Peach Jam #3

Even though I’ve posted 2 previous trials of peach jam I am posting this one to keep track of the amounts used. Each time it gets better, with less sugar and more cooking time.
This time I made 9 half-pint jars from 25 peaches (it’s peach season and Cary took me to Battleview Orchards for my peach jam run). I bought 8 quarts of peaches and kept about 8 peaches aside to hold for pie. I’ll make that on Friday.

The pot was pretty full this time, so it took 1.5 – 2 hours of boiling to cook it down about 50%.

Early stages of cooking… tons of peaches!

25 peaches (9 lbs 7 oz after they were peeled and cut up)
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 packet of no-sugar pectin

Peaches were blanched and given an ice bath so I could peel them easily. I drastically cut the sugar content again. Even after 2 hours of cooking I had to add pectin to thicken it. Total prep and cooking time was 2.5 – 3 hours. Peaches are so watery when they cook that they really do need pectin unless I wanted to stand in front of the pot stirring for another 2 hours… no thank you!

It was really delicious and peachy this time, all fruit, very little goo.  🙂  Each serving of this recipe (2 tablespoons) is 59 calories and 14g of sugar. Practically health food!

UPDATE: 8 August 2012
This batch came out tangy. Chris wants it to be sweeter, so next time I’ll use more sugar. I like it, but it is more tart, almost like an apricot jam. I think a little more sugar wouldn’t go amiss.  🙂


Hurricane Peach Cobbler Jam

What better to do in a storm than make peach cobbler jam?
Really it was just peach jam with cinnamon, which makes it taste more like dessert than jam.
This time I did it from memory and followed my instincts… I let it cook down for a while until it started to form a skin on top and looked like it was starting to jell.
We liked it…. now if I can only figure out how to make a hurricane-prevention jam.  🙂

12 peaches, peeled and chopped
4.5 cups sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 packet sure-jell low sugar pectin
1 tsp cinnamon

Directions: Peel and chop peaches. Mix 1/2 cup sugar with pectin in small bowl. Add to peaches and cook until starts to boil. Add remaining sugar and boil vigorously, stirring, until starts to thicken and water cooks down. Pour into sterilized jars and leave out to cool 12-24 hours. Makes 7 half-pint jars.

Peach preserves redux: Success!

It worked! This tiny jar doesn’t have as many peach pieces inside, but this was the leftover jam (jar #16.5)

I found a great recipe to fix “soft” jam online. Soft just means that it didn’t set (for any reason: not enough pectin, too much water in the fruit, fruit was too ripe).
It worked perfectly! I emptied all 19.5 jars out, split it into three batches, and recooked and recanned each batch separately. It took three hours, but it worked! Yay!

I can’t wait to share it. 19.5 jars cooked down to 16.5 jars. Chris and I already tested some. Yum.  🙂
Thanks to Cary and Dan for the peaches! Your jam is on it’s way.

16.5 jars… note the tomatoes from my garden in the background. The three front tomatoes are from the CSA.

“Soft” Jam Fix: from

The jars of jam to be remade
No-sugar needed pectin
Lemon juice (bottled, not from concentrate)

Step 1 -Determine how much jam or jelly needs to be remade

Measure the jam or jelly to be recooked. Work with no more than 4 to 6 cups at a time. 
Add up the volumes of all the jars to be reworked, to figure out the size of the batch (in quarts) for step 2.
1 qt = 32 oz = 2 pints = four 8oz jars = eight 4oz jars).
Empty and wash all of the jars, then put in boiling water to sterilize until ready to fill again.

Step 2 – Measure out additional pectin, water, sugar and lemon juice

If you are using powdered pectin:
For each quart of jam or jelly to be fixed, mix ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup water or white grape juice, 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice, and 4 teaspoons powdered pectin in a large pot. For the average batch of about 4 quarts total, that would be 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water or juice and about 1/4 cup lemon juice, plus about 1/2 box pectin, preferably the no-sugar variety.
If you are using liquid pectin:
For each quart of jelly, measure ¾ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons liquid pectin in a large pot.

Step 3 – Bring to a boil

Bring the pectin mixture to a boil while stirring. Add the jam jelly and bring to a rolling boil again, over high heat, stirring constantly.Once it is a rolling boil, boil hard for 45 to 60 seconds (1 minute).

Step 4 – Remove, from heat, skim and fill the jars

Remove from heat, and quickly skim the foam off jam or jelly.
Fill sterile jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Adjust new lids and process in the hot water bath for 5-10 minutes.

Peach Preserves…. or Peach Soup

🙂 Silly me. I tried to make a double batch of peach preserves even though they warned me not to double the recipe.
I now have 18.5 jars of peach soup, or peach sauce (Chris drank one). I’m going to open all of the jars and recook it in half-batches and re-can them… once the no-sugar-needed pectin arrives.
Cary and Dan bought us 24 delicious local peaches. Yum!
All of the steps worked out right, but a double batch makes for too much water in the fruit… too little surface area to cook off all of that water. More cooking will fix it, never fear.
I followed a recipe that Cary sent that uses less sugar. Less sugar means less setting too… I should have realized that the combination would not likely be successful.
At least it tastes good! I’ll update this blog once I’ve fixed it. Hopefully Wednesday night.

Delicious, fresh peaches!

Peeling peaches: first boil, then ice bath, then peel.

Lids boiling

Peach preserves cooking… too much… too watery
Canned – first time – 19.5 half-pint jars
A soupy mess on the plate… now I’ll have to recook and re-can it all

Recipe: (Don’t double this like I did)
12 peaches
4.5 cups sugar
2 oz packet pectin
2 tbsp lemon juice
Peel and chop peaches; cook until boiling. Add sugar, cook again until boiling. Add 1 packet liquid pectin, bring back to boil for 1 minute.
Let preserves cool for 15-25 minutes.
Fill sanitized jars and process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.