Peach season peaks in mid to late summer. No one would argue fresh peach jam is a little bit of heaven. But who wants to wait six months?
Beautiful, flawless unsweetened peach slices can be found in the frozen food aisle of your local grocery store right this minute. Picked at their peak and frozen with hours of harvesting, they are perfect.
Despite the fact it’s 7 degrees below zero tonight in Nebraska, I can make gorgeous golden peach jam any time I want. So I did!
Here’s What You Need To Get Ready For Your Jam Session
It’s easy to make jam and, it’s a pretty smooth process once you’ve done it a time or two.
Please take the time to read through the recipe and the instructions before you begin! Set up a little assembly line with everything you need close at hand. Once you’ve started, you won’t have time to run to the store!
Here’s a list of equipment you’ll need.
- Two tall soup pots or a tall soup pot and a water bath canner
- Clean jelly jars you’ve washed in very hot, soapy water and rinsed thoroughly or washed in the dishwasher
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
- A masher or chopper
- A large measuring cup or bowl for sugar
- Canning flats and rings
- A ladle for putting the jam into the jars
- A canning funnel
- Tongs or a magnetic lid lifter to pick up flats from the hot water
- A clean damp dishcloth to wipe of jar rims before applying the lids
- A jar lifter to move filled in and out of the boiling water bath
- A thick old towel
- A cooling rack
How To Cook Up A Sunny Batch Of Homemade Peach Jam
Before you begin, fill one soup pot about halfway full of water. Add two tablespoons of vinegar. Put it on the stove and turn on the burner so it will come to a boil while you make the jam.
Start with two 16 ounce bags of frozen peaches. That’s about 6 cups of peaches, just the right amount for a batch of peach jam.
Empty the bags into the second tall soup pot. You can let them defrost naturally or hurry them along a little bit by putting them on the stove on the lowest setting.
Some recipes I found suggest pureeing the fruit, but I like some sweet little bites of peach in my jam. So instead, I chopped them into small pieces as they defrosted.
While the peaches were defrosting, I measured 6 cups of sugar into a large measuring cup. Don’t forget to measure the sugar in advance because when it’s time to add the sugar, you need to add it all at once!
Now Let’s Get Cookin’
I turned up the heat when the fruit was defrosted. As the peaches began to cook, I was able to chop them into pea-size bits.
When the peaches were all nice and warm, I added a box of pectin, a pat of butter, and three tablespoons of lemon juice. The butter stops foam from forming on top of the jam. The tart taste of lemon keeps it from becoming overly sweet.
Bring this mixture to a boil.
Stop now and put your canning lids into a glass measuring cup. Cover them with boiling water so they will be ready to use.
Next, add the sugar all at once. Yes, you’re right. That’s a lot of sugar. Don’t mess with the quantity.
Continue boiling this mixture, stirring constantly. The sugar and fruit will get dangerously hot, so please use a long spoon to stir the jam as it cooks.
When the jam is boiling so hard you cannot stir it down, start a timer you have set for exactly one minute. Keep cooking and stirring until the timer goes off, then remove the pot from the stove.
How To Fill Jars And Process Your Peach Jam In A Boiling Water Bath
Place the canning funnel into a jar and use the ladle to fill it. Remember to leave a half-inch clearance. Now, move the ladle into the next empty jar. The towel you laid on the counter will catch all the drips!
First, wipe the rim of the jar with a damp dishcloth. Next, put a lid on the jar and secure it with a canning ring. Hand-tighten the ring firmly in place.
Use the jar lifter to place the jar into the boiling water bath. Repeat with the rest of the jars.
Often, there will be a bit of jam left in the pot that’s not enough for a jar. Oh, happy day!! Be sure you have some bread on hand so you can enjoy a sample! It’s a great fringe-benefit of being the jam-maker!
Let’s Seal The Deal
The boiling water bath needs to be about one inch above the top of the filled jars of jam. Set a timer for ten minutes to process the jars.
Use the jar lifter to remove each jar from the boiling water. Place each one gently on a cooling rack. Do not touch the jars until they are completely cool.
As the jars seal, they make a “ping” sound. This can take quite a while. Be patient. It’s tempting to press on the lid to find out if it has sealed. Don’t.
If the jars do not seal, the jam will still be safe to eat for two or three weeks if it’s kept in the refrigerator. It’s ok. Share some! Don’t stress about it!
I am a big fan of a food blog called the Spruce Eats. I will let her go into more depth about the possible reasons that jars don’t seal once in awhile. Tell her GB sent you!
These cold winter days are the sweetest time to make jam. Your kitchen will feel cozy and warm. Enjoy the delightful fragrance of peaches as it dances through your entire home.
- Two 16-ounce bags of unsweetened frozen sliced peaches
- One 1.75 ounce box of pectin
- 6 cups of sugar
- 1 Tbsp of butter
- 3 Tbsp of lemon juice
- Fill a tall soup pot or water bath canner about halfway full of water. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar and put it on the stove to boil.
- Measure sugar exactly and put it in a bowl. I love using one with a pouring spout.
- Put the peaches in a tall soup pot. They can be defrosted or you can start from frozen. Turn on low heat.
- Chop the peaches as they defrost and cook until the chunks are pea-sized. If you prefer, you can puree the defrosted peaches in a food processor before cooking for a smoother texture.
- Bring to a boil and add pectin, butter, and lemon juice. Stir and cook for five to ten minutes.
- Set a timer for one minute.
- Dump the sugar in all at once and stir constantly as you scrape the sugar down from the sides of the pot. Keep cooking it until the boil is so vigorous that you cannot stir it down. Start the timer and cook the jam for precisely one minute.
- Remove the pot from heat.
- Ladle hot jam into a jar, Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp dishcloth.
- Put a lid on the jar, make sure it sits level and flat.
- Screw a canning ring in place to secure the lid and hand-tighten.
- Put the jar in the water bath.
- Repeat with the rest of the jars until you have used all the jam.
- It is ok to mix sizes of jars if you don't have enough to fill a large one.
- Process jars in the hot water bath for ten minutes.
- Remove each jar from the water bath with the jar lifter and set gently on a cooling rack.
- Do not touch the jars until they are completely cool.
- If jars do not seal, refrigerate and use within 3 weeks or so.
Line up the jars and observe the fruits of your labor. We don’t always have such tangible proof of productivity in the modern world.
Now pull up a chair and place a golden spoonful or two of your creation on a piece of toast. Savor it. Be amazed and proud. You made it with your own hands. Congratulations!
If You Loved To Be Jammin’ You Might Like These Recipes
You might like to try your hand at my old go-to favorite, strawberry-rhubarb jam. You can use fresh or frozen fruit in this recipe, too!
Or, if you want to make sunshine in a jar, use winter’s plentiful oranges to make beautiful orange marmalade! It was my daddy’s favorite! What’s yours?
Jam is easier to make than jelly. It’s a great place to start! Line up those shiny, colorful jars of jam and admire your work. I know it will make you proud!
If you enjoyed this recipe today, please share it on your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. I’d sure be tickled and ever so grateful, thank you!
Love, GB (Betty Streff)