Monday, August 9, 2010

Peach Jam

I and my friends took our kids to 'Peach Picking' at Styer Orchard. It is located in Langhorne, PA. If you want to check their website - http://www.styerorchard.com/
They had not only peaches but many different kinds of vegetables to pick too.
We picked a lot of peaches, some white eggplant, plums, squash. It was fun for the kids to get on the hay truck and sit on hay and go around in the farm. I got to eat the freshest, juiciest peach ever straight from the tree. That was unbelievably good.
What do you do when you have a whole bucket full of peaches? You make Peach jam. I gave some fruits to relatives who visited us, some to friends and the rest I made into this delicious Peach Jam.

If you have kids, it is worth taking them to these picks even when it might be expensive when you calculate how much you spend on gas. I drove probably 40 minutes to get there.
Here comes the recipe or just a concoction. This is so simple, I can't even call it a recipe.


Ingredients:
Peaches - 4 pounds
Sugar - 2 - 2 1/2 cups (I used 2 1/2 cups)
Lemon or lime juice - 3 TBSP (for a nice color, you can skip this)
Cinnamon - 1 " stick (optional)
Star Anise - 1 (optional)


Method:
Wash the peaches. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Keep another bowl with cold water ready. I actually dumped some ice cubes in it to keep it super cold. Place the peaches in the boiling water for 30 - 60 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the cold water. Let it sit for couple of minutes. The skin will get wrinkly and you will be able to peel it off easily. Set aside and repeat with all the remaining peaches. If the peach is very ripe, you don't even need a knife to remove the pit. What I did was to hold the peeled peach in my hand above a measuring cup and squeeze. It just slid off and I tossed the pit out. It does slightly crush the peach but it is okay since when we cook it to make the jam, it will get mushy anyway. 4 pounds of peaches gave me 6 cups of slightly crushed and packed peaches after peeling and pitting.

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, take all the peaches, lemon or lime juice, sugar and place it on heat. If you are using cinnamon and star anise, throw them in too. Keep on boiling for about 30 - 45 minutes (it depends on how high your flame is, how juicy peaches are and how much of peaches are you making jam out of). Keep stirring occasionally or else it will stick and burn at the bottom. Jam is ready when almost all the water has evaporated and a spoon can stand in the center without sliding off. Or, another test is to see if it can coat a spoon. I made some peach jam last year and I boiled it for too long and the jam was hard to get out of the jar. Remember that it thickens as it cools and the pectin in peach sets up. Remove the cinnamon and star anise if you used it and discard them. Let cool completely before refrigerating it. If you are into canning, you can divide them between sterilized jars and can.
Enjoy with english muffin, a bagel, bread toast or like my kids do with a chapathi sometimes.

Note:
Lot of recipes for peach jam tell you to use pectin. You don't really need pectin for peaches, plums since they have natural pectin in them.

Happy Cooking!! Pin It

6 comments:

  1. what a tempting jam... simply love it dear.... wonderful clicks of the jam...

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  2. Super yummy...looks fabulous dear....do send in ur entries for my ongoing event A Visual Treat..

    ReplyDelete
  3. It would be wonderful to make your own peach jam, envy you guys for having all these exotic fresh fruits:-)

    ReplyDelete

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