The recipe is so, so simple and very versatile. You can make as little or as much as you like. For each pound of chopped peaches, use one cup of sugar. If you don't have a kitchen scale, I used 17 medium to small peaches and it came out to 4 lbs. or 7 cups of diced peaches. I leaned heavily on this site to come up with my own method.
I prefer to use freestone peaches because of how easily the pit separates from the flesh. Some sites suggest that clingstone peaches are better for preserving because they tend to be sweeter. I find it a study in frustration as I cut around the pit. But that choice is up to you. Since I pick my peaches right from the tree, I get a very fresh, very sweet/tangy fruit that has proven fabulous for making jam.
Okay, let's get started with the whole process! Peeling is a snap if you first blanch your peaches in boiling water for about 30 seconds.
|I use a slotted spoon to drop them in.|
|Blanch for 30 seconds.|
|All my blanched peaches ready for peeling|
The next step is to chop the fruit finely. If your fruit is super juicy, make sure you catch all of the juice, that is straight flavor! The very first batch I made, I chopped coarsely and found that the pieces were just too big, the second and third time, I nearly diced them.
|Here is a peeled, halved peach. The pit will come right out.|
Now add the most important ingredient to the recipe....time. Let peaches simmer over low to medium low heat for at least two hours, stirring occasionally for the first hour. During the second hour, pay closer attention to the pot and stir more often. The sugar tends to sink to the bottom and scorch. This is what it should look like at the end.
Now you can either freeze it or can it. Check out my strawberry jam blog for canning instructions.