Thursday, July 22, 2010

Peach Jam

Last week Blondie and I made our first ever attempt at making jam. His grandmother has an excellent peach tree, but the Japanese beetles have started eating the peaches. When the family was at her house for lunch on Sunday, she asked us to take all of the peaches we wanted because the beetles would soon eat all of the good fruit.

Blondie and I brought home a big box of peaches last Sunday and we blanched and peeled most of them that afternoon. We froze those to use later for peach pies, but some were too green to use at that time. Later in the week, the ones we saved were ready to use, so we used them to make jam.

Since neither of us had ever done this before, we had to call his grandma a few times for advice, but we finally figured it out. We peeled the peaches and chopped them up in the food processor, then cooked them for a little bit with some Sure-Jell and a little bit of sugar. After they had boiled for a bit, we added more sugar and let it cook for another minute. When it was done, we ladled it into jars that I had boiled and covered them with lids. I scraped the pan a bit after we filled the jars, and it tasted very good! We let the jars set out overnight and by morning the jam had set. I put them in the freezer in the morning and we'll have lots of good jam for the rest of the year!

Over the weekend, we made more jam. This time we actually boiled the filled jars so we didn't have to freeze the jam. This method works pretty much the same way, but there's an extra step at the end. First, I boiled all of the jars and lids (I could have just washed them on the sanitize cycle in the dishwasher, though) and got all of my ingredients ready. I used the Sure Jell pectin that requires less sugar (the pink box) so I measured out the sugar and reserved 1/4 cup to be mixed with the pectin.

Then I chopped the peaches in the food processor. We had already peeled and pitted the peaches and stored them in the refrigerator, so this was an easy step. This recipe required 4 1/2 cups of peaches.

After chopping the peaches, I combined them with the pectin/sugar mixture and brought it to a rolling boil. While I was waiting for my peaches to boil, I removed my jars from the jar jacuzzi and set them out to dry. I left the lids in the water, though. Once the peaches were boiling, I added the rest of the sugar, brought it to a boil again, and let it boil for one minute.

Then, I removed the cooked jam from the stove and ladled it into my fresh, sparkling jars. I use a funnel for this and it really cuts down on the mess. I barely had to wipe the rims at all.

I removed my lids from the hot water immediately before putting them on the jars, then put the jars back in the pot of boiling water, making sure they were covered by at least one inch of water, for 15 minutes.

Then, I removed them with tongs and let them sit out for 24 hours to firm up.


BKWilliams said...

Try this with some of your canned peach jam:

1 lb prok tenderloin, cubed or sliced
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1 cup chunky salsa
1/3 cup peach preserves/jam

Sprinkle tgaco seasoning over pork. Heat oil in skillet and brown pork. Stir together salsa and peach jam and stir into pork. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 10 minutes.

BKWilliams said...