Peaches and spices are some of the most comforting culinary pairings that chefs, enthusiasts, gourmands, and connoisseurs would absolutely love. We know everyone loves to smell the lovely scent of peaches and bite into their succulent flesh until the juices drip into your cheeks and corners of the mouth.
So how do you get most of the peaches? There’s more to peaches than just their signature flavor. Adding spices such as rosemary, tarragon, basil, and thyme can add earthy flavors while spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, ginger, and cardamom add a deep warmth and a subtle hint of spice flavors and aromas.
Spiced Peach Jam Trivia
- Peaches have long been consumed by humans and are well-documented in food history. They originated in China where they were consumed by kings, emperors, and high-ranking officials because they were believed to grant longevity and prosperity. Spanish explorers introduced the peach to America in the 16th century, and in the 17th century, it was cultivated in France and England.
Spiced Peach Jam Buying Guide
Spiced peach jam is available in the condiments and jellies section of grocery stores and supermarkets. You can purchase either the commercially packed preserves or those produced by artisan families. It’s best to buy spiced peach jam during the peach season to taste the prime flavors. They also have an assortment such as with pectin, no pectin, all-natural, and low sugar. You can choose which one is best for your taste and preference.
Spiced Peach Jam Production & Farming in Texas
Peaches are a massive industry in Texas. It is estimated that more than one million trees are planted in the Lone Star State. Locally-produced peaches in Texas have received great reviews from horticulturists, producers, and consumers, that there is an ever-growing demand for Texan peaches.
Preservatives and Chemicals
Jams, jellies, and preserves are made with four basic ingredients: fruit, pectin, acid, and sugar.
Fruit is the base for any jams, jellies, or preserves. It is essential to use firm and ripe fruit for jams as over-ripe fruits will result in a liquidy set. Meanwhile, an under-ripe fruit will have fewer juices and under-developed flavors. Taste the fruits first before using them on your jam.
Pectin is essential to achieve the gel-like consistency of the jam. In simpler terms, pectin is necessary to set the jam. It is important to know the difference between pectin and gelatin. Pectin is a natural starchy substance usually found in fruits while gelatin is derived from animals. Certain types of fruits have different pectin levels. Strawberries, blueberries, and peaches are low in pectin meanwhile blackberries, currants, cranberries, and eastern concord grapes have a high pectin content.
Sugar is another essential ingredient in jams, jellies, and preserves. While people think sugar is just a sweetener, it is much more than that. Sugar is essential in retaining the shape and texture of the fruit. In the case of low-sugar jams, they have a shorter shelf-life because of their consistency. Low-sugar jams should also be paired with low-sugar pectin to successfully achieve the texture. Otherwise, the unsuccessful chemical reaction would result to a less desirable texture.
Citric acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid are commonly used in jams and jellies. Acids are essential to bind and form the pectin. Most people can easily purchase powdered forms of acid, but the acid of lemon juice or other citrus fruits would suffice.
Safely canning jams, jellies, and preserves are essential to maintain their flavors and lengthen their shelf-life. The Boiling Water Method for Spiced Peach Jam is one of the most reliable. To do this, prepare the canning jars filled with food and completely submerge them in boiling water at 212°F.
Certain measures should be done before doing the boiling water method. Check the cans to ensure they are safe for food packaging and consumption. Look for cracks, chipped edges, and even tiny scratches. Discard the jars if you can find any of these inconsistencies. This is an essential step since any small cracks or chips can be triggered by heat during the boiling process.
Also check the rubber lid to ensure that there are no mold growths since any mold could spoil an entire glass. Never use the metal covers if there are patches or specks of rust since it can also contaminate the spiced peach jam, making it unsafe for consumption.
Enjoying Spiced Peach Jam
Spiced peach jam is a great filling and flavor enhancer for pies, cakes, muffins, waffles, and even donuts. Because spiced peach jam has both sweet and savory flavors, it can be easily added as an ingredient to dips, salad dressings, marinades, and bastings.
Properly storing either commercially-produced or homemade spiced peach jam will determine how long you can keep the flavor quality and shelf-life. All unopened artisan-made jams, should be stored in a cool, dark place, and should be consumed within a year. although, you can consume it for a maximum of three to six months to enjoy the flavors as time will modify the flavors, colors, and textures of the jam. Once opened, always refrigerate the spiced peach jam and consume it within two to three weeks since the jams will deteriorate faster once opened and exposed to varying temperatures. Always check for signs of spoilage before eating the jam. Those with mold or yeast growth in the lids or the glass wall and having fermented or yeasty odors should be immediately discarded.
FRESH SPICED PEACH JAM
6 cups peeled and chopped fresh peaches
3 cups white sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground allspice
- Heat five 12-ounce jars in simmering water until ready for use. Wash lids and rings in warm soapy water.
- Mix peaches, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice in a large pot. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring occasionally, until peaches are soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Mash peaches with an immersion blender or potato masher to desired size and texture. Return to the heat; continue cooking jam until thickened, about 10 minutes more.
- Pack jam into hot jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the top. Wipe rims with a clean, damp cloth. Top with lids and screw-on rings.
- Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil and lower in jars using a holder, placing them 2 inches apart. Pour in more boiling water to cover the jars by at least 1 inch. Bring the water to a rolling boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the stockpot and place them onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool, about 12 hours. Press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that lid does not move up or down and the seal is tight.