Peach Jam is unbelievably delicious and the flavor is so much better when it’s homemade! This peach jam recipe is simple to make, too and a great way to use the summer stone fruit!
I have to tell you I really was never a big jam or jelly fan until I made it homemade for my family. My husband and daughter love it so much that I decided to try it.
Perfect Peach Jam
As I was researching peach jam, I read hundreds of blogs, recipes and book excerpts. While I was reading I ran across a few things that did not make sense to me. As I explained when I shared my Strawberry Jam recipe, I much prefer to make jam without pectin. Just knowing that I make the jam from scratch gives me such a feeling of satisfaction!
Jam without Pectin
So, why do we include things like lemon in jam? When we are NOT using packaged pectin why do you use so much less sugar?
Lemon is incorporated because not only does it keep the fruit from becoming oxidized (this is the process that makes some fruit turn brown when it is exposed to the air), but the acid also works with the natural pectin in your fruit and the added apple to help your jam set properly. The jell-ing process requires an acid – pectin balance to be successful.
When you are NOT using packaged pectin you can use much less sugar, as you are cooking for a longer period and concentrating the flavor. It creates an almost caramelized flavor.
In this peach jam recipe I am not using pectin. Instead, I am relying on the natural sugars for much of the sweetness. The best way to ensure you get the most flavor and sweetness out of your peaches is to macerate them in sugar for an hour before you begin cooking them. This will help extract the natural sweetness and juices and make for a much more flavorful jam.
Peach Jam Recipe Notes and Tips
Be sure to use very flavorful peaches. If you use under ripe, flavorless peaches, you will have colored sugar jam. No one wants that. I appreciate the advice I received from my dear friend and accomplished jam maker. She also shared with me the flavor possibilities when you add spices to peach jam. I decided to go with cinnamon and all spice, but clove could be another good choice.
When I made the peach jam recipe, I chose to use nectarines. They actually are peaches, just with no fuzz. This homemade jam is so unbelievably delicious. I could curl up with a warm bowl of it. It is well worth the extra time that the few extra steps take.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
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Perfect Peach Jam
- 5 pounds peaches, or nectarines, approximately 8 cups diced
- 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 large lemon
- 5 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tart apples, I prefer Granny Smith
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- Squeeze lemon into a large bowl. Rinse peaches well under cold water. Remove skins by blanching. You can do this by dipping peaches in boiling water for 30 second to 1 minute. Immediately transfer the peaches to a sink or bowl of very cold water (preferrably an ice bath) to stop the cooking.
- Slice the peaches in half and discard the pits. You will notice a 'seam' down one side of your peach. If you slice the peach around the diameter following this line you will be able to easily remove the pit. The skin will slide right off. If you have a few spots that are more difficult you can use a paring knife to remove those spots. Finely chop your peaches and place them in bowl with lemon juice. Toss to coat.
- Pour peaches and sugar into large (8-12 quart) heavy bottomed pot, and stir well to combine. Cover pot with plastic wrap and allow peach mixture to sit for an hour before cooking. To ensure you get the most flavor and sweetness out of your peaches, we are macerating them in sugar for an hour before you begin cooking them.After peaches are macerated your mixture will be darker, as the juices have been extracted. Once an hour has passed, remove plastic wrap and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Meanwhile, prepare apples by coring, peeling and dicing into small pieces.After an hour, add prepared apples, cinnamon sticks and allspice to the pot with peaches.
- Bring peaches to a boil on medium heat and cook for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 1 hour, reduce heat to low and keep a slow boil. After 15 minutes, put a spoon of jam onto a saucer and place into the freezer until cool. If you can easily pass your finger through the jam it is not done. Check every few minutes and once the jam gives some resistance (starts to create ripples) you are done! When finished, jam will resist and rumple a bit; it will be more jellied than sauce. That’s what you want to see. Your apples will dissolve into the jam and you will be left with a thick delicious peach jam spiced with cinnamon and allspice.
- Remove from heat and remove and discard cinnamon sticks.Either can in sterilized jars according to standard safe canning practices, or put in the fridge or freezer for consumption within 5 days.
- The best way to ensure you get the most flavor and sweetness out of your peaches is to macerate them in sugar for an hour before you begin cooking them. This will help extract the natural sweetness and juices and make for a much more flavorful jam.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published June 2011.
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