Peaches are one of the loveliest fruits in nature. Their skin and flesh evoke the warm tones of autumn with medium to light colors, a tingle of pastel pink, and some pastel green patches.
The taste of peaches varies between white and yellow peaches. Yellow peaches are more acidic and tarter. Meanwhile, white peaches have firmer and sweeter flesh.
When summer and spring are in season, picking peaches and preserving them into jams and jellies are a lovely way to keep family traditions and recipes alive.
Peach Jam Trivia
- Peaches have been grown in China since 1000 BCE. It was said to bring fortune, protection, and abundance
- Peaches were the favorite fruit of emperors. It was called “Persian Apples” because it was first introduced by the Iranians. Alexander the Great introduced peaches to Europe.
- Queen Victoria was very fond of peaches, no meal would be complete without some sliced peaches served in napkins.
Peach Jam Buying Guide
Peach jam is produced by both artisan and commercial producers. You can find commercially made jams in the sauces, condiments, jellies, and jams aisles in supermarkets and groceries. You can also buy them online whenever they’re available. As with other commercial products, the peach jam is available the whole year-round.
However, artisan-made peach jams have a stark difference from commercially made jams. First, they are mostly produced during the peach harvest season from January to March. Artisan peach jams are made using the freshest peaches and old-world techniques paired with family recipes that make them more special than commercial products.
Peach Jam Production & Farming in Texas
Production & Farming in Texas
Peaches grow best in areas with hot summers and moderately cold winters. They take a long time to bear fruit with an average fruit bearing time of three to four years. Cold temperatures are essential to the chilling hours of the peach tree which impacts the biochemical processes that will trigger the peach to blossom in spring.
August is usually the peach season in Texas Hill County. They are widely cultivated in Texas especially in the Gulf Coast and South Texas. In North Texas, peaches are usually planted from January to March for them to fully bask in the sun.
Preservatives and Chemicals
Commercially produces jams follows a different preparation method than artisan-made jams. The difference is more than just the quality and quantity of ingredients. Commercially made jams are produced in big batches and are usually mixed with artificial sweeteners, flavoring, and food coloring to enhance their taste and texture.
Artificial sugars such as fructose, sucralose, stevioside are essential in not only sweetening but also elongating the shelf-life of jams. However, these chemicals are harmful to the human body, triggering allergies, increasing the risk of diabetes and obesity, and accelerating the growth of cancer cells.
Peach Jam should be stored in clean, sterilized canning bottles to prevent microbial growth. It’s important to use the freshest peaches available in your region. Powdered sugar or rock sugar can be used as a preservative.
Inspect the jars before packing and sealing the peach jam. The jars should be free from cracks, any discoloration or even a pungent scene. The lids should not contain any black or grey specks or even rust to keep them safe for consumption.
Enjoying Peach Jam
When spreading jam into cakes, slices of bread, or cookies, get an adequate dollop of jam into a plate using a clean spoon or spatula, wipe the utensils and repeat the process as needed. Never double-dip contaminated spoons to preserve the freshness of the jam and prevent mold growth.
Peach jam can be enjoyed with hot and cold desserts. It can be spread in warm toasts, waffles, and pancakes. You can also use it as a filling for sandwich cookies, cupcakes, and cakes. Drizzle it over ice cream, gelato, or even shaved ice for a creamy and refreshing treat.
Peach jams can be used as a component for salad vinaigrettes or as a basting for grilled meats.
After you have boiled the peach jam, let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours to cool down and refrigerate as soon as it is ready. On the other hand, commercially produced, unopened peach jams can be stored in a cool dry place just like how they store it in the supermarkets and groceries. Keep it refrigerated once opened.
FRESH PEACH JAM
- 4 cups fresh peaches about 3 lbs., a combination of Stonewall white and yellow peaches
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, about 2 lemons
- 7 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 pouch Sure-Jell Certo Fruit Pectin liquid fruit pectin
- Fill a Canner half-full of water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
- Wash Mason Canning Jars, Lids, and Bands in hot, soapy water and then rinse with warm water. Add jars, screw bands, and lids to simmering water. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well.
- Remove the skin from the peaches by blanching for 45 seconds in boiling water, then removing and placing in ice-cold water for 1 minute. Using a sharp paring knife, make a crisscross slit at the bottom of the peach to create a place to insert the knife blade. Gently grab the skin between your finger and the knife blade and remove the skin (see photos above). Once the skin is removed, remove the pits. Finely chop the peeled, pitted peaches.
- Measure 4 cups finely chopped peaches and cook over medium-high heat in a 6 or 8-quart saucepan. Add lemon juice to the peaches and stir to combine. Add sugar to the saucepan and stir to combine. You may add 1/2 tsp. unsalted butter to reduce the foaming if you wish.
- Bring mixture to a full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin pouch quickly. Return to a full rolling boil and boil for exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Be careful not to let the mixture boil over. Remove from heat and skim off any foam with a metal spoon.
- Ladle mixture into the prepared, cleaned jars. Use a Wide-Mouth Funnel to easily ladle the mixture into jars. Fill each jar to within 1/8-inch from the top. Wipe the jar rims and threads and cover with 2-piece lids. Screw bands on tightly and place jars on elevated Canning Rack in canner. Lower rack into canner so that water covers jars by 1 to 2 inches. If more water is needed, add boiling water. Cover and bring to gently boil for 10 minutes. Remove jars using a Jar Lifter and place them upright on a towel to cool completely. After the jars cool, check seals by pressing the middle of the lid with your finger. If the lid springs/pops back, it is not sealed and that jar will need to be refrigerated.
- Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Store unopened jam in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 1 year. Refrigerate opened jams for up to 3 weeks.