There is nothing more comforting that a warm slice of multigrain toast with a generous spread of fresh homemade jam on top. This is a simple, addictive recipe that anyone with time and a hungry palate. I have already made two batches of this peach jam. They were so fun to give as gifts, especially with these cute labels, that we had to make a second batch for ourselves.
Making jam is way easier than I thought it would be. It takes time to peel and chop the fruit but besides that it is pretty simple. I chose not to use a preservative so I am freezing my jars although I did follow a sterilization process for the jars.
by Jen at Delightful Delicacies, slightly adapted from chez panisse
2 1/2 pounds peaches, seeds removed and set aside
2 cups raw sugar
1/2 a vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
Peel then chop the peaches into small chunks. Roast the peach pits (noyaux) in 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes (very important to roast them as they hold an enzyme that generates poinsonous prussic acid when mixed with water). This will add a toasted almond taste to the jam. Place the chopped pheaches, toasted peach pits, and sugar in a glass or ceramic bowl, cover, and let sit overnight.
Transfer fruit and sugar to a non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat stirring enough to assure none of the jam sticks to the bottom. The jam will bubble high up the sides, spoon off the light colored foam as it rises (save this to use over desserts). Continue to spoon off the foam until the jam begins boiling at a lower, thicker level. While the jam is cooking, put a small plate in the freezer. When the bubbles are subsiding and the jam seems to be thickening ever-so slightly, remove the pot from the burner. Put a few drops of the jam on the frozen plate and return to the freezer. Check the set after a few minutes by nudging it with your finger. If it wrinkles, it's done. If not, heat it a bit more and test again. I prefer it a bit on the chunky side but I did mash through the jam with a potato masher a few times to remove some of the large pieces of fruit.
When it has reached your preferred thickness add the vanilla bean seeds and pod, turn off the heat and let boil a minute more, then remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Remove the vanilla bean pod, rinse and set aside. Ladle jam into clean self sealing jars leaving a 1/4 to 1/2 inch at the top and seal as directed in manufacturer's instructions.
- 2 1/2 pounds ended up being about 6 cups, after they were chopped.
- I found it useful to have two separate plates in the freezer, so there was always a frozen one at the ready.
- a candy thermometer might be helpful, but isn't necessary.
- use the spooned off foam as a drizzle on desserts