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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Continue to simmer until the gel stage is reached (see page 28), about 30 minutes.
- 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.
“Excerpted from Put ‘em Up! Fruit © Sherri Brooks Vinton, photography © Jennifer May Photography, Inc. used with permission from Storey Publishing”