September 01, 2010

White Peach & Fresh Ginger Jam


Ingredients:
8 cups finely diced white peaches
6 cups sugar
1/4 cup bourbon (optional)
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice*
1 6 oz box liquid pectin (2 packets)
2 inch chunk ginger, peeled

Directions:
Add the sugar and peaches to a large pot. Prep jars/lids for canning. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Stab the ginger a few times with the tip of a knife. Add the lemon juice, bourbon and ginger. Boil for 15 minutes or until thickened. Carefully mash, using a potato masher, any remaining large chunks. Add the pectin (both packets!). Continue cooking at a low (rolling) boil for 5 minutes. Remove the ginger. Fill the jars. Wipe off the lip and sea Process in the hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Yield: about 6 8-oz jars



Note: A great source for canning information is the Blue Book guide to preserving. I highly recommend it for learning how to can. Here is a bunch of other canning books and equipment I find useful.



*I used bottled lemon juice instead of fresh because peaches, especially white peaches, are a low acid fruit and not every lemon has the same acid level. It is important to add an acid to low acid fruits so it is safe to water can.


My thoughts:
What is better than a fresh, in season peach? We went to a pick your own place and while Matt did most of the picking (peach fuzz makes my skin itch) we ended up with more than enough peaches to eat out of hand and to make some jam. Peaches, especially white peaches, are a low pectin, low acid fruit so even with the added pectin it is a softer jam and you need to make sure to add acid (lemon juice) to make it safe for water canning. But neither takes away from the wonderful flavor of this jam. It is as close to biting into a peach as you can come without actually eating the peach. The ginger adds a background note of spice that really accentuates the peachiness. I can't wait to have it on toast, swirled into yogurt or baked into pastries.


13 comments:

  1. Rachel - This jam looks totally delicious!! I'm curious about where you got your information that you have to add an acid to peaches in order to make them safe to hot-water-bath can them. I've heard that before too but no one has been able to point me to a source for that information. The USDA regulations that I've found (mostly through University Ag reports on the web) don't say anything about adding acid - they just say you can add sugar syrup if you want and then can them - 20 minutes for pints. This is just for canning peaches, not for jam. Anyway, I just wonder where you've read that you have to add lemon juice, since that is even more careful than the USDA, which is notorious for being overly (some say excessively) cautious. Thanks!!

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  2. Laura
    It was in a few of the jam books I read and the same sort of sites you mentioned. I am not an expert but I noticed that same thing about preserving in syrup. Honestly, I don't understand what the difference is but I've never come across a preserve in syrup recipe that calls for lemon juice. There must be some reason but I am not sure what it is. I have preserved things in syrup without the juice/acid and it was fine. Perhaps it has to do with the size of the fruit? In syrup is normally whole/halved vs diced. Really, it is a mystery that despite hundreds of hours of research I have yet to solve. If I figure it out, I will let you know.

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  3. Just so you all know, white peaches are low acid, but yellow peaches are not (I did a lot of research on this when developing my white peach sauce recipe). Standard preserving instructions for peaches are given for yellow peaches, not white ones, which is why there's no acidification instructions in those recipes. However, recipes rarely tell you that, it's implied canning knowledge. In these times, that's a troublesome thing, because so many of us don't come from canning traditions.

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  4. Thanks Marisa!
    I had read in a few places that even yellow peaches were on the border of what was safe for water bath canning and that lemon juice should always be added to peach jam unless you can test the ph. That's why I thought it was weird that was never brought up when canning in syrup. Maybe it depends on the variety?

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  5. I have never before heard of a white peach but then I'm from the Caribbean so my knowledge of peaches is limited.

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  6. Thanks for the interesting canning peaches discussion. I wonder if white peaches are a relatively new variety or something so that's why they aren't mentioned in canning instructions. Anyway, the canning world is fun to explore!

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  7. That jam sounds lovely! Especially swirled into some Greek yogurt!

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  8. This looks wonderful! I have 2 questions. 1) Are the peaches peeled (I assume they are)? 2) about how many pounds of peaches equal 8 cups chopped?

    Thanks for the awesome recipe! :)

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  9. Adrienne-
    Yes, the peaches should be peeled. I didn't weigh the peaches because I knew the important thing was the volume, not the weight, for this recipe.

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  10. yum, I love ginger...with anything! It's the start of spring here in NZ so grapefruits are everywhere. I'd much prefer your peach jam but might have to settle on ginger marmalade :-)

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  11. Thinking about making this tomorrow. Yellow peaches are in season. Do you think I should lower the lemon juice?

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  12. Christine. No. All peach recipes should have added lemon juice.

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