Peach Jam and How to Can It Step by Step

Peach Jam_15 on Whisk Together

Book Update:  No novels so far.  Book club is in… limbo?  I’m not sure.  Well, anyway I have been delving deep into more cast iron skillet recipes and general know how.  Several of my friends have been ditching their non-stick cookware due to the health concerns raised.  I haven’t seen anything in the big media about non-stick finishes, but several reliable sources like Consumer Reports have stated that there are growing concerns about non-stick finishes emitting fumes and the PFOA ( perfluorooctanoic acid) having links to cancer.

So!  That being said, I’m more about getting rid of things I don’t “need” especially if they might cause damage later on.  I have a 12″ and 10″ cast iron skillet to begin with and loving them.  Finally, sausage gravy that tastes good!  It never tasted right out of my other skillets.  In addition, I love how cast iron goes from the stove top to the oven.  That feature works great in these recipes:  Fiesta Chicken Casserole, Cumin Pork Tenderloin and Chili Mac.

Recipe Update:  I try to lower sugar when I can and still make things taste good.  Therefore, I’ve included the low sugar/no added sugar recipe for peach jam here and also the regular peach jam recipe.  Both are very good.  The no added sugar one is obviously less sweet and less like the jam you may be used to at the grocery store.  The regular peach jam tastes wonderful!

My other canning recipe is found here.  It is still my favorite of all time: Strawberry Lemon Marmalade

No Added Sugar Peach Jam
5-6 half pint jars, 8 – 4oz. jars

5 cups finely chopped, peeled, pitted peaches (to peel you can blanch them or use a knife)
1 cup unsweetened white grape juice
2 Tb. lemon juice
3 Tb. Ball Low or No-sugar Needed pectin

1.  Dump everything into a large pot.
2.  Heat over medium to medium high heat and bring to a boil.  Stir, stir, stir!  Now bring it to a hard boil (which is a boil that when you stir the spoon the boil does not stop) and stir constantly for ONE minute.
3.  Use 1/4″ headspace and process in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Option:  Add 1/2-1 tsp. almond extract after you remove the pot from the heat/stove.  Stir in and then ladle into jars.  Or, cook on the stovetop with a cinnamon stick or two.

Peach Jam
8 half pints

1 quart finely chopped, pitted, peeled peaches
7 and 1/2 cups of sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 pouch Ball Liquid Pectin

1.  Dump everything into a big saucepot.
2.  Over medium heat to medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil.  Now bring it to a hard boil (which is a boil that when you stir the spoon the boil does not stop) and stir constantly for ONE minute.
3.  Use 1/4″ headspace and process in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Option:  Add 1/2-1 tsp. almond extract after you remove the pot from the heat/stove.  Stir in and then ladle into jars.  Or, cook on the stovetop with a cinnamon stick or two.

How to Can the Jam
(or any other high acid ingredient really!)

Peach Jam on Whisk Together

1.  Prep your workstation:  I get out 1 large stockpot for actually processing the cans.   Put in enough water to cover the jars 1-2″ with water. Get the water boiling.  It takes a while, so this is always my first step.

I have 1 large dutch oven for simmering the jars, lids and rings (Do NOT boil them!  It ruins the lids.  Just a simmer.). Begin simmering the water at the same time as the stockpot.

Third, if you have a cooked recipe, have a large saucepot to cook it in.  There are no cook strawberry jam recipes out there as well, so you don’t need to in some recipes.

Peach Jam_14 on Whisk Together

In addition, I have a station for adding the jam to the jars.

Peach Jam_1  on Whisk Together

2.  Prep your mixture:  Have all the ingredients out and ready to go. Most of the recipes I like are cooked at a hard boil for one minute and then removed from the heat.  Follow the directions for the recipe and remove from the heat.

Peach Jam_6 on Whisk Together

3.  Remove a jar with your tongs.  Using a funnel, ladle the jam into the jar.  Be mindful of headspace.  Usually the recipe will tell you the headspace.  This is the space that is needed between the top of the lid and the jam inside.  1/4″ of headspace for your jams and jellies.  1/2″ headspace for fruits, tomatoes, pickles and relishes.  1″ headspace for low acid foods like vegges and meat which I will never can anyway because I don’t have a pressure cooker to can them in and don’t want to mess with it!

Peach Jam_7 on Whisk Together

4.  Use a non-metal spatula or butter knife to run along the inside of the jar.  This removes air bubbles.  This is the step I forget to do many times.  Now, clean the jar with a clean towel so there is no food on the outside or on the rim.

5.  Using tongs, remove a lid from the simmering pot and put on top of the jar filled with jam.  Using tongs, take out a ring and use a towel to fingertip-tighten.  It doesn’t need to be really, really tight.  I use a towel because that stuff is hot!

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6.  Once I have 3 jars ready to go, I load up my green basket and it in the stockpot.  I put on the lid and set the timer for 10 minutes.

Peach Jam_8 on Whisk Together

7.  Remove the lid from the stockpot so the steam faces away from you.  Fish the basket out of the stock pot with a towel.  Place the basket down and remove the jars out with tongs.  I use a wire rack and towel for this step to catch the drips.

Peach Jam_12 on Whisk Together

8.  You’re done!  The general wait is 24 hours to make sure that the jam is “canned”, but many times when I use the small 4 oz. jars I hear the “pop” of the lid right after taking them out of the basket!  Once the jars have cooled for 12-24 hours, remove the ring and give the lid a little tug.  It shouldn’t budge.  Also, press into the center of the lid and it should be concave.  If it has been less than 24 hours and your jar has not been sealed, you can reprocess it again.  Or refrigerate it.

Recipes from Ball Canning

Peach Blueberry Cobbler

Peach Blueberry Cobbler on Whisk Together

Recipe:  I couldn’t decide which recipe to post, so I picked both!  Make sure to scroll down for #1 and #2.

 I like adding blueberries to fruit recipes.  They add another dimension of flavor, color and uniqueness to the dish.  I’ve done this before with the cherry blueberry pie recipe.  Normally, I use frozen peaches in baked goods because it is easier and cheaper.  But, since peaches are in season right now and 98 cents/lb. right now, fresh peaches are it!  Recently, the Food Network magazine noted that canned peaches are actually better for you nutritionally than fresh ones since canned peaches have more vitamins.  Maddox was very happy about this since he loves canned peaches above all others.  🙂

The cobbler on top of the peaches is more cake-like than pie like.  If you like pie like, try Alton Brown’s version.

Don’t have blueberries?  Just add more peaches!
Don’t have a casserole dish available?  Use a cast iron skillet!  Very rustic looking.
Don’t like almond extract?  Use vanilla or omit!

Peach Blueberry Cobbler
yield 6-8 servings

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tb. cornstarch
4 large peaches, peeled and 1/2″ slices (to peel easily, submerge in boiling water for 1-2 minutes)
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 Tb. lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional, but it makes it unique)

1 and 1/2 cups (7.5 oz) AP flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 Tb. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
6 Tb. cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 Tb. lemon juice mixed into 1/2 cup milk)
zest of 1 lemon

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  In a great big bowl, mix the dry filling ingredients:  sugar, cinnamon, salt and cornstarch.  Add the fruit and juice.  Toss.
2.  Spray your 7×11 pan, or 2-3 qt. casserole dish.  Or use a 10 or 12″ cast iron skillet.
3.  Pour fruit mixture into pan.  Bake for 15 minutes.
4.  In a food processor, add your dry topping ingredients:  flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt.  Pulse a few times.  Sprinkle the butter into the mixture and pulse until the dough looks like big crumbs.  Drizzle in buttermilk and pulse until a dough forms.  3-4 pulses.  OR, if you do not have a food processor, simply take the dry ingredients and mix.  Sprinkle the butter and use your fingers or pastry cutter to make large crumbs.  Drizzle in the buttermilk.
5.  Using a spoon or your fingers, dot the top of the fruit with biscuit topping.  Try not to go over 1/4-1/2″ thick.  Cover most of the top.
6.  Bake for another 30-40 minutes and the top should be a golden brown.

Recipe was “cobbled” together from various sources like Alton Brown’s Good Eats, and the Cooking Channel

I also like this recipe.  The topping is not biscuit like, but mixed together like a peach cake/pie.

Peach Cobbler
serves 12

8 Tb. butter
1 and 1/2 cups (7.5 oz) AP flour
1 and 1/2 cups (10.5 oz.) sugar + 2 Tb.
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 and 1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. almond extract, divided
2 lbs peaches, peeled and sliced  (roughly 4 cups)

1.  Preheat oven to 350.
2.  Throw the stick of butter into a 13×9 pan.  I wouldn’t worry about greasing it. 😉
3.  Put the pan in the oven to melt the butter
4.  In a medium bowl or food processor, mix the dry stuff:  flour, 1 and 1/2 cups sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add the wet stuff: milk and almond extract.
5.  In a large bowl:  mix peaches with 2 Tb. sugar and 1/2 tsp. almond extract.
6.  Take the pan out of the oven since the butter should be melted by now.  Add batter into the pan.  Gently pour fruit onto the batter.  Bake 45-50 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Paula Deen’s Lady and Sons

Easy Peach Crisp

Easy Peach Crisp on Whisk Together

I know I try to post only whole ingredients and replace mixes, but there was this sale…. and well, the cookie mixes were practically FREE!  So, I bought some to experiment.  If you ever need something fast and easy AND outstanding to take to a pot luck that looks homemade – THIS is it.  Perfect Peach Crisp for summer!!  If peaches are not in season, feel free to use canned or frozen.  I love frozen peaches because they are sometimes even better than the ones you find sitting in the grocery store.

I also tested this recipe using a lower calorie substitute for the butter:  nonfat plain Greek yogurt.  If you still use a little bit of butter, the topping is STILL crispy.  Perhaps not as much, but crispy enough to consider this a “crisp”.  Oh so good!

You can also successfully cut this recipe in half.  I measured 8 oz. of cookie mix and it worked out great this way as well.

Easy Peach Crisp
serves 8-10 hearty servings

1 – (1 lb. 1.5oz.) package of Betty Crocker Oatmeal Cookie Mix
8 Tb. butter, melted**
5 cups fresh peaches (sliced and peeled), or 29 oz. canned peaches (drained), or 2 lbs. frozen peaches (thawed and drained)

**For fewer calories you can use 4 Tb. of butter melted (to keep it crispy!) and 2-3 Tb. of plain Greek Yogurt.  Enough to moisten the mix

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 2 qt. casserole dish or 9×9 square dish.
2.  Add your peaches to the casserole dish.
3.  In a large bowl, mix your oatmeal cookie mix with the melted butter or butter/yogurt combination.
4.  Sprinkle the topping onto the peaches.  Bake 25-35 minutes.   Serve warm with ice cream, whipped cream or plain!

Peach Blueberry Crumble

I bought these new 6 oz. ramekins at the store for a blackberry dish, but I always have frozen peaches on hand and thought I’d try this first.  They worked great!  Anchor makes them.  It’s neat to see the filling through the dish.  But anyway, I’ve made a few peach crumbles and this one is by far the best I’ve tried.  I even lowered the sugar and fat in it to see and it was still just as tasty!

This is another hit from Ina Garten.  I think her show is sometimes kind of annoying, but when she makes a recipe she really hits a homerun.

I’m sure this could be made in a larger dish instead of individual dishes.  Simply increase your baking time.

Peach Blueberry Crumble
yield 4 servings

1 lb. firm, ripe peaches – I use frozen ones I thaw out the night before or you can pit, peel and slice
1 tsp. lemon zest (usually 1 lemon)
1 Tb. lemon juice (again, just use the same 1 lemon)
1/4 cup sugar (I used slightly less and it was still great)
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup flour
1/8 cup sugar
2 Tb. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
4 Tb. cold, unsalted butter, cut up (I tried to reducing this to 2 Tb. and still tasted yummy)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prep 4 – 6-8 oz. ramekins or small baking dish and spray with cooking spray.   In a medium bowl, mix the peaches, zest, juice and sugar.  Fold in the blueberries and let sit for 5 minutes while you make the crumble.
2.  In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon.  Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or your fingers until it is coarse and crumbly.
3.  Distribute the fruit mixture into the baking dish or divide evenly between ramekins.  Top with the crumble.  Bake 35-40 minutes for ramekins, check after 45 minutes for a baking dish.  The top will just start to brown and the filling will be bubbly.  There aren’t any eggs- so this is pretty forgiving on time.  If you use the reduced amount of butter, the tops won’t brown as much because of the lack of butter.  But they are still yummy and pretty.
4.  Cool slightly and eat!  Topped with vanilla ice cream is good, too.

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Peach Cobbler Smoothie

First off here are the food fails this week:

1.  Apple pie smoothie.  I had to force it down.  It could be the apple peel, or the fact there is no crust… I don’t know.  Was not very tasty!
2.  Lemon Zucchini Bread.  This recipe is plastered all over Pinterest and looks great.  But it only has 1 cup of zucchini for the whole loaf and doesn’t taste all that great!   I enjoyed the Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Muffins/Loaf much much more.

Peach Cobbler Smoothie
2 servings

2 cups vanilla yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. honey
1 dash cinnamon
4 tsp. rolled oats
2 cups frozen unsweetened peach slices
8 ice cubes

1.  Blend and drink!

*If you have plain yogurt instead, this is how I make this:

2 cups plain yogurt
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. honey
1 dash cinnamon
4 tsp. rolled oats
2 cups frozen peaches
8 ice cubes

 – If it is too thick, I would suggest adding a liquid like milk.  I think it depends on your yogurt.  Some brands are much more liquidy than others.

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