Homemade peach jam is a reminder of summer time at it’s BEST! Learn how to make this classic jam, and can it for long term storage!
I LOVE summer time in the Pacific Northwest! After months of cool weather and rain, it feels like everything blooms and “wakes up”! One of my favorite activities during the peak of the summer season is picking ripe fresh fruit (including peaches) at local U-Pick farms.
It’s so much FUN to get outside and pick peaches at their very best, ripe, juicy, and right there on the tree! Once I get them home, I LOVE to make jam, cobblers, pies, etc. with the “fruits of my labor”.
Why I Learned To Can Jam and Jelly
I learned how to can jam using a water bath canner several years ago. I simply wanted to learn HOW it was done, so I taught myself Once I saw how easy it is to can jam, I’ve never stopped, and am happy to say I haven’t bought jam in at least 8 years!
Here Are A Few Other Jam Recipes I’ve Shared On This Blog
I’ve posted some of the jam I’ve made on this blog… Apple Butter, Bing Cherry, Orange Marmalade, Rhubarb-Orange, Strawberry, Blueberry, and Raspberry, to name a few.
Most jellies and jams follow a very simple process, and if you follow that process carefully, you will be successful in your efforts to “put up” (as canning is sometimes referred to as) these items in your pantry!
With a few ingredients and a few basic canning tools, you can successfully store summer’s harvest for long term use! Jams and jellies are typically canned using a water bath canner.
What Is A Water Bath Canner?
A “water bath canner” is basically a very large, tall pot with a lid, that has an elevated rack to slightly elevate the jars off the bottom of the pot. The rack handles are then used to lift the processed jars out of the pot, once done.
Jams and jellies (prepared with high acid foods in a water bath canner) are far simpler to can than vegetables, soups or meat, all low-acid foods, which require a different appliance called a “pressure canner”.
Once you are done and your jars have sealed correctly, you can enjoy the work of your hands for years! I LOVE the feeling that comes with knowing our pantry is well stocked!
The morning I was finishing writing this blog post, I realized I didn’t have any photos of the peach jam… “in action”!
I went downstairs to our pantry and scrounged through all our jars of jam and canned veggies until I found a jar of peach jam hiding in back of the other canned goods. Guess what? I found one I canned 4 YEARS AGO!
I was a bit apprehensive as to whether it would still be good, but guess what? It was DELICIOUS, and tasted as fresh as the day I canned it.
Here’s a picture! My husband and I both had a piece of sourdough toast with the peach jam on it for breakfast, and said it tasted as yummy and fresh as when it was first made! THAT is why I enjoy canning so much for long term storage. I haven’t bought jam in years!
I hope you will consider making these peach preserves. It is such a great way to savor (over and over) the taste of fresh peaches, long after summer has come and gone!
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Recipe Source: MCP Pectin
- 4 cups finely chopped fresh peaches (peeled, approx. 3½ pounds)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (approx. 2 lemons)
- 6 cups granulated sugar
- 1 box Fruit Pectin (powdered) (1.75 ounces powdered pectin per box)
Fill a boiling water canner half full of water. Bring this to a simmer. (At the same time, I start a teapot with water going, so I will have boiling water for the jar lids later on). Wash jars and lids in soapy hot water. Put lids in small bowl. Fill jars with water and put in canner on a rack, while it is simmering, to keep jars warm. (Or you can set jars on dish towel on a cookie sheet and keep in oven at 250 degrees for 20 minutes for same effect).
- In a large bowl, measure out the exact amount of sugar. Set aside.
Put the finely chopped peaches (4 cups) into a large stock pot. Stir the lemon juice and the box of Pectin into the peaches. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly (a rolling boil is when it is boiling hard, it won't stop bubbling even when stirred). Stir in all of the sugar quickly (all at once). Stir well to combine.
- At this point, I pour boiling water over the jar lids that are in the little bowl. Let them just sit in the hot water for 5 minutes while you finish the jam.
Bring the jam/pectin/sugar mixture back to a full, rolling boil. Once it is a full rolling boil, boil it for exactly 4 minutes, stirring constantly. When time is up, remove pan from heat, then skim off any accumulated foam (and discard foam). Ladle the hot jam mixture into hot, prepared jars. Fill the jars, but leave 1/8 inch headspace at the top of each jar. Insert a plastic knife into each jar a couple times to help remove air bubbles. Adjust the headspace if necessary. Use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe down the rim and edges of the jar. You need it free of debris in order to get a good seal on the jar. Cover the jars with the hot, flat jar lid. Screw on the jar rings tightly. Lower each of the jars onto an elevated rack in the canner. The jars must be completely covered with water, and must have at least an inch of water over the top of the jar. Add more boiling water to canner, if necessary, to make sure.
Cover the canner; bring to a gentle boil. Once the water is boiling, process the jars for 10 minutes. When done, wait for a couple minutes, then carefully remove canner lid (lift lid away from you because of steam); carefully lift each jar out of water (with canning tongs), and place on dish towel on the counter to cool (do not put jars directly on counter cause you don't want temperature differences to possibly crack jars). You should hear "ping" sound as the jars seal properly.
After the jars cool off, you can check to see they sealed properly by pressing the middle of the lid. The jar should NOT spring back when touched. If it does spring back, then you will need to refrigerate that particular jar. Let the sealed jars stand at room temp for 24 hours, then store unopened in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. If any jars do NOT seal, store in refrigerator and use immediately.
Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!