Saturday, September 25, 2010

Peach Preserves

Not that I needed an excuse to use up some summer peaches I have, but I did find an AMAZING way to make the distinct taste of summer last all winter. My uncle made these peach preserves and this recipe is so good. We (ok, mostly I...) plowed through his batch and just had to make a batch of our own. It's as fresh tasting as it is addicting. I just spread it on crackers and eat it, but you can also use this recipe as a glaze over chicken or pork. So simple, very impressive, and defintely worth the canning effort!

Peach Preserves
(thanks to my uncle for the fool-proof recipe!)

3 lbs peaches, "cling free" ( they are much easier to work with like Red Haven)
1/4 cup of lemon juice
7 1/2 cups of sugar
1 pouch of liquid pectin - 3 oz.

Boil a pot of water and drop peaches in for about 1 minutes. This will soften the skin and it should come right off. Remove the pit and discard. Finely chop skinned and pitted fruit. You should get about 4 cups of fruit.

Wash canning jars in your dishwasher on hottest setting and leave them in there until ready to use. Put lids into just simmering water on stove and let them stay. Put bands into a bowl and pour boiling water over them just until covered. Bring your boiling water canner, half full of water, to a simmer.

In a 6-8 quart heavy saucepan, mix exact measure of fruit, stir in lemon juice and sugar. Bring mixture to a roiling boil. Add pectin and bring back to a roiling boil for exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam with a metal spoon.

Ladle hot jam into prepared jars to within 1/8 of top. Place lid on and secure with band tightly, but not too tight. You should get about 8 - 8 oz jars.

Put jars on a rack in boiling water canner and bring to a gentle boil. Jar should be covered by 1-2 inches of water. Process for 10 minutes.
Remove jars and place upright on a towel to completely cool. After jars are cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. If lid springs back it is not sealed and should be refrigerated.
Let stand at room temperature to help with the setting process. This can take awhile, so be patient. Store in a cool, dry place for up to a year.

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