September 01, 2010

White Peach & Fresh Ginger Jam

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

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.