July 29, 2016

Peach Blueberry Lemon Verbena Jam

4 cups lightly crushed peaches
2/3 cup blueberries, lightly crushed
3 tablespoons instant pectin*
2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
3 tablespoons chiffonade lemon verbena**


Evenly sprinkle the bottom of the Ball Jam Maker with the pectin. Spoon the fruit in a relatively even layer over the pectin. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Press the jam button. You will hear a beep at 4 minutes. Sprinkle the sugar and lemon verbena over the fruit mixture while the machine is still running. Cover and wait for the jam cycle to complete. Press the cancel button and unplug the machine.

If not using a Ball Jam Maker, make the jam on the stovetop using the traditional method as seen in this recipe.

Ladle the jam into prepared jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process in the hot water bath for 10 minutes. I used my electric canner which takes the same amount of time as processing on the stove but without heating up the house.

Yield: about 5 8-oz jars

*I recommend these jars of flex batch pectin. 3 tablespoons equals 1/2 of a pouch of boxed pectin.

** I used my herb scissors and cut from the leaf directly into the sugar.

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.

My thoughts:
 The lovely people at the Washington State Fruit Commission and the masterminds behind Sweet Preservation offered to send me some stone fruit again this year and I was excited when it arrived it and it had both peaches (my husband's favorite) and nectarines (my favorite). Peaches make me itchy when I handle them but Matt quickly peeled and cubed them for me so I could make this jam with ease. And what ease it was! I used my Ball Jam Maker and the electric canner I bought as a present to myself last summer and it was wonderful. Living in an old house in Baltimore City with no air conditioning and canning is a sweaty miserable experience. Now I was able to make two kinds of jam and process 12 jars without heating up the house at all. Thank goodness for modern technology. I'm all for corning my own beef and making my own mustard or whatever but canning in late July can be a grueling experience the old fashioned way.

This jam combines two of my favorite summer fruits and one of my favorite herbs from our garden. It really is summer in a jar! The lemon verbena adds a bright citrus note that tempers the sweet peach and the blueberry adds not only color but a berry fullness to the jar. It is lovely now but I can't wait to open a jar during the dark days of winter for a little cheer.

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