Sunday, September 1, 2013

1/2 a Peck of Peaches and Two Flavors of Jam Part 2: Cinnamon Peach Jam

You could probably figure out from part one that I really love making jam.  There is nothing more fun than taking raw ingredients, in this case 1/2 a peck of peaches, and making them into something that is so delicious that it turns you off of commercially made products.  I find that when I'm making something from scratch that I feel close to my Gran who I never had the chance to meet face-to-face.  Sure I had talked to her on the phone, exchanged letters with her and seen pictures of her but I feel I missed out because I never had the opportunity to truly meet her.

According to my mom we would have gotten along really well.  My Gran was very much into eating healthy before it was vogue.  From what I understand she loved to make her own preserves and jam and that she was well known for her strawberry rhubarb jam.  I wanted to try making some a couple weeks ago and changed my mind when the only place I could find rhubarb was at the health food store and it was $5/lb.  I don't mind trying new things but I get nervous when the item I'm trying is a little on the expensive side.

So instead of making some Strawberry Rhubarb jam I used the other half of my half peck of peaches and made some more peach jam.  This time I decided that I was going to use sugar instead of honey and that I would add some cinnamon to it.  The one recommendation that I have to give you is to start out with the listed amount of sugar and then taste it and you can add more according to your taste.

The great thing about Pomona Pectin is that you can be as creative as you want to.  I love the fact that with each box of pectin comes a instruction sheet that acts like a guideline for creating your own jam, jelly or preserves.

Makes 5-6 1/2 pints

3 1/4 lbs fully ripe peaches (4 cups peaches, peeled, & pit removed)
2 tsps ground cinnamon
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 tsps calcium water
1 cup sugar
3 tsps Pomona's Pectin Powder

1.  For the Pomona Pectin to work you will need to make calcium water which is extremely easy.  Each box of Pomona Pectin comes with a small packet of white calcium powder as well as a large packet of pectin powder.  In a small glass jar, I use a half-pint jar, add 1/2 tsp white calcium powder and 1/2 cup water and shake well.  It can be stored in the refrigerator and it lasts for months.  Discard if the settled white powder changes color or gets moldy.  Remember to shake each time before use.

2.  Sterilize 5 half-pint jars in whatever method you prefer.  I know people who boil them and I know some that wash them in the dishwasher and time everything so that the jars will still be hot when they need them.  Call me lazy but I have too many other things to keep track of so I just boil them while I'm making whatever I'm canning.

3. Take 3 1/4 lbs fully ripe peaches that have been peeled and the pit has been removed and mash them up.  I like chunks of fruit in my jam so I just mash it with a potato masher.

4.  In a small bowl add sugar to the pectin, mix well and set aside.
The tan colored powder is the pectin.

Pectin and sugar mixed together.
5.  In a stockpot, I use an 8 qt stockpot, mix together 4 cups mashed peaches, lemon juice,ground cinnamon, and 4 tsps of calcuim water.  Mix together and bring to a boil over high heat.

6.  Once the peach mixture has come to a boil add the sugar and pectin mixture and stir vigorously for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

7.  In a small saucepan add the lids for the jar and heat them over high heat till they come up to a simmer.  There is no need to boil them!
These lids have been heated and I had to ladle the peach jam
into the jars and had to pass it over this pot and didn't notice that I
accidentally go a little piece of peach into the pot.
8.  Remove your sterilized jars from the water bath and place a jar funnel on a jar and ladle the hot peach jam into the jar leaving 1/4-in headspace.  Remove bubbles from jar and wipe tops of jars with a wet cloth to remove any jam that got on the rim.  The jam will be kind of watery right now but don't worry it will thicken up once it starts cooling.  Add a lid and then add a ring and finger tighten.  Do not over tighten!

9.  Bring canning pot back to a full boil and add the jars to the canning basket making sure the jars do not touch.  Once the water is at a full boil add the basket with the jars to the pot and once it returns to a boil cover and let process for 10 minutes.

10.  Remove the jars from the stockpot and let the jars cool.  After the jars have cooled check the lids which should be sucked down. Don't be surprised if while they are cooling you hear popping noises.  It is fine it is just the jars sealing themselves.  If the lid pops back store it in the fridge and enjoy!

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