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Recently I took the kids to a local peach orchard where we picked the most beautiful, scumptious peaches. In my quest to learn about canning, I decided we would make peach jam to preserve a little bit of summer. I’ve made freezer jam with my mom since I was a kid, and there is nothing like homemade jam, especially on top of a slice of warm, fresh bread. Yum!!
Canning is not that hard as long as you have a little time and a few basic tools. See our post on canning salsa to learn about the tools needed for canning. We used pint sized jars, and we made three batches at once which yielded about 6 pints.
We used a low sugar pectin, so that we would be using a bit less sugar. The container has the recipe right in the label. There is a “no-sugar” version that uses fruit juice, and a “low-sugar” version that uses sugar plus fruit juice or water. We made the low sugar version with added water, and it was amazing. Of course it helps to have the sweetest local peaches you can find. The recipe can be multiplied by 3-4, but more than that is not recommended.
(Note this recipe is for Ball brand low sugar pectin It’s always best to follow the enclosed recipe if you use a different pectin. We used a bit more fruit per batch than the recipe called, for but it still set nicely.)
To start, heat a water bath canner and sterilized pint jars for about ten minutes. Run the lids through the boiling water for a few moments. Set up a large bowl of ice water.
In a separate large pot boil water to blanch the peaches. Place three peaches at a time in the water for about 20 seconds, then plunge in ice water. When cool to touch the skins should remove easily.
Dice peaches finely and measure out 1 2/3 cups per batch. Empty large pot of water used for blanching, and heat it on high with peaches, water, lemon juice and pectin. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add sugar and bring back to a boil for about 1 minute.
Ladle jam into jars using a funnel and leave 1/4 inch headspace (room between jam and the top of the jar). Run a knife (or bubble removing tool) against the side of the jar to remove bubbles. Wipe rims of the jars and place lids on. Screw rims on just to finger tight.
Place jars into the waterbath. Water level should be about 1-2 inches over the top of the jars (add additional water if necessary). Once the water boils again, leave in for 10 minutes. After ten minutes, turn off heat and let jars remain in hot water for another 5 minutes. Then remove with jar lifter onto a kitchen towel. Allow to cool. When cooled you will notice the jar top will “pop” so that you cannot push it in and out. This should happen in 24 hours. If it does not, then refrigerate and use the jam right away. Jar rims can be loosened slightly when stored (to prevent moisture from rusting the lid).
16 servings (2 tablespoons), about 2 half pint jars, can make up to 4x this recipe at once