When life gives you a bushel of fresh peaches, it means you need to make buckets of homemade peach jam!
I love jams. Ever since I was a kid, my breakfast would consist of bread (of any form), cheese (feta or cream cheese) and jam. This is my total-comfort food. I did go through the cereal milk days, especially when I was single and eating standing up in the kitchen… hey, I still do that! But, my favorite breakfast item is jam. Especially homemade jam.
The September 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by John of Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge The Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John’s source for food preservation information was from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.
I was thrilled to see that we were being challenged to can our favorite concoctions because I NEVER did this before. I recently bought a canning set I found on clearance in Target for $10 and I knew it was a sign for me to learn this wonderful way of preserving food.
I used my aunt’s recipe for jams, which she learned from her mother growing up in the mid-west living on a farm. You cut up the fruit of your choice and mix it with sugar and lemon juice. Then, you cover it and let it sit overnight. The sugar brings out the fruit’s natural juices and you end up using less sugar in the jam and you don’t need to add pectin.
Less sugar? Really?
Yup, it worked! After sitting overnight, the peaches were swimming in their juices. The next day, I boiled my peach mixture until the desired thickness and presto – jam is ready!
I made Peach Jam. Homemade, chunky and delicious peach jam. This is my second jam, as I made Cinnamon Fig Jam a few months back. Peaches are a-plenty now in the grocery store as this is their season to shine!
The jam was easy enough to make, but I admit that I was nervous about the canning process.
And, honestly, it was easy. Why was I so nervous about it? You boil water, fill the jars, put the lids on the jars and boil them again. Done. I can boil water!
I suppose whenever you try something new you are always apprehensive about doing it. And despite how much time I spend in the kitchen, I get nervous when I am doing something new and “difficult.” That’s why I love the Daring Cooks’ challenges so much. They take you out of your comfort zone and give you a swift kick in the pants. What a great learning experience this was.
I am so happy that I made this Peach Jam. Especially since I am out of the Strawberry Rhubarb Jam AND the Plum Jam my aunt left me a few short months ago! Store-bought jam just doesn’t stack up to the really good stuff.
- 5 large peaches, fresh, peeled, pitted & chopped (approx. 6 cups)
- 2 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 lemon, juice & zest
- In a large 4-quart pot combine peeled, pitted and chopped peaches, sugar and lemon zest.
- Let peach mixture sit for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
- Over medium heat, bring peach mixture to boil slowly, stirring often to prevent sticking. Reduce temperature to medium-low if peach mixture is about to boil out of your pot.
- Cook until thickened, approximately 1 hour.
- Use a potato masher to break down the bigger chunks of peaches. If you want a smoother jam, use a hand blender and blend everything in the pot.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 47Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 0g