Call me psychic, but I know peaches are going to be on sale at your local grocery store soon if they aren’t already. They were on sale here earlier this week for $0.99 a lb. I usually wait until a fruit goes on sale and then make a yearly supply of jam. This year, it’s peach jam. Last year it was strawberry jam.
I don’t make jam by the book. I hate preparing the jars in a water bath, cause I end up splashing boiling water all over myself and the kitchen. I don’t add sugar in a ratio of 1:1, and I don’t add pectin.
Here is how I make my peach jam…
It is advised to make this jam during nap time or late at night, when the thieves are asleep 😉
I left it at this stage for about 8 minutes, then lowered the heat to medium.
When the peaches are soft, I put my hand blender to work.
Next, I added the juice of half a lemon and it’s seeds. It’s a nice trick not many know about. The lemon seeds are full of pectin. No need to buy the powder pectin, just throw a few lemon seeds into your jam and they will thicken it for you. You can place them in a cheesecloth or simply throw them in. I just throw them in and try to remember (this time I failed…) to fish them out before I transfer the jam into the jars.
This is very easy. No need for huge pots that take a whole kitchen cabinet, tongs or what not. Simply heat your oven to 320F, place the jars on a baking sheet and stick in the oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place the lids in a bowl of hot water.
After ten minutes, take the jars out of the oven and set on the counter.
I make a spoon test. I spoon a tablespoon of jam and let it cool for a couple of minutes. Then, I let it drop to the plate and watch the thickness. Take into consideration that the jam will thicken more when cool.
Make sure to dry the lids with a paper towel and clean the rim of the jar before covering the jar with the lid. The rim and the lid have to have complete contact to seal properly. I also place the ring at this point, but very loosely.
Place the covered jars on the counter to cool. In the next few hours, you will hear the ‘pop’ which signals a successful seal. After a few hours, when the jam cools down, you can check the seal and tighten the rings. If you find that one of your jars didn’t seal, just place it in the refrigerator, it will last until you are 90, but I bet you’ll eat it before then.
Note: you can start with any amount of fruit. Add half the weight of the fruit in sugar. Add lemon juice and lemon seeds. The only thing that is going to change is the cooking time so keep a close eye on the pot.