11 August 2011

small batch peach jam

I made some peach jam last night while listening to The Be Good Tanyas and drinking a cranberry seltzer cocktail. (If you like folksy bluegrass, check 'em. They are the perfect soundtrack for peach jam-making, among other homesteading activities.) I adapted a recipe from Ms. Stewart for this no-pectin peach jam. I was drawn to it primarily because it bypasses the hours of stove time time that would crank up the temperature in our place to unpleasant levels. Even though it's cooling down outside, our apartment is still holding steady at HOT and I wasn't inclined to bump it up with a slow-simmering pot of peaches. Although, yes, I made a peach cake in the oven this week but that seemed worth it. Because it is PEACH CAKE. As a freezer jam, this can be kept in the fridge for up to one month and in the freezer for way longer. You could definitely process this too, Martha says so. I am not equipped for home canning, though, so into the fridge it goes.

"We Live On the 3rd Floor and It's Hot" Small Batch Peach Jam
(Makes about 1 pint, maybe a little more if you don't overcook it like I did.)

  • 3 pounds of fresh peaches, peeled
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar

  1. Half and pit the peaches, then cut into small 1/2" chunks. In a large bowl, coat the peaches with lemon juice and then add in the sugar. Toss to coat. Cover the bowl and let sit for 3 hours, stirring a few times an hour. I know this a really long, possibly inconvenient amount of time, but it saves you from standing over a hot stove for too long. For me, that was completely worth it. I just started it when I got home from work and finished it before bed.
  2. The sugar should now be completely dissolved and it should look a bit like those fruit cups you can buy of peaches in syrup. Because that is pretty much what it is. Transfer to a large, wide pot.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for about 25-30 minutes until liquid is syrupy. But not too thick! Even if it looks a bit thin, it will gel up over time. Trust me. I didn't realize that and now we have super-thick jam. C'est la vie, no? Skim off the foam with a slotted spoon and transfer jam to a storage container. I let it cool and then poured it into one of these Ball Freezer Jars.
And that's the story of my first-ever peach jam. When I made it, I let it simmer on the stove for closer to 45 minutes and that was way too long, considering it already sat in the syrup mixture for 3 hours. 25-30 minutes should be about perfect. Spread it on your English Muffin with a bit of butter. Or glop it on some vanilla ice cream. I bastardize all of this fresh fruit, "nature's dessert", by pouring it on top of a bowl of vanilla ice cream. I can't help it. It's so freaking good that way.


  1. Yeah! Small Batch Peach Jam- you did it! It looks amazing. You are truly rocking those peaches. Your cake was a-ma-zing. -Christina

  2. How long is the jam good for, since you don't process it in a Water Bath? Do you know?


  3. I would keep it in the fridge for up to one month, but it will last in the freezer for many months.


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