Friday, July 16, 2010

Peach Madness

Have you tasted the peaches lately? Oh my goodness! Juicy and yummy and everything that's right with the world!

So we bought two boxes of these delightful specimens... and I decided to ruin them all, by trying to make jam with them.

This was my first real jam-failure, and I didn't take it so well. There was moaning, and tears, and the gnashing of teeth. Dramatic two-fisted-pounding on the countertops and fervent prayers to the jam gods.

And then Brett calmed himself down, and I figured out how to fix things, so that at the very least, the jam was edible.

Here's what you'll need for the recipe found in the Certo Pectin box:

4 Cups chopped peaches (which turns out to be about 10 peaches, pealed and pitted... or pitied, which is what I did when I finished)
1/4 Cup lemon juice
7 1/2 Cups sugar
1 Pouch Certo pectin

Combine all ingredients except the pectin, and bring to a full rolling boil; boil for 1 minute on high, stirring constantly. Add the pectin and return to a full boil, letting boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Ladle into sterilized jars, leaving 1/8 inch headspace. Boil in the boiling canner for 10 minutes.

If you use this recipe, you'll find a jam so sweet, it'll make your mouth pucker and cause you're arms to flail about uncontrollably, as you work to swallow. It was awful. And the only thing I could think was "perfectly good peaches... sweet, tender, and juicy... and I ruined them."

There was no way I was gonna throw out that many peaches in their prime. So, I dumped all of my canned and sealed jam, back into the stock pot and started adding peaches. I added about 5 more (give or take a bit or two), with their skins still on, as well as another 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice, and brought the whole mess to a rolling boil. I boiled, stirring constantly, for about 15 minutes, to see if it would thicken up a bit (it didn't). Then, I ladled the jam into fresh, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace, and processed as normal.

The end result was a jam that tastes a LOT like the inside of a peach cobbler... which can't be all bad, right?! It's on the runny side (because of all the extra peaches and thus, peach juice that was added) but would be GREAT on top of ice cream. Taste-wise, me and the mister, give this an A.

Update: My Dad texted me this morning with a thumbs up as well!

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