Thursday, September 23, 2010

Incredible Spiced Peach Jam

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With peach season in full swing here in Utah, I wanted to share this wonderful recipe for Spiced Peach Jam. It's actually my husband's grandmother's recipe that I recently got permission from her to share with you all. Thanks Nana!

Have you ever noticed I don't purchase store bought jam? I've been making this jam for several years now and no one in our family can get enough of it. Each year, the list of everyone in the family who wants a jar grows longer! Not only is it absolutely delicious, but using the inversion method of canning, you can seal your jars in 1 simple step and stack them in your pantry to use over the next 12-18 months.

I've played with this recipe a bit and I encourage you to add the spices according to your liking. The directions I have listed below is our favorite way of preparing it, but if you want a more dominant peach flavor, halve the spices.

I've detailed out the basic way to make jam. Be sure to read the directions on your box of pectin though as different varieties call for small changes to the amount of sugar, time to boil the jam, etc. I've also used the low sugar variety of pectin with this recipe and love it.

Nana's Spiced Peach Jam

4 cups fresh finely chopped peaches {I pulse mine on low in a small food processor- you want fine chunks, not puree}
1/4 cup lemon juice
5.5- 6 cups sugar {different pectins vary}
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 box Pectin
3 pint-sized canning jars, or 6 half-pint jars

Peel, pit and slice peaches as detailed here. Chop peaches using a small food processor or blender. Be sure to aim for small bits of peaches, as opposed to puree.

Begin heating a large pot on the stove on medium.  Stir the lemon juice, pectin and spices into peaches. Pour into pot on stove. Over medium-high heat, bring jam to a hard boil, meaning that it continues to boil quickly even while stirring. This takes around 20 minutes.

As the jam heats up, measure out your sugar in a separate bowl.


You'll also want to get your jars ready. They need to be sanitized and warm when you ladle the jam in, so you can prepare them in a couple different ways. You can put them in the dishwasher on "Sanitize." Or you can simply boil a pot of water and while the jam heats up, put jars in and leave them for 3-5 minutes, then dry them on a clean towel. I stand in front of the stove and prepare my jars this way, stirring the jam periodically.

Once jam is brought to a hard boil, add the sugar, all at once, stirring while you pour it in. Continue on medium-high heat until the jam is back to a full, rolling boil. Boil for 1-4 minutes. {Be sure to read the exact amount of time on the pectin instructions for cooked peach jam.} My jam usually ends up boiling a couple minutes over this time and mine has always turned out beautifully!

Ladle hot jam into jars using a funnel. Leave as little space on top as you can, without overflowing it. Place lid and ring on jar, securing both well.


Immediately turn the entire jar upside down. This is called the inversion method of canning and it's perfect for jam. This inversion seals the lid and will enable you to not have to refrigerate the jam until the seal is broken. I've had jars of jam in my pantry sealed well for 12-18 months using this method.

After 24 hours, right the jar and voila! Beautiful, delicious spiced peach jam for your family to enjoy!

19 comments:

Niki said...

You make canning jam look easy! I might just have to try it!

Anonymous said...

Hey Jessica,

Did you just use one box of pectin for this batch? And instead of using canning jars, can I re-use jars of fruit that I've bought from the store? Like the Del Monte fruit jars? Or is it better to use jars specifically to canning? Thanks!

Utah Deal Diva said...

Yes, I just use 1 box of pectin for this recipe. I've used all different brands- I don't have a favorite. I do really like the low sugar kind though.

You can re-use other jars, but you will have to store them in the fridge or freezer since you won't be able to seal them like you would canning jars. the rubberized lid that comes with canning jars is necessary for a good seal.

Anonymous said...

Have you used Splenda instead of sugar? I have a diabetic child!

Heidi said...

Aha! I have had this, haven't I? You made some for me a couple of years ago. Same recipe?

makinzee said...

Did you know you are supposed to water boil bath jam according to Ball? I know our Grandmothers never did, but somewhere along the way they changed the rules. Although, I'll admit I haven't yet.

Brooks and Mandy said...

Oooh this looks yummy and thick My peach freezer jam always turns out runny. I am going to have to try this and I love that I can store it in the Pantry instead of taking room up in the Freezer. Thanks for Sharing.

LaDene said...

This is not an approved or safe method of canning!

Utah Deal Diva said...

LaDene- I've done a lot of research and it's perfectly safe...for jam. Do not try and can anything else this way- just jam!

Sak said...

Someone asked about using splenda instead of sugar, and I have done that all season. My husband is diabetic and I've used Splenda in peach, plum, mango/plum apricot jam and pepper jelly. Make sure to turn off your heat source before you add the splenda, it will clump up into hard balls if you don't. Just stir really well. I also use only 1/2 the amount called for, you may like more or less. There are directions in the no sugar added pectin boxes for using splenda. I've also used splenda in all the fruit, syrup and nectar I've canned this year.

Aaron said...

Have you ever tried using jello instead of pectin? I really want to make these with the peaches from my peach tree, but jello is so much cheaper than pectin $$$$... Would it work?

Sak said...

I just talked to someone who uses flavored jello to make her plum jam with, I don't see why it wouldn't work. If it doesn't set up firm enough you can make syrup!

jdahlke said...

I also agree that this is NOT a good way of sealing the jars. Jam or not there are still bacteria that is growing in the fruit. Read what the national center for home food preservation says about sealing the jars. When I read this I was convinced that my families health was more important than the process I had learned from my mom to turn the jars upside down when making jam. Bacteria changes and so does research. Better safe than sorry. ALWAYS process your jars! http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can7_jam_jelly.html

Julie said...

OK, a few things: If you use Splenda, you MUST use a no-sugar pectin. Splenda will not work with regular pectin (occasionally, it will, but that's a fluke). If you use Splenda, you will really need to boil the jars after you put the jam in and lids on. For jam, acid is part of the preservation, but sugar (being hygroscopic) is the other part. If you're even making low-sugar jam, a boiling water bath is really the way to go, because most of them will not have enough sugar to preserve the product properly. (Because sugar is hygroscopic, meaning it attracts water molecules, in very high-sugar environments, most bacteria simply can't get enough water to survive; molds can, though, so if you invert your jars to seal them or use the old-fashioned paraffin method, you will often find jars of moldy jam).

If your recipe is a full sugar recipe, then inversion is probably safe (but, again, the jam may go moldy if stored improperly). Jam processed in a boiling water bath almost never goes moldy.

I hope that clears some of the questions up. This recipe looks good. I can sliced spiced peaches most years, so I would think this would be tasty too.

Julie said...

I just noticed, too--you must cover the lids with boiling water to sterilize them before you put them on the jars. Ideally, if you're going to invert the jars rather than process them in boiling water, then you should really sterilize the jars, too. But you can run them through the sterilizing wash on your dishwasher, and that would probably work fine as long as you then let them air dry (not towel dry). In your canning kit, did you get a little magnetic wand? That's for the lids. You put a small saucepan of water on, and when it comes to a boil, shut off the heat and drop the lids in. You don't need to do the rings because they don't touch the food. You also don't want to actually boil the lids because it can mess up the rubberized edge. The little magnetic wand is for fetching the metal lids out of the boiling water as you can.

Utah Deal Diva said...

I've boiled my jars & lids each time too- that magnetic wand sounds handy!

And of course, I encourage everyone to use good judgement. If you don't feel comfortable using this inversion method to seal your jars of jam- then don't do it! I keep a close eye on mine and look for any signs of spoilage, but haven't had any problems.

Jen Meecham said...

I made this today, and it smells and tastes wonderful. Thanks for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

I just made this and it was delicious! I did it using the inversion method and when I flipped my jars right side up, after 24 hours, the jam hasn't settled to the bottom. It's been two days since I've made it now and the space is at the bottom of the jar instead of the top. Is this normal?

And also, I've been reading all of these comments about this method not being safe, but you said you've used the pectin with less sugar and you've had no problem with mold using this method right?

Jill said...

When using the water bath method, how long to I process it for? Thanks! I'm new to canning. :-)

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