We’re Jammin’!

Peach Jam Day (3)

This story is over a month old; obviously I have fallen behind in my blogging.  Toward the end of July, my sister invited me over to make peach preserves.  She bought a bushel of South Carolina peaches and it was time to do something with them.  I got lucky – by the time I got to Dana’s house she had blanched the fruit and was halfway through peeling.  Timing is everything!  We peeled and pitted what was left and diced the fruit.

The Syrup

The fruit was added to a giant stainless steel bowl with a mountain of sugar and lemon juice.  We didn’t want to use pectin, so used a recipe in which the fruit is cooked enough so that no preservative is required.  The recipe is from a blog called Appalachian to Alpine, (written by a woman who moved from the mountains of N.C. to Italy) and there is a link to it at the end of this story.

We transferred the sweetened peaches to a big Le Creuset pot that weighs about 500 pounds empty (and nearly a ton when filled with peaches and sugar).  The mixture had to be brought to 221 degrees Fahrenheit.  It turned oddly pink; it was pretty, but had us worried for a bit.  Then the peaches began to float to the top and we regained confidence.   (As much as we could for two sisters who’ve never made jam or preserves.)  The juices thickened and the peaches changed, too.  Some disintegrated, some stayed whole and suspended in the sugary liquid.  This is what was supposed to happen, so that was pretty exciting!

thickening

We used a digital thermometer to monitor temperature, and when the peachy liquid reached 221 degrees, we began to fill jars using a funnel.  We used a variety of jars, small, medium and large.  According to the recipe, if you get any liquid on the rim of the jar, or the lid it will not seal properly.  We dropped a whole, hot red pepper into 2 or 3 jars, just to see how it will turn out.  Then we lowered the jars into a boiling bath for 10 minutes.  This sterilizes everything, assuring a funk-free future for the preserves.  Funk is not appetizing or safe, so this is an important step.

As the jars cooled, the lids popped and sealed, just as they were supposed to do.  Another delightful surprise!

jars in boiling pot

Even better, the jam/preserves taste great!  Yippeeee!  We had enough success that we are planning to do this again.  First chickens, then eggs, then pie crust, now preserves.  What is happening to me??  Whatever it is, I like it!

Here’s the link to the recipe we used:  http://appalachiantoalpine.com/jam-making-for-jamaphobes/

finished product 1

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3 Comments on “We’re Jammin’!”

  1. jennspeak Says:

    Hey Mary,    Just wanted you to know that I’ve tried a gazillion times (a few) to leave comments on your blog but as soon as I go through the wordpress rigamarole and log in and type up the comment and hit “publish”,  it comes back immediately “this comment cannot be published.”  A lot of wordpress blogs will dump the comment into their spam folder,  but yours appears to not even let it get that far.  I dunno what’s the problem. Do you have the comments section disabled on purpose? Anyway,  just letting you know cause I figured maybe you’d want to check it out,  if its’ not on purpose. Happy jamming…..many a funk free future for all your lovies and jams:) -Jennifer

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  2. Pat and Terry Says:

    Loved this Mary. Save a jar for us. Ha Ha

    Pat and Terry

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