Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Peach Spice Jam Recipe

Well, I am just a Jammin' Fool!!!

Remember how I was whining about "What the hell am I gonna do with all these @#$% peaches?!" Well, I'm sure I'll continue to whine about that, but anyway...

I got a fairly decent harvest over the last couple of days. There seems to be a really narrow window of opportunity with these bad boys - what with them being sprawled all over hell-and-creation (it's a super-wiiiiiiiiide tree), and lots of them plopping onto the ground before I can find the "ripe" ones, and the birds and bugs helping themselves to HALF of the ripe, tasty fruits (Meaning: they find the tastiest, ripest ones and eat HALF of the fruit, rendering the other half utterly inedible - Grrr!!!), and when I DO manage to get out there and pick some fruit, it turns out that the bottom half is still semi-green (and I don't think peaches like to ripen/sweeten properly once they've been picked :::sigh:::).

I'm pretty sure that the ACTUAL Window-of Opportunity for optimal harvesting lasts all of about 45 seconds. And I am never out there when that optimal moment occurs!

Annnnnnywaaaaaayyy... I did manage to salvage appx 4# of fruit over the past couple of days and I made some Super-Tasty Low-Sugar Peach-Spice Jam today!

I can't really claim this recipe as my own, this time around, because I pretty-closely followed someone else's recipe here. And here is another good site that I go to - a lot - when I'm trying to figure out what I'm gonna can. Gotta give credit where credit is due, right?

So enough yammering, post the recipe already!

Okay, okay, okay!!! I started with 18 fresh-picked peaches (appx 4#). Some were big, most were medium to small. Some were *really* ripe, others were slightly green...

Basically, I ended up with just over 10 cups of chopped, fresh peach chunks. According to what-all I read (all over the 'net). this was supposed to yield appx 6 cups of cooked fruit.

Yet, somehow or other, I ended up with 12 jars of jam!!! (I ain't complainin'! ;-)

Pictures below...

Peach Spice Jam


  • 8-10 cups fresh chopped peaches (which is supposed to yield 6-8 cups of cooked fruit!)
  • 2 cups Splenda
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice to prevent browning (I just used the bottled stuff from the grocery store)
  • 12 Tbs Pectin (I used Ball brand, No/Low-Sugar needed. It came in a "bulk" jar. I have no idea how many boxes of pectin this equates to)
  • 2 sticks of Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Allspice
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cloves (I used whole cloves which I mashed with my mortar and pestle, then picked out the chunky pieces!)

Blanch/Peel/Pit/Chop the Peaches:

Slice "X's" in the bottoms of each peach (makes 'em easier to peel). Fill a medium- to large sized pot with water and fill it with enough water to cover 3-4 peaches. Bring it to a gentle boil. Set-up a separate bowl with ice water (equivalent in size to the boiling pot). And a third bowl to "hold" the peaches after they've been blanched.

Plop the peaches, 3-4 at a time, in the boiling pot. Leave 'em there for appx 30-60 seconds. Then plop them into the ice water (to stop them from cooking) and start another 3-4 peaches boiling... Repeat until all peaches have been blanched.

Peel the peaches, starting at the "X" on the bottom. The skins should slide right off. If not, use a paring knife to help it along (the riper the peach, the easier it is to peel).

Slice the peaches in half, remove the pit (thank Gawd, ours are freestone!). Then coarsely chop the peaches into a bowl (or large pot - whatever!). Drizzle Lemon Juice on them, as you go (to prevent them from browning).

When it's all said and done, you should end up with appx 8-10 cups of chopped, fresh peaches.

Makin' the Jam:

Put the peach-pot on the stove, add 2 sticks of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp each of Allspice and Ground Cloves, and start heating them on low- to medium heat. Stir just enough to keep it from burning...

Mix the powdered Pectin with your Sugar/Splenda Mixture while it's dry. I was anticipating 6-8 jars of jam, and I like my jam pretty thick, so I went wth 12 TBS of Pectin (which is probably more than recommended - but I'm glad I did it!).

Dump appx half of your Sugar/Splenda/Pectin mixture into the pot while the peaches are heating up and increase heat to Medium-High. Once everything begins to bubble, add the rest of the S/S/P mix. Now things should really be cooking. Stir constantly til it reaches a full boil (meaning it doesn't stop blorping while you're stirring). Cook it for one minute at this point, then remove it from the heat - so you don't end up with peach mush! (Lesson learned from my Plum Jam a few weeks ago!).

This is where you can try to test the "set-ness" of the jam. I grabbed a tablespoon-full, stuck it on a plate, and put the plate in the fridge for a minute or two. Held the spoon vertically and the jam didn't glorp off (much to the dogs' dismay!!!). I think it's done!!!

Jar and Process the Jam:

Remove the cinnamon sticks, then fill the hot jars, leaving appx 1/4" headspace (again I used the Sterilize/Heated Dry cycle on my dishwasher and everything was steaming hot while I was doing this). You may, or may not want to have a separate saucepan full of hot water to keep the lids heated/sterilized while you're doing this.

Then process the jars in the canner for 10 minutes. Again, the usual disclaimer applies: I am using a Steam Canner which is not an "Approved" method of canning. Water-bath would be better!

I'll check 'em tomorrow and make sure they're properly sealed (but as I'm typing this, I hear the lids popping so I think everything is working properly!).


Appx 4# of peaches...

Blanched for 30-60 seconds in boiling water

Then (Brrrr!) Plunged into an Ice Bath!

Appx 10 cups of chopped, fresh peaches

Tossed the fruit into the pot with the spices and started cookin'...

Mixing the Splenda, Sugar and Pectin, dry...

Added the Splenda/Sugar/Pectin to the heating-up pot...

Starting to boil! Smells deeeeee-lish!

Testing for "set."
The dogs were hopeful... But the jam didn't blorp off onto the floor!

Into the canner...

A dozen jars of jam!


Much as I hate to admit it ('cuz I am NO Domestic Goddess! Not by a long-shot!), I'm rather enjoying the fact that I am preserving much of our harvest this year! That is WAY better than watching 'em rot on the ground (or letting the dogs gorge themselves!!!)

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