Have I mentioned how much I love freezer jam? Okay, yes, I’ve mentioned it one or two million times. It just tastes so much fresher than cooked jam. Trust me.
I’ve had great success making raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, blueberry and marionberry freezer jam. Peach jam? Not so much. My peach jam never set up. I’ve never met anyone who has tried the recipe on the pink box of Sure Jell pectin and had success.
On the plus side, I was excellent at making peach syrup. That is, in essence, what you get when your jam doesn’t set up. Don’t get me wrong, peach syrup is the kids’ favorite pancake syrup. They lap that stuff up like crazy. So, it’s not a total loss.
It bugged me though. Why couldn’t I get my jam to set up? So, this year, I tried a new recipe from the Recipe Girl site. The recipe uses less sugar than the Sure Jell recipe, but it also boils the the mixture for a longer period of time. I think that’s the key for making freezer jam out of peaches.
Here is what you need: sugar, juice (the recipe calls for white grape, I used this peach punch), pectin and peaches. That’s it!
To get the peaches ready for the jam, you need to peel them. The easiest way to do that is to blanch them quickly in boiling water. I’m sure there’s a technical guide out there for the exact amount of time to blanch peaches, but I have not read it. I do it for about a minute. You don’t want to cook the peaches. All you want to do is scald them briefly to facilitate loosening the skin.
You’ll know you’ve done it correctly when you can peel the skin off the fruit without taking any of the fruit with it. I usually just start a section with my knife and the rest I can peel with my fingers.
Once the peach is peeled, slice it up and put the pieces in your food processor or blender. I big fat love my Breville blender. Pulse the peaches a couple of times to puree them. I like my jam like I like my babies, a little chunky, so I don’t get too carried away with the puree.
This is what it will look like when you’re done! You’ll need about 3 cups of pureed fruit for Recipe Girl’s recipe. I have doubled and tripled the recipe with success, so how much you do at once really depends on the size of your pots and pans!
Following the recipe, the next step is to boil the juice and pectin. This is what it looks like when you first mix the pectin in. You’ll want to dissolve the pectin completely. I probably should have sprinkled it in instead of dumping it in to try and avoid clumps. Live and learn.
After boiling the juice and pectin for a minute, I added the pureed fruit and boiled that for at least another 5 minutes. I think I actually gave it 6 or 7 minutes because I waited for it to come back up to boiling temperature again.
When you are done with the boiling process, all you need to do is ladle the mixture into your containers. The mixture will be HOT! I use the plastic freezer containers that you can buy at most any grocery store. I don’t have to worry about expansion when the jam freezes because I’m using plastic containers.
Here’s my finished product! I let mine sit on the counter for 12 – 24 hours or until it has cooled completely and I’m sure that it has set up. Then I put them in the freezer. Well, I always put one in the fridge to try right away too!
The longest part of this process is prepping the fruit. Actually, it probably took me longer to go to the store and get the fruit than it did to prep the fruit and make the jam. It’s really a quick and easy process for such a delicious outcome. I am so happy that I found this recipe! Thanks Recipe Girl! You rock!
Recipe Girl’s Peach Freezer Jam with my notes in * asterisk
3/4 cup unsweetened white grape or apple juice (* I used sweetened juice because it was what I had on hand and it was delicious)
One 1.75-ounce package no-sugar-needed fruit pectin (or 3 tablespoons from a jar)
5 to 6 medium peaches, peeled, diced and coarsely pureed in the food processor (3 cups of puree)
1 cup granulated white sugar (*I bumped this up to 1 1/2 cups the 2nd time I tried the recipe and liked it a little better. Go with what suits you.)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (* I left this out – just wasn’t feeling it at the time.)
Five 8-ounce freezer-safe glass jelly jars & lids (cleaned and dried) (*I use plastic containers.)
1. Heat the juice in a medium saucepan at medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Whisk in the pectin. Continue to whisk until dissolved. Keep at a hard boil for 1 minute. Stir in 3 cups of peach puree, sugar and cinnamon. Bring back to a boil and keep at a rolling boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Transfer the mixture to a measuring cup with a spout for pouring (it will be very liquidy). Divide the hot mixture between the 5 jars, leaving 1/2-inch room at the top of each jar (room for expansion during the freezing process). Place the tops on the jars and let them sit at room temperature until they are completely cooled off (12 to 24 hours). Put one jar in your refrigerator to use now, and put the rest in your freezer to use later!
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