Spicy Peach Jam or Sauce

peach jam finalUpdated August, 2019.  This recipe comes courtesy of Stephenson’s Apple Farm, a wonderful restaurant in Kansas City that no longer exists. It’s a sweet, spicy jam that I’ve never had anywhere else.  Make it without pectin for a wonderful, bright sauce for bread pudding, pancakes or ice cream.

5 cups of unpeeled peaches (3 lbs. – can cut into chunks and buzz them gently in a food processor, or just cut into small pieces and use as is.)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger powder
Scant 6 Tbsp  Pectin (I used Ball Classic Pectin)
5 cups sugar

Should fill 9- 10 half pint mason jars.

Sterilize jars in oven.  Boil lids for 5 minutes and remove from heat.  Create a water bath by filling a large stock pot halfway with water and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer.

Put everything but sugar into a large kettle. Stir over high heat to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. (If using fruit in chunks,you may want to reduce heat and continue cooking until fruit is all soft.) Be careful to keep stirring the bottom – where the pectin can tend to clump.

Add all sugar and bring back to a full rolling boil. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off any foam that rises to the top. Stir and skim for 5 minutes. (The foam is edible, just doesn’t look nice in the jar.)

Ladle into clean mason jars, and follow regular canning procedures.

Note: My dear friend Donna got two lugs of beautiful Colorado peaches and we made Peach Jam and Rhubarb Ginger jam yesterday.  She showed me an easy way to sterilize jars in the oven, saving stovetop space. Here’s how to do it:

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Wash jars in hot soapy water and rinse, but do not dry. Place them upside down in a roasting pan and place in the oven. Bake 20 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly so you can handle them for filling. You’ll still sterilize the lids in boiling water, but can use a much smaller pan for that.

If you don’t have time to make the jam right when peaches are really good,  either buzz them in the food processor or cut them into chunks and freeze 5 cups in a freezer bag, laying the bags as flat as possible in the freezer.  Then when you’re ready, just add them frozen to the pot and make the jam as usual.

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