Peach Day! Amaretto Peach Jam, Brown Sugar Vanilla Jam, and Giant Peach Butter

It’s good to make friends with your local farmers! On Tuesday, I was able to get out to the East York outdoor market to pick up a few freestone peaches. When I told one of the local farmers that the kids and I were thinking about making jam, she reached around to the back of her table and pulled out a super-sized basket full of giant-sized, gently bruised freestones. “It’s a pile I keep going all day,” she said. “Putting the ones aside that people don’t seem to want. Great for jam. I made some yesterday with a similar pile, myself. I’ll give it to you for a fiver.” And so the great mound of peaches was sold!

The bruised peaches proved easy to work with. No need to drop them in boiling water or put them, fresh-boiled, on ice in order to remove their skins. The skins were practically falling off. And, after slicing away any unsavoury brown bits, we were in business. Despite our lack of experience working with peaches, we came up with a plan to make three types of Peach Preserves: an Amaretto Jam, a Brown Sugar Vanilla Jam, and a Butter made with the remains of our motherload of Giant Peaches. And, after a great summer day of canning, the kids came up with a few some more abstract designs to use as canning labels! Recipes and labels below!


Amaretto Peach Jam

makes 6.5-7 half-pint jars
 20120829-172218.jpg
Ingredients

4.5 cups peeled, pitted, chopped ripe peaches (~3.5 lbs of peaches)
7 cups sugar
.5 cup Amaretto
.3 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 foil pouch of liquid pectin

Brown Sugar Vanilla Jam
makes 6.5-7 half-pint jars
 20120829-172223.jpg
Ingredients

4.5 cups peeled, pitted, chopped ripe peaches (~3.5 lbs of peaches)
7 cups brown sugar
.125-.25 cup pure vanilla extract
.3 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 foil pouch of liquid pectin


Jam Method
Fill your canning pot with water and bring the water to a boil. This will take a while.
Place 7 half-pint-sized and 1 quarter-pint sized mason jars (or the equivalent) on a canning rack set inside the pot to sterilize and warm.
Meanwhile, warm the canning lids (but not the screw tops – we stack ours aside on a meat cleaver) in a small pot of water set upon your smallest burner.
Remove hot jars from the boiling water with tongs or the like and set upside-down to dry.
Keep that canning pot of water boiling.

In a large stock pot, combine all ingredients EXCEPT pectin and, forever stirring, bring the mixture to a boil.
Add pectin and bring the mixture to a bubbly, frothing, noisy rolling boil, forever stirring to insure the bottom of the mixutre does not burn.
Stir and boil hard for approximately 2 minutes.
Remove pot from heat.
Skim foam from the top of the brew with a wooden or metal spoon.

Funnel hot jam into hot mason jars, leaving .25-in headspace at the top of the jar (i.e. fill the jar with hot jam to .w5 in below the very top of the glass jar).
Place warm lids on jars and attach the screw tops so that they are closed but not ridiculously lock-tight.
Place the filled jars in a rack in the boiling water of your canning pot.
Cover the canner and bring the water back to a boil.
Process in the boiling water for 5 minutes.
Remove the jars and set aside to cool on wire racks or a surface that isn’t heat sensitive.
Enjoy!

Giant Peach Butter

makes about 6 half-pints
 20120829-172229.jpg
Ingredients

4 to 5 cups peeled, pitted, cut ripe peaches (~3 lbs of peaches)
.5 cup water
2.5 cups brown or white sugar, or a mix
.6 cups honey
or
.3 c maple syrup, .3 c molasses

Method
Fill your canning pot with water and bring the water to a boil. This will take a while.
Place 5-6 half-pint-sized mason jars (or the equivalent) on a canning rack set inside the pot to sterilize and warm.
Meanwhile, warm the canning lids (but not the screw tops – we stack ours aside on a meat cleaver) in a small pot of water set upon your smallest burner.
Remove hot jars from the boiling water with tongs or the like and set upside-down to dry.
Keep that canning pot of water boiling.

In a large pot, bring the peaches and the water to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer at medium-low for about 10 minutes, until the peaches are tender enough to pulverize.
Use a blender or hand blender to pulverize the peaches until completely smooth.
Add sugar(s) and honey or syrup/molasses mixture.
Bring mixture back toa boil and stir gently.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 12-20 minutes, stirring off and on.
The mixture should thicken up and mound on a spoon.

Funnel the hot butter into the warm mason jars, leaving .25-in headspace at the top of the jar (i.e. fill the jar with hot butter to .w5 in below the very top of the glass jar).
Place warm lids on jars and attach the screw tops so that they are closed but not ridiculously lock-tight.
Place the filled jars in a rack in the boiling water of your canning pot.
Cover the canner and bring the water back to a boil.
Process in the boiling water for 5 minutes.
Remove the jars and set aside to cool on wire racks or a surface that isn’t heat sensitive.
Enjoy!
   
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