Monday, August 9, 2010

What's Cookin?: Peach Jam

I bought a whole box of peaches at the Farmer's Market this weekend. I was dying to try make peach jam. I found this recipe online. It's from Chef John Besh's book, "My New Orleans: The Cookbook (2009).

I used about 5 large peaches to make the 3 cups of chopped peaches. I wanted my jam a little less chunky so I mashed my peaches and left some chunks. I think that made my jam too liquidy. It hasn't set all that well 24 hours later. The pectin box says to wait 2 weeks and if it's still not set, I can redo it with extra pectin. I may have to do that. My jam is a little syrupy right now. I can't wait to taste it though! I may just use a jar on some pancakes!

Peach Jam
Adapted from: My New Orleans: The Cookbook by Chef John Besh
Yield: 8 half-pint jars

3 c. peeled, pitted & chopped peaches
1 1/2 c. water
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
6 c. sugar
6 oz. liquid pectin or 1.75 oz. powdered pectin

1) Sterile your canning jars and lids. I usually get my large canning pot going on the stove before starting anything else. I add the jars and lids to the water. Once the water heats up, I simmer the jars and lids until I am ready to use them.

2 )Start with fresh, ripe peaches. Using free stone peaches will be easiest (these are peaches where the pits detach easily from the fruit). Wash the peaches well under cold water.

3) I used this method to peel the peaches. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Dunk whole peaches into the hot water for about 30-60 seconds. Remove peaches with a slotted spoon to a iced water bath. Let peaches cool in the ice water for a few minutes, then drain in a colander. The peach skins should come off easily from the peaches now.

**Note: If peaches are not fully ripe, skins will not come off easily. Try reboiling them 30-60 seconds at a time and keep trying.**

4) Slice up your peaches into small chunks. This is where I deviated from the recipe and mashed mine up a bit.

5) Put the peaches, 1 1/2 c. water, lemon juice and 5 3/4 c. sugar into a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. Bring peaches to a boil, stirring constantly.

6) Mix the remaining 1/4 c. sugar with the pectin in a small bowl and stir this into the hot jam mixture. Boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat.

7) Ladle the peaches and juices into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars clean, then place sterilized lids on top and screw on the rings (don't screw on rings too tightly).

8) Use jar tongs to put the filled jars in to a canning pot. I use the water I had the jars simmering in. Made sure the water covers the jars at least by 1 inch. Bring water to a boil. Once the water starts boiling, start counting and boil for 10 minutes.

9) Use tongs to carefully remove the jars from the water. Place on a kitchen towel. Allow the jars to sit (undisturbed) and cool completely before you move them. You will hear the lids vacuum seal and "pop in". After 24 hours, check lids by pressing down on them. If they do not pop back, they are successfully sealed. You can store jam in a cool and dark pantry for up to 12 months.

**Editted to add: My first try did not end up setting. I would recommend not mushing up the peaches. It ends up boiling down when you cook the jam. Mine was too runny and did not set with the pectin. I opened one of the jars and on the bottom of the pectin instructions is information on how to reprocess your jam if it does not set the first time. I did this and my trial jar set well**


meemsnyc said...

Yum, yum, yum. This looks amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Ott, A. said...

This looks great! I am actally hosting a "Canning Week blog party the week of Aug. 23-27. I would love for you to stop by as we are having a linky party, as well as recipes, tips and give-a-ways. it should be a lot of fun!!
a Latte with Ott, A