Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Recipe: Spicy-Peach Low-Sugar Jam

I mostly-followed my recipe for Spicy Peachy-Blueberry Jam - except this one is ALL peach, and I did "bump-up" the cinnamon a notch.  I also made it in two batches...

QT's Spicy-Peach Low-Sugar Jam
Yields 7 x 1/2 pints of jam (a couple of those jars, above, are 12 oz. capacity)
(Oh dear, I'm running out of empty jars - LOL!)


  • Appx 12-13 good-sized peaches (I didn't weigh them - sorry!).  Peeled and pitted (ending yield was appx 8 cups chopped peaches)
  • 2 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups granulated Splenda (I'd go 1-1/2 next time) (and I did cut-it-down for the second batch)
  • couple of dashes of salt
  • 5 TBS Low/No-Sugar Pectin

Set a large pot of water (deep enough to immerse the peaches) on the stove-top.  Heat it on Med-High 'til it starts to boil, lightly.

Set-up a separate bowl of ice water (again, deep enough for the peaches).

Blanch the Peaches: Rinse and cut a little "X" in the bottom of your peaches.  If there are any brown/mushy spots, remove them.  Toss the peaches, 3-4 at a time, into the boiling water for 30-60 seconds, until the skins start to peel.  Remove them from the hot water and immediately plunge them into the ice-water bath.  Toss your next batch o' peaches into the boiling water while you peel the first batch.  Set the skinless peaches aside in an empty bowl.  Drizzle some lemon juice on them to prevent browning.

Once all of the peaches are suitably nekkid, grab a knife; de-pit them; and slice them into small-ish chunks (1/2-3/4").  Toss 'em in a bowl (or your large pot - if it's "free" and cool).  They'll start de-juicifying at this point and you DO want to keep the juice!

Okay, here's where I split it into two batches:
  1. Put 4 cups of peaches + half of the juice into a large pot on the stove.
  2. Add a couple more TBS of lemon juice to the pot
  3. Add 1 heaping tsp of cinnamon to the pot
  4. Mix 1/2 cup sugar with 2.5 TBS of pectin in a dry bowl.  Mix well.
  5. Turn the stove onto Med-High (closer to High).  Dump the sugar-pectin mixture into the pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  6. Add the Splenda, once it starts boiling.  Keep stirring.
  7. Boil hard for one minute - then remove the pot from the stove.
  8. Check for "set" (scoop a spoonful of jam out, put it on a plate and stick it in the freezer for 1-2 minutes.  If, after that, you can hold the spoon vertically with nothing glooping off, then it's "set!").  If not set, return it to the stove and boil for a minute longer...
  9. Transfer the jam to sterilized, hot jam-jars.  
  10. Let the jars sit for 5 minutes (while you repeat these steps for the second batch of jam!).
  11. Give 'em a good stir (so the fruit doesn't all float to the top!).
  12. Clean the rims of the jars with a damp paper towel, add the lids and rings (tighten to "finger-tight)
  13. Process in a water bath for appx 7 minutes
Remove the jars from the canner and let them sit, undisturbed, overnight.  Make sure they sealed properly (lids should NOT pop when you press down on them).

You're good to go!

Now, this recipe (as opposed to the blueberry-peach jam from last week), I actually *did* want to taste the cinnamon, so I bumped it up a notch.  Also, while blueberries *do* have some natural pectin, I don't think that peaches share that trait, so I did retain the original (potentially too-much) Pectin Ratio...

And, again, this is another recipe where I'd recommend going "light" on the sweetener and giving it a taste before you add ALL of it.  As I've mentioned (lol - repeatedly!), I'm not a huge fan of über-sweetened stuff and my first batch was a little too sweet (I ended up adding *several* dashes of salt to tone it down!).  The second batch: I cut the Splenda back by about 1/4 cup (and was much happier with the result!)

I haven't cracked-open a fully-processed jar of jam yet - but I *did* have half-a-jar leftover (not enough to warrant canning), and when I gave it a taste, I was very happy with the outcome!

So bottom-line: This recipe is a "keeper!"


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