This past weekend I made jam. I love everything about jam: its simplicity, its seasonality, its versatility. Even just saying the word is fun. “Jam,” “jammy,” “jammin.”
Jam can be part of literally any meal – you can top toast or pancakes with it for breakfast, spread it on some fresh, crusty bread for a sandwich, include it as part of a bread and cheese platter, or give ice cream a jammy top hat for dessert. Seriously, is there anything you CAN’T do with jam?
We had some farm-fresh peaches that I wanted to do something special with. Something that would last. So I decided to make jam! Strawberry-Peach Jam, to be specific. I based my jam off of an Ina Garten’s recipe, but did not stick to the amount of fruit (I added more), or cooking time (I cooked longer). It was incredibly delicious dolloped atop a pretzel baguette with goat cheese. :::swoon:::
- 2 cups sugar
- Lemon, zest and juice
- 5 fresh peaches, peeled and chopped
- Quart of strawberries, tops removed and chopped
- The first thing to do is to get the skin off your peaches. This might seem a daunting task to some, but I’ve learned a handy trick. Bring a pot of water to boil. While waiting for water to boil, fill a bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Drop peaches into boiling water for 30 seconds to a minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into icy water immediately. When you remove them from the ice bath, the skin should practically remove itself!
- Combine fruit, sugar, and lemon juice and zest into a medium-sized pot.
- Cook over low heat until sugar dissolves and the fruit releases some of their delicious juices.
- After cooking for awhile, I used a potato masher to carefully break the fruit down a bit more.
- Continue to cook, until mixture is bubbling slightly. I let my jam cook for over an hour. It really depends how long it takes to set up.
- To know when your jam is properly set, you should place a plate in the freezer. Once the jam looks, well, jammy, test its doneness by spooning a small amount onto the cold plate and if the juice gels, it’s done. If it’s still pretty runny, let it cook longer.
- When done, pour into jars and consume as soon as possible without burning your mouth. Note: I did not follow my own advice.
- I did not properly can my jars, because I knew the jam would be eaten within a couple of weeks, but if you would like to do so, the freezer canning method, or traditional canning method would both work (see link above).