Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sweet Peach Jam

It's harvest time here and we're LOVING IT!! We harvest about a bushel of peaches off of our Red Haven Peach tree. Here's one of our favorite recipes to enjoy peaches all year round!

Sweet Peach Jam

*Makes about 5 cups

*Note: This jam also freezes well if you don’t want to can. Just put the hot jam in jars (leaving ½” headspace) and stick them in the freezer when they’ve cooled.

About 4 lbs. peaches
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 Cups Sugar

1. Wash jars, lids, bands and rinse well. Heat jars and lids in boiling water. Heat up water in your boiling water bath canner.

2. Prepare fruit by peeling, removing the seeds, and finely chopping. Measure exactly 4-1/2 Cups of chopped peaches into a 6 or 8 quart saucepan. Stir in lemon juice and water.

3. Measure 3 Cups of sugar into separate bowl. In another small bowl, mix 1/4 Cup sugar from measured amount and 1 box Less or No Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin (Make sure it specifically says "for less or no sugar needed"). Stir pectin-sugar mixture into fruit in sauce pot. Add 1/2 tsp. butter or margarine to reduce foaming, if desired (I don't usually do this).

4. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining sugar quickly. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam.

5. Take empty jars out of simmering water, one at a time and ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/8" headspace. Wipe the rims and threads of each jar with a clean, damp cloth. Center the heated lid on jar and screw band down until fingertip tight. Then place jar in canner and repeat with other jars.

6. Once canner is full, add water if necessary to cover jars by 1 or 2 inches. Place lid on canner and bring water to a boil and lower heat until water stays at a gentle boil. Process according to times below (based on your current elevation).

Processing Times:
10 min (0-1,000 ft) 15 min (1,001-3,000 ft) 20 min (3,001-6,000 ft) 25 min (6,001-8,000) 30 min (8,001-10,000)

7. After processing, turn off heat and remove the lid for 5 minutes before removing jars from the canner. Set the jars upright on a towel to cool for 12 to 24 hours. Once jars are cool, test jars for a seal by pressing the center of the lid. The lid should not flex up and down. If it does, immediately refrigerate or reprocess with a new lid for the full length of time. Clean jars and remove bands. Label and store in a cool, dry, dark place for up to one year.

Don't forget to save plenty of fresh peaches for eating!!!

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