recipe looks delectable! Not sure how Unknown missed the spice placement, but are you sure you want two sets of "8 whole cloves"? I absolutely detest cloves, and am thinking of replacing them with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, or just double the allspice berries. How do you feel about that amount of turmeric?

  4. It is only 4 cloves per jar so not too strong! If you don't like cloves at all, I'd just up the allspice personally. I don't think turmeric would be very tasty in these pickles.

  5. WOW!!! I cannot wait to make this!

  6. I am off to hunt down the end of the season peaches. This sounds like a winner!

  7. Hi Rachel! This pickled peaches look interesting! I would love to try making one once I'm able to shop peaches. You indicated in your recipe to use green cardamom pods. Since green cardamom is one of the expensive spices in terms of weight, do you think using the ground green cardamom would work as well for this?

  8. You could! I have great luck finding it at Indian grocery stores though—it is about $3 for 6 oz. I however have had no luck finding ground green cardamom, the ground cardamom in most stores is ground black cardamom.

  9. Yes, they are a bit on the expensive side if you really don't search enough. I might check our local stores here again if they already have stocks. Good luck to the both of us!