Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Peach jam that you don't want to miss

I AM going to post the white bean soup recipe, promise. But first, because summer is waning and peaches won't be with us much longer, I think you need to know about this jam. I made it two weeks ago and I wasn't expecting anything special. It's just peach jam after all. JUST PEACH JAM!? HA! How foolish I was.

It's so deceptively simple that you're not going to believe me until you make it yourself. The key is in how you cook it, so pay attention to that part.

Old Fashioned Peach Jam

4 c sliced peaches (I left the skin on)
4 c sugar
1 T lemon juice

Obviously you could use more peaches and sugar to make more jam, as long as you follow the same ratio. And actually, I think you could skimp on the sugar. It is a particularly sweet jam. Or preserves. Can someone please explain the difference between jam and preserves? To me they are one in the same.

Okay, now. To prepare:

In a heavy bottomed pan/pot (I used my short all clad stock pot), bring all ingredients to a simmer and cook over low heat until peach slices are translucent. This is the key. It seems like they are never going to turn, but they will. It took at least an hour when I made my first batch. Then, and only then, turn the heat up and boil the jam (stirring v. frequently to avoid burning) until both peaches and syrup fall off your wooden spoon as one unit. And then you're done! You can process jam in small jars for gifts or dump it all into a big jar and stick in the fridge so you don't have to share one drop.

I've been enjoying ours on pretty much everything, including spoons. But it seems to be particularly delicious on leftover toasted ciabatta. Note: you must be sure that every square cm is first covered in butter BEFORE applying jam. This will guarantee maximum enjoyment.

Recipe was the fruit of a quick google search that lead me to Cooks.com. I chose it because it seemed the least fussy (no peeling and mashing and marinating the peaches), and it turned out to be revelatory.


Beth said...

I've always been a little intimidated by jam making, but this looks pretty killer. :)

Unknown said...

Simple things (in this case recipes) most often are the best ones. We make apricot jam exactly the same way - only with apricots of course :-) And add a mouthful of brown rum on top of it before sealing the jar... Flaked almonds in the jam are also very good. And I totally agree with you: sometimes less is more, in this case sugar.

greenbeenfood said...

yummy...with spring on the way here in aust i love the idea of stone fruit jams & your tablecloth is very pretty!

Jacqui said...

My family and I have made many kinds of jam for ever - raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, apricot mainly but also sometimes peach and others. Simple traditional recipes usually are 1:1 for fruit to sugar because the sugar is the preserving agent and those jams were made to last a full year until the next harvest. Lemon juice is added for fruit that has little pectin itself to help with setting. I often cut it down to 3/4 sugar to fruit since my jams never last a year! and if I have extra fruit I rather freeze it then make jam from frozen as I think fresh jam is nicer anyway!
Also in Australia most people don't use the water bath method for jams but do for canned fruit/veg. For jam I just use recylced screw top jars and sterilise jars in a low oven and lids with boiling water from the kettle. Then hot jam into jar, lid on and done! Seals almost every time and less messing around. Any that don't seal go in the fridge and are eaten first.

enie meenie said...

Thanks for making my mouth extra happy. This is a must share.

peach jam por vida!

Lyann said...

So funny. Made peach jam this weekend as well. Recipe from Good to the Grain. I added cinnamon at the end. Divine!

Katy said...

Oh wow, this sounds so easy. I love peach jam, too. I am definitely going to try this.

bigBANG studio said...

Baby Dash is growing up FAST. Like, whoosh. It must be pretty swell to be the mother of such a beautiful wee bairn; I mean, he's PERFECT.

Stern Men: short stories about lobstermen and other nefarious seamen by Laura Gilbert, right? Haven't read it, but ought to. Loved "The Last American Man." Couldn't stand "EPL," but I know I'm in the minority there.

Thanks for the great recommendation, and what I wouldn't give for some of the peach jam. Peaches in general, actually. Food up north here a actually a little, um, same-same.

torrie said...

This looks incredibly good... and simple! I have made really easy strawberry jam (from Everyday Food) before, which definitely boosted my confidence up- in the 'jam category.' But have yet to try peach. Thanks for sharing!

figsandfeathers said...

cannot WAIT to make
we'll see if i give any for gifts or if i hoard it. if you don't see me for a week look for me in a dark closet with a big spoon......

Michelle {lovely little things} said...

Love peach jam!

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