Monday, September 26, 2011
Homemade Peach Jam
Unfortunately, it was the night before a weekend away from home, when I glanced around the kitchen and panicked. I realized my wonderful peaches were going to be way past perfect by the time I returned home. I was on my way to being disappointed; when my husband very casually told me that he'd take care of it.
Now, I admit that jam making is not difficult. It is actually quite easy. It is also time-consuming (especially, when you are not familiar with it all) and it is not a simple thing to accomplish with three small children running through the house all weekend. I assured him that he shouldn't worry about it, but if he really wanted to try, I would set out the recipe and the jars for him.
Well, I came home 36 hours later to 24 jars of peach jam. Perfectly sweetened and wonderfully spiced jam with just a hint of cinnamon. I am beside myself with joy and more in love with my wonderful husband than ever before. Did he really want to spend his time making jam this past weekend? That's doubtful. However, he did it for me, as a gift of love. That makes every bite of this delicious jam taste even more delicious.
Homemade Peach Jam
Yield: 6 half-pint jars
3 pounds fresh peaches - 4 cups crushed (this was about 7 medium size peaches)
1 package powdered pectin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
5 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or allspice
Sort and wash fully ripe peaches. Remove stems, skins, bruises and pits. Crush peaches.
Measure crushed peaches into a large pot. Add lemon juice and pectin; stir well. Place on high heat and, while stirring constantly, bring to a full rolling boil with bubbles over the entire surface. Add the sugar and spices all at once and heat again to a full bubbling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute (set a timer), stirring constantly.
Remove from heat; skim foam off the top. (We keep the foam in the refrigerator and enjoy it on toast for the next couple of days. I love it warm straight off the stove as well!) Pour immediately into sterile canning jars. Fill the jars to 1/4 inch from top. Seal them and process 5 minutes in boiling water bath. If you prefer not to use a hot water bath, pour melted wax over the top of the hot jars, let that cool completely and then place the lids on top.