Summer Peach Jam

Capture the fresh taste of summer with this easy to make jam. This recipe uses only three ingredients; peaches, sugar and lemon juice.

Peach jam

Fresh PeachesRecipe:

  • 4 pounds of peaches (there are around 2 large and 3 medium to a pound).
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice

 

 

 

 

You’ll also need some mason jars, lids and bands and of course the peaches!

Ingredients

When you select your peaches, try to get the free stone ones, the stones (as the name suggests) comes out easier. If you can’t get them or if the stones is a little er.hem… difficult. Try using a teaspoon to scoop the second half of the stone out.

Start by removing the skins of the peaches: Place a pan of water to boil, and some iced water in a bowl.

Score a cross on the peaches bottom very lightly, you only want to score the skin, not cut into the flesh.

Use a slotted spoon to gently place each peach into the boiling water. Don’t crowd the pan, do it in batches. Let the peach sit for around 30 seconds, be careful not to actually cook the peach.  Using the slotted spoon remove the peach and plunge immediately into the bowl of iced water. Wait until the peaches cool.  The skin typically curls around where the skin was scored, use a knife to pull the skin off.

To remove the stone; cut each peach in half and twist, one half will twist off fine, push your thumb under the stone in the second half to pop it out.

Cut up the peaches

Cut the peach halves into smallish peaches. Depending on if you like “chunky jam” omit the next bit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mashed peaches

 

like my jam a little less chunky so I give the peaches a mash with a potato masher at this stage.

 

 

 

 

 

Add the sugar and turn the heat on low. The sugar will start melting, the peach juice will start coming out.

Now bring to a rapid boil. This is when the bubbles don’t stop even during stirring.

If you notice any “scum” floating to the top, then skim. This isn’t harmful to you, but it though to lead to a cloudy jam if left in.

Peach jam boiling

Turn the heat down just enough to keep at a gentle boil. Stir occasionally, just to stop it sticking. After about 15 minutes, add the lemon juice.

The jam will take around an hour, but nothing is set in stone. Yours could take more or less time to get to the gelling stage.

When the jam is looking thick (and it will take on a golden color) put a small bowl or plate in to the freezer.

Take the bowl out of the freezer and drop a teaspoon of the jam onto the plate, leave for a few minutes to cool. Lightly drag your finger over the jam. If a skin has formed that gets dragged over the surface, you’re ready to jar. If not them keep boiling the jam. Keep testing the jam until you get to this stage.

Canning the Jam:

Let’s get the jars ready. Wash the jars and rings in hot soapy water, rinsing clean.

I don’t do hot water canning for jams or high acid relishes. But I’ve included “typical” hot water canning instruction later.

Place the jars into a warm oven (200F) to dry and keep hot. Place the lids in a glass bowl and put the kettle on or get a small pan of water up to the boil.

When ready to jar, bring a jar out of the oven and place on a heat resistant surface. Using a jam funnel, fill the jar to about ¼ inch of the top. Wipe the top and threads of the jar to remove any spilled jam.

Place a lid in the boiling water, count to 10. Take the lid out (please use tongs as they will be hot).  Place the lid on the jar and add the band. I’ve tried putting the band in the oven and using them cold and as yet not noticed any difference in their performance. Screw the band down hand tight.

Now leave the jars to cool without disturbing.

Label and enjoy or gift your jam.

Peach jam

If you don’t like overly sweet jam or the thought of all that sugar makes you squirm, you could use less sugar and the reduced sugar pectin to get the jam to set. Jam recipes are simple to adapt , just follow the manufacturer’s recommendations if you plan to do so.

 

Hot water canning:

As promised here is the typical way of hot water canning.

Wash the jars in hot soapy water, rinse clean.

Fill your bath canner around half full (remember the jars will displace some fluid). Place your jars in the water and bring to a gentle simmer. If you haven’t got a canning bath a large saucepan with a rack, or something to keep the jars of the bottom of the pan is all you need. Keep the jars in the water until just ready to fill with your jam.

Use a jar lifter, lift a jar out of the water, emptying the water inside. Place on a heat resistant surface. Now fill with your jam, within ¼ inch of the top. Remove any visible bubbles (you can buy special spatulas to help) Make sure nothing is on the jar rim or threads. Place the lid on the jar and screw down the band so its hand tight only. Place the sealed jar back in to the canner.

When all the jars are done (remember don’t overcrowd the pan) and bring to a full rolling boil for the desired time. There are tables available or your recipe may include this information.

Turn of the heat under the canner, remove the lid and allow to stand in the water for a few minutes.

Remove the jars with the jar lifter and allow to stand, untouched for 24 hours. Don’t be tempted to re-tighten the bands. The lids should not flex when pressed.

 

 

 

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