Last week my husband and I went for a day trip to a little town that was having a car show. Much to my delight, smack dab in the center of town was a booming farmers market. Hubs went to sit under a shady tree and I went to have a peek. I was hovering over one of the stands like a kid in a candy store, so the vendor offered me a peach. Oh my, it was so sweet and juicy! It was my first taste of local peaches. An hour later I walked towards my husband with my arms literally pulled down by the weight of the bags of fresh produce hanging off them. He stared at me in amazement, shaking his head, not saying a word. I can’t seem to help myself this time of year! I literally leave my preserving pot on the stove and my kitchen seems to be busting at the seams with produce that will be put up for the winter. There’s truly nothing better in the dead of winter, than something that tastes like summer. Like this Small Batch Peach Jam!
When I ask friends whether they do any preserving, they often respond that it’s just too much work. I’m hoping to inspire them, and you, to think otherwise, with this super easy, Small Batch Peach Jam. It’s an old-fashioned jam, which means that there is no pectin in it, I’ve just simply cooked the peaches down with sugar until it reaches a jam consistency.
A few years ago, a girlfriend gave me the best Peach Jam I’ve ever had. It tasted just like a freshly picked peach with a hint of maple syrup. Oh man I loved that jam (and may or may not have hidden it deep in the fridge). I knew then, that I was going to try to make my own, and this Peach Jam was born. I started off with just a really small batch to test the recipe out, and decided I really like preserving some of my jams in smaller batches. It leaves us with different jam flavors to get through the winter, without filling the fridge with all kinds of large jars. I also like having the smaller 4 oz. jars, to share with friends and to give as gifts when needed.
Because really, nothing says I love you, like a tin of freshly baked biscuits and a little jar of homemade jam.
The colour is like a little kiss from the sun and I’ve been really enjoying a spoonful each morning, mixed in with my Homemade Yogurt.
Or nestled on top of a warm, just out of the oven tea biscuit.
What’s the deal with no pectin, you ask? Well, truth be told, usually I do make my jams and jellies with pectin. Leaving it out just means that the peach mixture needs to be cooked a little longer in the sugar in order to reach a jam consistency (peaches naturally have pectin in them too). I find that with sweet ripe peaches and cooking a smaller batch, there really is no compromise to the fresh peach taste at all. And, I use my widest pot (not a preserving pot) so that it’s just a small layer of peaches on the bottom, which lessons the cooking time. In order to get a little hit of sweet maple syrup, I stir it in at the end of cooking time too.
I hope you’re feeling inspired to give some small batch preserving a shot. When you spread it on your toast this winter, it’ll catapult you right back to summertime.
Happy preserving friends!
Small Batch Peach Jam
- 4 cups peeled, sliced peaches
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (optional)
- Place sliced peaches in a wide and deep pot. Lightly mix with the sugar and lemon juice and let the peaches sit for 2 hours.
- Once you are ready to cook the peaches, wash five 4 oz. jars, and place them in the oven at 225°, where they will stay while you prepare the jam. Place rings and lids in a pot of very hot, but not boiling water. Fill a large canning pot (or large stock pot with a wire rack in the bottom), with water and start to bring it to a boil while the peaches are cooking. Keep in mind the jars will need to be covered with 2 inches of water.
- Bring the peaches to a boil, over medium heat, mixing and mashing them with the back of a wooden spoon (if you like a less chunky jam, use a masher). Cook the peaches, stirring constantly , until the mixture starts to thicken ( about 20 minutes) and it no longer runs off your spoon. Stir in the maple syrup.
- Carefully remove a hot jar from the oven and ladle in the hot jam. Leave 1/4 inch of space at the top of the jar. Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean cloth, add the lid and ring. Only finger tighten the ring.
- Once all jars are full, add them to the canning pot of boiling water, with canning tongs. Be careful! Lower the jars into the water. Once the water returns to a boil, process for 5 minutes.
- Once processed, remove the jars from the boiling water with tongs, and place them on a towel (a cool counter may crack jars!). You should hear the pop of the lids. Let the jars sit overnight to cool. Press the top of the jar to see if it sealed (it will pop back up if the seal didn’t work). If a jar didn’t seal, simply leave it in the fridge and enjoy it now. You can remove the rings from sealed jars at this point, they are no longer needed. Label jars and keep in a cool, dark place.