Monday, October 27, 2008

Being Domestic

A week ago, after I bought a box of peaches at the farmer's market Faith said, "Oh, we should make jam!" And she did not mean the easy freezer jam that I make, she meant real, cooked jam that you have to can. You know I'm a disaster in the kitchen so it sounded a little too difficult to me, but Faith is a great cook, and I love the jam that she's made so I decided I might as well try something new. Now I have something to add to my list of 28 new things to try this year.

Faith was a wonderful teacher, and I was thrilled that every jar sealed. The funny thing was when we were debating whether or not to make one more batch of jam at the end of the night, I told Faith that I would never use half of the jam we made, that 15 jars of jam was way more than I needed so we should only make the last batch if she wanted more than 15 jars. She looked at me and said, "None of this jam is for me. This is all for you. I've already made 45 jars."

And that's the kind of friend Faith is, one who would buy half the ingredients and slave away making jam for hours and expect you to keep all the results of her hard work. It is really good jam, but I don't know what I'll do with 36 jars. I guess you all kow what you'll be getting for Christmas!

Here's the recipe from Faith. It tastes kind of like fresh cherries, but their are no cherries in it.

Blushing Peach Jam

This is an awesome jam worthy of gift giving. The flavor combination is delicious and the color is so pretty - this is on my annual list of must-do's. Makes approximately eight 8 oz. jars.

3 generous cups of fresh, finely chopped peaches
10 oz. bag frozen raspberries (or about 1½ cups fresh, crushed)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
4½ cups granulated sugar
1 box powdered fruit pectin
1 tablespoon butter, optional (helps prevent foaming in the cooking process)
1 teaspoon almond extract

Prep: Skip this step if you are making freezer jam, but if you are planning to make sealed jam jars; place glass jars, seals and lids into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil (this sterilizes and heats the jars hot enough to help seal the jam).

  1. Combine peaches, raspberries, lemon juice and pectin in a large, heavy stock pot.

  2. Mix well and bring to a boil.

  3. Add sugar and butter. Stir continually until mixture returns to a full, rolling boil.

  4. Boil hard for 1 minute.

  5. Remove from heat and add the almond extract and stir well again.

  6. For freezer jam, portion into Tupperware containers and place in refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours and then freeze.

  7. For sealed jars, pour into clean, hot, sterile jars. Add seals and lids and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes OR process using the inversion method (once lids and seals are tightly in place, turn jars over, lid side down, for 5 minutes and then turn right side up. Jam is sealed when the seal “bubble” in lid is concave, often noted with a little “pop” sound). If jam is not sealed within 24 hours using this inversion method, refrigerate and use immediately or process as freezer jam.

Optional prep note: It often helps to stir the jam after step five for a good 5-minute cool down period before jarring it to prevent floating fruit, but I find it isn’t necessary with this recipe because it is a soft set jam and this cool down process can effect the heat of the jam and prevent it from sealing if you are doing the inversion method.


emily kate said...

How cool! I've never canned in my life. It will be fun to have those jars on hand for gifts and your visiting teachers, etc!

ellen said...

I wish I was your neighbor! The jam looks delicious!!

Reba said...

yum, Steph, good for you. Jam is always a good Christmas present.

Cassie L. said...

A few things to say...

i heart the inversion method. the only way to go with jam in my opinion.

i wish faith was my neighbor. sadly i am jealous as peach jamming is often something i get to do with her - but i am so glad you got to. and yes, that is just like her to send you home with all of that!!

and sadly, 36 jars of jam (and larger jars at that) would so be gone at my house in less than a year. i am finding that feeding a husband and three good eaters is next to impossible and amazing that we can go thru so much food. so you might want to hang on to more than you think!!

Britain said...

OHIO Nostalgia setting in, have to leave your blog for now. Way to be canning, though.

Faith and Chad & the boys said...

Awww ... and then I went and had to beg you for 12 jars for card swap - what an evil friend. It was such a fun night tho, we'll do it again next year with Cassie. She is my original jam idol.

Stephanie said...

How cool! I wish she was my neighbor :)