Pirate Peaches

An oldie but a goodie, I’ve made this peach rum sauce for three years running and it always disappears quickly. This is the first year, however, that I’ve used The Kraken rum, yet – how could I resist? Not only does it conjure up images of sandy beaches, swaying palms, and swoon-worthy pirates, it happens to be delicious.  Added to peaches and three kinds of unrefined sugar? It’s delectable.

Enjoy it on ice cream, over pound cake or cheesecake. Have a boozy Sunday brunch with crepes, rum-spiked oatmeal, yogurt or Pirate Pancakes. My friend Melissa bakes it over chicken; I imagine it would make an incredible pork tenderloin, or garnish to a rich pumpkin soup.  Really, there’s almost nothing that can’t be made better by Pirate Peaches.  And the best part? You have a perfect excuse to belt out “RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!!” in a really cheesy Scottish accent. (And then sing about 1000 verses of “Yo ho ho” until your husband chucks a shoe at your head.) Pirate peaches? You had me at “ahoy.”

Adapted from Peach Rum Sauce in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, J. Kingry & L. Devine, eds.


Pirate Peaches


  • 3 and 1/2 lbs peaches (3 lbs net), peeled, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar (organic evaporated cane juice)
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar (organic turbinado)
  • 1/2 cup dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups spiced dark rum (I used The Kraken)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp, packed, minced lemon zest (about 1/2 a small lemon)
  • large pinch salt


  1. Prepare canner, jars and lids.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed stockpot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened to your liking (I simmer mine for about 45 – 60 minutes). Taste and adjust amounts of sugar or rum.
  3. Return to a boil, fill hot, sterilized jars to 1/4-inch head space and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Yields about 7 cups.


  1. I used the procrastinaty method for this rum sauce; I peeled, pitted and chopped the peaches, and macerated in sugar, in the refrigerator, for about 3 days prior to preparing the sauce.
  2. Fruit changes in taste, texture, sugar and acid content over the seasons. Due to the hot, dry summer this year, peaches seem less sweet & juicy than normal, therefore I’ve added a bit more sugar than normal. If you choose to macerate, start with 1/2 or 1 cup of sugar, then adjust during the cooking stage.  (The original Ball recipe calls for 2 cups of brown sugar and 2 cups of granulated to 6 cups of peaches.) Also, it was sort of an accident that I ended up with three different kinds of sugar in the recipe, but I think it adds a complexity that is quite nice. At least, try adding a mix of brown & granulated sugars; but this might just the chance you’ve been looking for to try out some of those fancy sugars at the market.
  3. The peaches cook down during the simmering, but there are still small chunks in the finished sauce. If you like a perfectly smooth sauce, blend with an immersion blender before canning.
  4. I should note that this is not your grandmother’s rum sauce (unless your grandmother was a pirate; or a rum-pot; or, you know, awesome); there is a lot of rum. Granted some of the alcohol cooks off during the long simmer, but still, the rum flavor is very prevalent. FWIW, I did start originally with 1 cup of rum, but it just didn’t seem piratey enough. 1 and 1/2 cups? Yo ho ho.


Keep yon rum-soaked peaches down in the galley, in a cool, dark spot, hidden away from the scurvy scrubs, for up to 1 year.


It be summer, arrrrr.


  1. This is so cute, and I just got me some peaches 😉 I agree, those labels are adorable…and leave you open for all sort of “pirate sauce” type jokes. I’d cook mine longer and make it into “pirate butter”, but then I’d never hear the end of it.

  2. Gini

    This recipe is making me sweat at my desk. Must–leave–work–for peaches…!

    Also, your labels are incredible! Did you make those?

  3. Yum, this sounds tasty. I am sorry to say I am all out of peaches at this point, however 😦 But I do have some peach cordial (made with bourbon) sitting on my countertop, so that will be some consolation this winter. I’d love to try making this recipe next year, though. Thanks for sharing it.

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  5. Kate

    I am making these this week if my husband can stay out of the bottle of Kracken. Could you please tell me if this recipe be doubled? Thanks!!

  6. There is no ‘gel’ stage for this one; just a cooking down until it looks thick enough to you, so feel free to double away! Limited only by the size o’ yer pot and yer jug o’ Kraken. 🙂

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  9. barefootrooster

    hi kaela — i’m new to the land of boozy fruit preserves — can i swap the rum for bourbon, if that’s what i’ve got in my kitchen? (not like i couldn’t be convinced to acquire a bottle of rum…) thanks for any advice you can provide!


  10. Hi Amy,

    Absolutely – substitute away. I think bourbon sounds like an excellent combo with peaches. It just means you have to speak in a bad Southern accent when you eat them, instead of a bad pirate accent.

    Arrrrr. 🙂

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  12. Monica

    Hi! I know this is an old post, but I made a (MUCH less boozy) batch of this around the time you posted it and I’m not exactly sure what to do with it all now. I used it on top of a no-bake cheesecake and that was OK. I have also stirred it in plain yogurt (good) and put it on vanilla ice cream (I didn’t like it). Any more ideas? 🙂

  13. Hi Monica,

    So you liked it in yogurt, but not on ice cream, so I’m thinking maybe it came out a bit sweet for you?

    You could try it in a savory recipe, by adding some cider or white wine vinegar, salt & pepper, maybe a touch of garlic, and use it as a marinade or braising liquid for chicken.

    You could pair it with something slightly bitter, like almonds or walnuts, in a crumble, or with nut cream in a tart.

    You could try to jazz it up with some chile pepper (I love Cascabel chiles with peaches) or add a bit of lemon juice to tame the sweetness.

    You could use it in fruit-butter granola: https://localkitchenblog.com/2010/11/16/use-it-or-lose-it-fruit-butter-granola/

    You could add more rum. 🙂 Seriously, though, don’t be afraid to doctor it up once the jar is open; if you like it plain, you’ll mostly likely enjoy it on top of things. If all else fails, you can give it away: I make plenty of things that just don’t quite turn out how I wanted them, but other people love. Tastebuds are wonderfully unique that way!

  14. Brooke - in Oregon

    I have peaches in the fridge right now blending their flavors with the sugar. I LOVE the Squid you used, can you point me to it on the WWW? I googled but did not find it. – Thanks!

    • I’m sorry, Brooke. I’ve Googled myself, but I can’t remember where I found it and I can’t seem to find it again. 😦 I remember it took some searching, and I had to up the transparency in order to use it. You could try the Kraken website and see if you find anything appropriate.

      • Brooke - in Oregon

        Thanks fir checking 🙂 I was going to use a skull & crossbones but since I will give this to people with kiddos I figured it was best to leave that to the poison!! YIKES
        I appreciate the reply
        Happy one day closer to the weekend Thursday 🙂

  15. Brooke - in Oregon

    Oh my word this is sooo good, just made a batch and talk about tasty!! I am not sure if I will share this one 🙂 Never found the squid graphic but who cares this is simply amazing!

  16. I so totally want to try crafting this into a jam….we’re not much for desserts around here but I think I could justify a jam and make some thumb-print cookies with it.

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  19. Schnookie

    I found this recipe during the dreary days of winter, when I was dreaming of all the treats I’d be able to can when summer came around again. I immediately purchased a bottle of Kraken spiced rum, and have been sitting on it for six months, waiting for peaches. Thank you a million, billion times over for posting this, because Pirate Peach day finally arrived this past weekend, and holy cow was it worth the wait! (In honor of yelling “Release the Kraken!” in goofy pirate voices, we named ours “Release The Peaches!”)

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  24. Kira

    wow! This is a delicious recipe! We LOVE Kracken in my house, so it makes this even more fun! I’ve seen lots of requests for info on your awesome labels. I looked at the tutorial…it was so over my head. Would you be willing to attach a link to a sample of your label??

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