So, of course, I had been keeping an eye out for the first peaches of the summer at the Farmer’s Market. And finally they arrived, big, golden piles of them from farms in Eastern Washington, and it was time to make peach jam for Tomás.
This is just about the most straightforward peach jam recipe there is. Four ingredients, a couple hours of your time, and you’ll have jars of pure sunshine. I made a second batch using some Earl Grey tea, boiled in a muslin bag with the fruit, for a little bergamot flavor that adds complexity to the sweetness of the peaches. But you can’t go wrong with this basic version.
Adapted from 175 Best Jams, Jellies, Marmalades & Other Soft Spreads, by Linda J. Amendt
Makes about seven 8-oz jars
4 cups ripe peaches, pitted, peeled, and crushed (about 4 lbs peaches)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 box (1.75 oz) powdered fruit pectin
5-1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
To remove skins from peaches: bring large pot of water to a boil. Fill large bowl with ice water. Cut a shallow X through the skin on the bottom of each peach with a paring knife. Working with 3-4 peaches at a time, place peaches in the boiling water, cover, and cook for 1 minute. With slotted spoon, remove peaches to ice bath for about 2 minutes. Remove from ice bath and skin should peel easily from peaches.
Remove pits from peaches, then crush with a potato masher.
Prepare canning jars and lids and bring water in water bath canner to a boil
Pour peaches into an 8-quart stainless steel stockpot.