Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Joys of Summer: Peach Preserves + A GIVEAWAY!

Summer in a jar.

Peach Preserves.

I make several kinds of preserves in the summer.  Peach is special, more rare.  It's beautiful to look at and tastes wonderful:  like peach pie filling.  I add a little cinnamon and nutmeg even though the recipe doesn't call for it, simply because I think it gives it a better flavor, more homemade.

I use my jams for ourselves and also to share with our grown kids, and also for gifts, any time of the year.

Who in your family or list of friends wouldn't enjoy getting a beautiful jar of this amber Peach Preserves for a birthday or for Christmas?  

I bought this basket of peaches at a flea market in Tennessee during my last visit to Alabama.

When I bought them they were just under ripe, and so by the time I made it home with them, they were PERFECTO!

There is not a lot of fruit required to make a single batch of jam.  This recipe required four cups of fruit, I was a little short, so used the trick of adding a little fruit juice to the fruit to make it to the four-cup mark on the measuring cup.

Before making jam, though, there is the necessity of preparation of not only the fruit but your equipment.  Canning kettles need to be hunted up, washed and filled with water to boil.  

Also the jars and lids and rings must be found, the rim of the jars must each be checked for chips or knicks, then washed (I use the sterilizing setting on the dishwasher).  

The kettle or sauce pot to cook the jam in must be brought out, as well as the utensils like jar lifters, magnetized ring and lid lifter, spatulas, large spoons, anything used in the whole process.  Everything just goes better if you have it all out and ready.  

The apron goes on and a  (sticky) mess gets made.  It's nice if you're going to the trouble of making the jam, to make more than one batch, or more than one kind, simply because of all the tools and mess your must gather.  Cleaning up takes a while and making more than one kind is beneficial.

Scored, scalded, and peeled peaches.

First you score the peaches and scald them, so that you can easily peel them.  Don't score them around the "equator", just score them around the "line" from top to bottom, that the peach already has.

Have your boiling water ready to go.  Pop the scored peaches in the water for just a few minutes and then remove with a large slotted spoon or scoop to a colander and throw some ice on top.  

Let them cool enough so that you can peel the peach by pulling back on the skin at the split you cut.

After skinning, pull the halves away from the peach pit and discard the pit.  

Slice the peaches, and then mash them to a consistency you like with a hand potato masher.  Put the fruit into the kettle.  Turn on low heat.  


Smell that heavenly smell.

Sniff again.

Then get back to work, woman!!

(I found these jars last fall on clearance for 75% off at Lowe's!  A box of six cost me 1.50.  I bought as many as they had, as I am always giving canned salsa or jams as Christmas gifts.  I am really enjoying some of the new shapes of jars that BALL is offering.  These adorable and squatty jars hold two cups.  But how cute are they?) 

Here's the recipe from the BALL BLUE BOOK:


4 C. sliced, pitted, and peeled peaches (say that fast, ten times!)
(4 cups = about four pounds)
1 package powdered pectin
2 T. lemon juice
7 c. sugar (I thought it was a little bit too much sugar!)
***I also added a little bit of cinnamon and nutmeg, just to taste***

Combine peaches, powdered pectin, and lemon juice in a large saucepot.  Bring to a boil, stirring gently.  Slowly add sugar, stirring thoroughly to dissolve.  Return to a rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Boil hard for one full minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, and skim foam if necessary.   Ladle the hot preserves into hot jars, leaving 1/4" head space.  Use a wet paper towel to wipe down the rim of the jar.  Adjust two-piece caps.  Process ten minutes in a boiling water bath.

Remove to a heat-safe surface to sit still until sealed.  

If you have any questions about the process of making jam, please ask in the comments section.  I will answer in the comments section.

In honor of this beautiful flavor of SUMMER IN A JAR...

I am GIVING AWAY the 2010 version of the BALL BLUE BOOK!
shown in the above photo.

Need one?

Leave your name in the comments section as well as your email address.

I will draw the winner and announce it Monday of next week!!

I hope you will venture out this summer and make a new (to you) flavor of jam or jelly or preserves!

It's FUN!

MAKE SURE I would have a way to reach you by email if your name is drawn.  If you are a blogger, make sure your email is enabled on your blogger profile.  

Good luck!  Happy jam-making!  


Farmgirl Cyn said...

Dang! I read thru this entire post drooling, and thinking of how could I increase my chances of winning this intensely beautiful jar of jam...and I find you are offering the Ball Blue book, which I already own! Guess I will have to be makin' my own jeweled jam!!! Seriously...peach is my all time favorite fruit. Peach pie? A bit of heaven....

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

I love those jars!!!! And would love to add that book to my collection, add my name please!!

peggy said...

I have the book also but thanks for the lovely pictures and the inspiration to make a few jars.

Beverly @ The Buzz said...

If they're Tennessee peaches, then I know how sweet and juicy they are! Next time you're down this way, let me know. I can get you about a million canning jars!

While the book looks lovely, don't waste it on me. Other than gather dust on top of the fridge with my other cookbooks, I wouldn't know what to do with it. ;-)

Regan Family Farm said...

Just saw they new ball book and love it! Thanks for the chance to win. As for peaches, I needed the inspiration. A box was given to us yesterday...

Laura said...

We get tons of blueberries every year and usually freeze them. I haven't canned in years and never by myself. This year I thought I would make some blueberry jam when my berries are ripe.
My mom was a master canner back in the day. There are so many questions I wish I would have asked her, even as simple as those about canning. Could really use this book as I have no idea what I'm doing...
asimplehappylife at gmail dot com

Erin said...

Those preserves look wonderful. Wish I had some with some homemade biscuits.


annie said...

Heavenly, made me hungry just seeing the pictures. I hope I win, I hope the Ball Book comes to my house along with a dozen jars of sweet delight! Teasing! Smiles!

cottageprims said...

Yummm...I was thinking of a jar of the preserves too..smile..But I'd be happy with the book as well since this will be my second year trying to put up my own.Last year I just did pickles and salsa but this year I hope to do alot more.My email is on blog but I will definately be checking in as well to see the winner.Warm Blessings!~Amy

Sandi @ The Primitive Skate said...

Those jars are adorable! And the peach preserves look yummy! Never had them before! Lol. I would Love to be entered in your giveaway for the Ball Blue Book. Thanks for the chance...

Lynn said...

omg, I am so wanting some delicious peach jam now!! Please enter me in the drawing!
prim hugs,

Magnolia Tea said...

Hi there! I just discovered your blog a few days ago and love it!
This post is fabulous, just beautiful pictures.

~Sara said...

Love all of your blogs. The one thing that I have never done is preserved any thing, which is crazy because my grandmother used to can everything and anything and always had a large "cellar" full of shelves of yummies. I would surely love to try it sometime, but wish I had someone beside me showing me step by step.lol Thanks for sharing with us, I can smell it from here. Have a blessed week. ~Sara

Wendy @ Ravenwood Whimzies said...

Yummy jam-don't you just love fresh peaches!? I'd love to win a new canning book - mine is falling apart. Please include me in the drawing. My email is rwprimcrafts@aol.com. Thank you so much!

Deb said...

Thanks for posting this! Love the jars and I'm inspired to get busy and try my hand at canning. As soon as the farmers markets are in full swing, I'm off!

threeladybugsliketoplay said...

looks yummy! we have a new peach tree that gave us some peaches last year... so hoping for some this year.

I could learn from the Ball Blue Book please enter my name.

Lisa Adams

Farmer's Daughter said...


Thistle Cove Farm said...

Have you ever tried adding a vanilla bean to peach preserves or jam? It makes the flavor POP!

Sandy said...

You left out the best part! Pour yourself a glass of ice tea, sit back with your feet up and listen for the "pings"!! I love that part of canning. The ping song as my husband calls it. I already have the book but if you decide to mail out a jar of preerves to the winner, throw my name in the pot!

Jenny said...

Oh yum, yum, yum!! I thought you were giving away the Jam :)! It looks scrummy!!!
jen xo

m&em said...

I would love to have this book. Count me in, in this give away.

Holly said...

I must not look for the right things when I go there!!! I love those jars. Hubby brought some samples home a few years agoa and I love to put my applesauce in them. I don't give away my cute jars...not as nice as you are!!!
Have you seen the new Better Homes and Gardens jars at Wal-mart? I really dislike that store, but I go in 2 or 3 times a year and just had to have them!!!! I will be going to Lowes now!!
Thanks for sharing!