Back in August I tried my first attempt at making and processing blackberry jam. It could have gone a bit better, but I enjoyed the process overall and was excited to try it again with a different fruit. I decided that as summer was coming to an end, it would be appropriate to capture the flavors of peaches. This summer I ate more peaches than I have in my whole lifetime. I’ve always favored nectarines, but this year I ate each peach with a fervor that I’ve never experienced before! So juicy and fuzzy and delicious. I needed to bottle it up and preserve this- so I did!

I had visited Linvilla Orchards a few weeks back and brought home a bunch of peaches. I had 8 total and needed 3 for a recipe so I used 5 to make the jam. I found a great recipe from Food in Jars and halved it. The recipe made me two full jars and a half of a jar to keep for myself.

Peach Jam
from Food in Jars, a canning blog

5 cups of peaches, peeled and chopped (about 5-6 peaches)
3 cups of sugar
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 packets liquid pectin

Fill your canning pot with water and begin to bring it to temperature. Wash your jars and rings in warm soapy water and set aside. Put your lids in a small pot of water and heat (but do not boil) in order to soften the sealing compound.

Add peaches and sugar to a large, non-reactive pot. Stir so that the peaches begin to release their juice and mingle with the sugar. Bring to a boil and add cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest and juice and let jam continue to cook for about fifteen minutes. If the fruit hasn’t broken down much after that time is up, use a potato masher or immersion blender (taking care not to burn yourself with hot jam) to break down the chunks. Add pectin and bring to a rolling boil for a full five minutes.

Turn off the heat under the jam and fill jars. Wipe rims and apply lids. Screw on the bands and lower into the water. Process in the hot water bath 10 minutes. When time is up, remove from water and cool on the counter. When the jars are cooled, check the seal by pressing on the top of the jar. If there’s no movement, the jar has sealed. Store up to one year in a cool, dark place.

The recipe listed is the recipe. halved. If you want to make 6-7 pint jars worth of jam, you can double it. This worked out perfectly because I had a bit for myself, and two jars for gifts. If you can tell by the photo above, I invested in a great pot that can be used for canning, or for stock. I snabbed it from Target from the Paula Deen collection– it was on sale! I’m not really into Paula Deen,  but this pot is adorable and I have been eyeing it for months.  All of her stuff is really adorable, actually.  Aside from looking great, it  made the whole canning process so much easier than the blackberry jam debacle. I was able to bring my peach mixture to a full rolling boil and it the jam turned out the perfect consistency- not syrupy at all. I brought a jar to a friend who I was staying with for a weekend and we smeared it all over bagels and some excellent blueberry muffins. It’s got a great summery taste, but the cinnamon and nutmeg give it a taste that reminds me of Fall. The perfect jam!

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