Saturday, September 8, 2012

Preserving sunshine for the winter - peach jam

It was supposed to be the last hurrah of the summer. A long bike ride with the family . But there was more - A u pick sign on the way back and we came home laden with the most luscious peaches and nectarines.  The peaches have now been jammed and it really does look like sunshine in a bottle.

I combined techniques from 2 different recipes to make this jam. I followed the 3:1 ratio of fruit to sugar as in the blackberry jam recipe.  I also macerated the fruit for a few hours. To make the jam, you first boil the accumulated juices and then add the fruit, so you are cooking the fruit for a really short time.

This recipe yields  two eight ounce jars.

Peaches (ppeled and quartered) - 24 ounces ( about 3 medium peaches)
Sugar - 8 ounces
Lime/Lemon juice - 3 tablespoons.

To peel the peaches:
Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Fill  another large bowl with very cold water and ice. Mark an x on each peach with a sharp knife.  Add the whole peaches to the hot water for a couple of minutes. Take the peaches out with a ladle and put it in the cold water bowl. Start peeling from the x and the peel will slide right off.

or use a peeler.

Pit, quarter and weigh the peaches. Add the sugar and the lime juice and let macerate overnight.

Next morning, drain all the liquid into a wide heavy bottomed skillet. Mash up the fruit with a potato masher. Leave some chunks for texture.
Put some spoons in the freezer.

Bring the liquid to a boil over medium high heat.Stir constantly till the liquid reaches the consistency of thick syrup ( about 5 minutes). You should see bubble all around the edge of the pot.
Now add the fruit. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes. Take the pot off the hear and test the jam for set. (instructions here). If the jam is not done, continue cooking in one minute intervals and re test for the set.
Let the jam cool, ladle into containers and store in the fridge or freezer.  Canning instructions here




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