Friday, 23 August 2013

Honey-Sweetened Peach Jam

I don't think I was ever big on jam.  Thinking back to my childhood, I don't think I ever really had jam on toast for breakfast, it was more nutella on toast for me.  Similarly, in Italy we have our version of croissants, and you can find them stuffed with nutella, custard, jam or plain, and I always opted for either the nutella one or the custard one (or they have the ones with both nutella and custard sometimes).   I remember my grandmother making her own jam though.  Going through her fridge I'd find numerous jars of brightly colored flesh with a date roughly scribbled on it.  I don't remember if I've ever tried her jams.
Last night I was alone and I had the urge to make jam.  I found this recipe on Food52 and it's really good --  I'm spreading this stuff on my toast as I'm typing right now.  Nutella on toast is just getting a bit heavy for breakfast at this age.

Instead of white peaches I used what I had at home, the yellow ones.  Do they have a special name, or are they just yellow peaches? 

What's fantastic about this is that it's a summer jam -- meaning that it doesn't require to spend your day sweating over the stove, it takes very little time to make thankfully.  Like a late night project before going to sleep. 

Recipe from Food52
2 pounds/907g white peaches
8 ounces/226g honey
1 lemon

Prepare a small boiling water bath canner and 2 half pint jars. Place lids in a small saucepan and bring to a bare simmer.

Pit, peel and chop peaches. Combine with honey in a small bowl and let sit until the honey dissolves into the fruit.

Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the lemon in strips. Stack zest pieces on a cutting board and julienne so that you end up with little slivers of lemon zest that resemble confetti. Add zest to peaches. Cut lemon in half and juice it into small bowl. Measure out three tablespoons and add to the fruit.

Scrape the peaches, honey, and lemon zest and juice into a 12-inch stainless steel skillet and place over high heat. Cook, stirring regularly, until the peaches soften, the liquid reduces and the whole mixture becomes quite thick and spreadable, about 10 to 12 minutes

If you like, during cooking, you can use a potato masher to help break down the peach pieces into more manageable sized bits.

The jam is done when you can pull a spoon or spatula through it and jam doesn’t immediately rush in to fill the space you’ve cleared. It will also become much splashier at the end of cooking.

Remove pan from heat. Funnel jam into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for ten minutes.

When time is up, remove jars from canner and let them cool on a folded kitchen towel. When jars are cool enough to handle, remove rings and test seals by grasping the edges of the ring and lifting the jar an inch or so off the countertop. If the lid holds fast, your seal is good. Sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to one year.

Alternately, if you prefer to skip the boiling water bath process, the jam can simply be funneled into a jar after cooking and refrigerated once cool. It will keep for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.

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