While the garnet color of my Indian Free peaches still fascinates me, it’s their flavor that leaves my tastebuds at odds. There’s the lingering aftertaste of peach, but only after the tastebuds take a one-two punch of cherry and blackberry, respectively. It’s crazy; but more importantly it’s delicious.
To prolong this gift from the orchard, I make jam and it really is as easy as 1, 2, 3; just follow a couple rules. Don’t double recipes or you’ll enjoy a lovely runny fruit sauce for your efforts. Be patient and don’t rush with high heat. Sugar burns. Here’s how I make peach preserves or jam.
Peach Jam Recipe
- 3 pounds of peaches
- 4 cups of sugar
- 1 big lime
- Wash peaches.
- Don’t peel. (Big waste of time in my book. Peel adds a nice texture and color and more times than not dissolves)
- Slice peach halves into quarters
- Layer peaches and sugar in thick bottom stock pot.
- Drizzle lime juice over peaches and sugar.
- Stir gently.
- Refrigerate overnight to draw out juices
- Next day, heat very slowly
- Bring up to a simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly
- Don’t skim foam. (Unless your making clear jellies, this step though unneeded in my experience, is always suggested in other recipes.)
- Remove from heat, let sit until room temperature.
- Refrigerate again overnight
- Next day heat slowly to simmer
- Remove from heat when jam thickens a bit and heated jam forms double drops when hanging from a horizonatally held spoon.
- Done. Let it cool and sample your reward with nothing less than a gravy ladle (though I’ve heard teaspoons work nicely as well).
I usually bottle my jam in half pint jars but that process is a another entry. In the meantime, here’s a link that tells you how to can it safely from Virginia Tech. Enjoy!