Classic Peach Jam

Classic Peach Jam

My favorite summer fruit is peaches, hands down. Sweet, fuzzy, sunny and messy, I would do anything to be able to enjoy these gems year round. That’s why I was so juiced when Sherri Brooks Vinton shared her recipe for Classic Peach Jam. Follow her canning instructions in Put ‘Em Up! Fruit and this preserve will be good for a year. Not ready to embrace canning yet? It will last for three weeks in the refrigerator.

Classic Peach Jam

about 6 cups

This from Sherri Brooks Vinton: "I think all Southerners are born with jars of this in their hands. It’s just something everyone south of the Mason Dixon grows up with. And for good reason — it is fabulous. Make a batch and you will never want to be without it either."


  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup bottled lemon juice
  • 4 pounds peaches
  • 4 cups sugar


  1. Combine the water and lemon juice in a large nonreactive pot. Peel, pit, and slice the peaches (see page 182), adding them to the lemon water as you go.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes to soften the fruit, crushing it with a potato masher if you prefer a smooth-textured jam.
  3. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Continue to simmer until the gel stage is reached (see page 28), about 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat. Allow the jam to rest for 5 minutes, giving it an occasional gentle stir to release trapped air; it will thicken slightly. Skim off any foam.
  5. Preserve
    Refrigerate: Cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
    Can: Use the boiling-water method as described on page 20. Ladle the jam into clean, hot 4-ounce or half-pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace between the top of the jam and the lid. Run a bubble tool along the inside of the glass to release trapped air. Wipe the rims clean; center lids on the jars and screw on jar bands until they are just fingertip-tight. Process the jars by submerging them in boiling water to cover by 2 inches for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the canner lid, and let the jars rest in the water for 5 minutes. Remove the jars and set aside for 24 hours. Check the seals, then store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.


“Excerpted from Put ‘em Up! Fruit © Sherri Brooks Vinton, photography © Jennifer May Photography, Inc. used with permission from Storey Publishing”


  1. This recipe looks really good…and easy! I love to make jam and will try this. What is the temp for “jel stage”?

    • Jams gel at 220 degrees F.Sherri Brooks Vinton has 2 pages on reaching the gel stage, pointing out that there are 2 other reliable tests: sheeting and wrinkle test. They are both super easy but you may need to read it in the book or google it. LMK how your jam comes out. For now, I’ll be placing mine in the refrigerator.

  2. Lizzie, Your grandfather,Simcha, made THE MOST delicious peach brandy. Are tastes inherited? He smashed peaches (unfuzzed, but washed and pitted) with equal amounts of sugar (I’d use less) and a bottle of the cheapest brandy available. Left alone in Nanny’s closet for awhile–do I know?– then sieved and served. Yummer. A more uptodate type slivovitz is with plums, sugar, and vodka which I have made. We drank it for at least 10 years!

    • Wow! I know all about this! My father-in-law uses a few pounds of cherries and does the same. Not my thing but lots of people love it.

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