Monday, August 31, 2015

Fresh Peach Jam

 Ok, so, lately I've been diving head first into the wonderful world of homemade jams and jellies. I love the whole process of taking fabulously delicious ripe fruit and turning it into the most delectable spreads anyone has ever tasted. Since I'm in The Garden State, I have TONS of fresh produce at every turn and I just LIVE for it all summer long, from strawberries and blueberries to apricots and plums. One of my absolute very most favorite fruits is definitely a juicy ripe PEACH! There's seriously nothing like taking a bite of a plump perfectly ripe peach and having the juice drip down your chin. It's one of life's simple pleasures!
 So of course, since I'm newly obsessed with jamming and such, I decided to make a batch (or three) of delicious peach jam. It's like capturing summer in a jar. SO amazingly good! It's possibly one of my favorite things I've EVER made. I'm not even kidding. One of these days (if I ever get around to it), I'll do a video of how to do the water-bath preserving etc. In the meantime, definitely make a batch of this jam and enjoy the last peaches of the season.
It just doesn't get any better than this!

2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 box powdered fruit pectin (6 tbs)
1 tsp butter
5 1/2 cup sugar

 Peel and pit peaches. Finely chop fruit. Measure exactly 4 cups prepared fruit into 6- or 8-quart sauce pot. Add lemon juice and fruit protector; stir until well blended. Stir in pectin. Add butter to reduce foaming, if desired. Bring to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar all at once. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon. If you are not planning to preserve in jars, simply let it cool, then store it in the fridge and have it on hand, ready for you to enjoy.
If you'd like to do the canning, prep your jars before you make the jam:
Bring boiling-water canner, half-full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.
Ladle hot jam immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with 2-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 minutes. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)

It's really not difficult to make your own jam. The thing that seems a little daunting is preserving the jam in jars. If you're planning on eating the jam right away, there's no need to do the jars!

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