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We have peaches! Last year was a sad year because we had maybe ten peaches that we were able to pick. One day the tree was filled with baby peaches and the next they were gone.
I am excited that I have enough peaches to can some and also to make some Peach Butter. Peach Butter is super easy and a nice way to maintain the natural fruit taste without adding a lot of extra sugar.
Although I like the Peach Preserves that I made I really wanted to make a jam and something with more than just a peach flavor. I found a few ideas for jams that use peach as the secondary flavor, but I wanted it to be the primary taste, so I improvised. Since jams should be made in small batches (making larger batches can destroy the gelling process) I actually adhered to that rule, I did not want to mess this up.
Gather up your usual canning supplies, large pot for lids and jars, pressure canner, pot for your jam, jars and lids, etc.
Ingredients & Process:
1. 8 cups of peaches. Boil water and allow the peaches to sit for a few minutes then transfer to cold water, the skins come right off.
2. 4 cups of strawberries. I used the frozen strawberries that I had, but you can always use fresh. Just make sure that they are properly cleaned and hulled.
3. Chop the peaches and strawberries and then transfer into a large pot.
4. Add the juice of 2 small lemons (make sure to strain the sends) to the peaches and strawberries and heat over medium/high until the fruit softens.
5. Using a hand blender, blend the peach/strawberry mixture until the fruit is well blended.
6. Add your spices, if you would like, as well as 3 cups of white sugar and 1 cup of brown sugar; stir well.
7. Turn the heat up to high and stir regularly so that your jam does not scald, you will want this to thicken and boil. You will want to have a thermometer on hand so that you know when the temperature of the jam reached 221 F, this will take between 45 minutes and an hour.
8. To test the consistency of the jam place a small spoonful on a glass plate that has been kept in the freezer, return to freezer and after a minute remove to see if the consistency is to your liking.
9. When the jam is gelled, remove from the heat and pour into your hot, sterilized jars and top with the lids.
10. You can process these in a hot water bath for 10 minutes or in a pressure canner for 10 minutes. Remember, the processing time starts once the water is boiling or once the canner is steaming and the gauge is at 5 pounds of pressure.
11. Remove the jars and place on a towel away from drafts so that the lids properly seal. If there are any jars that do not seal, place these in the refrigerator and use soon.
Peach Preserves, yum! I had to keep reminding myself throughout the process that this was not jam or jelly I was making, preserves are totally different.
All I used were peaches, some lemon juice, pectin, and a bit of cranberry juice. I probably should have done some measuring, but I did not and I am pleased with the results.
I used my pressure canner once I got all of the preserves poured into clean, hot jars and processed them for 10 minutes.
This morning I enjoyed some of these wonderful preserves on my pancakes…..so, so good.
Blog by: Libby Clem