After buying 175# of wonderful Missouri peaches recently, we set about to preserve them to be enjoyed for months to come.  We canned several quarts of peach halves to enjoy with ice cream, cottage cheese, yogurt or just a bowl and spoon.  Details on canning those can be found here.  Even after nearly 45 quarts were finished, we had a ton of peaches left, so decided to make some jars of peach jam for eating on toast or with my home made biscuits…..hmmm, I see I still need to post my recipe and technique for my biscuits….but that will come another day.

After setting aside several peaches for home canned peach pie filling, we peeled a sink full with the blanching method discussed in the Home Canned Peaches post.  They were then sliced and measured into containers that could be placed in the refrigerator. At this point, adding a couple of teaspoons of citric acid and covering the fruit with cold water to cover will preserve the color for the nicest jam.  Not only does this make jam making go faster when we get started, it also buys some time with the over ripe peaches.  While jam making is a great way to use some of your over ripe fruit, that fruit must be used quickly to avoid having it slide down that slippery slope of being spoiled.  Each of these containers held enough peaches to do two large batches of jam and could be held for up to 48 hours in the refrigerator before being used.

Now, jam making can begin!  For those who have experience making jam, the actual recipe can found here, but I will walk through my steps in detail for those who are new to the process, or those who want to refresh their memories.  Let me preface the steps by saying I purchase my pectin, sugar, and citric at local Amish stores where I can get it in bulk, very reasonably priced.  I gather my ingredients, which includes the peeled/sliced peaches, pectin, citric acid and sugar.  Along with these ingredients, have at least 7 pint jars, or 14 half pint jars, washed and soaking in hot water.

6 2/3 Cups Peach slices/pieces/pulp are placed in a large pot along with 7 1/2 Tablespoons Fruit Pectin.  Using a masher, or stick blender, mix and mash the peaches as they heat to a boil.  Do less mashing for larger pieces of fruit in the final product.  When this comes to a boil, add 2 teaspoons citric acid and 8 1/3 Cups pure cane sugar.  Stirring until sugar dissolves, bring these ingredients to a boil.  Boil 1 minute and remove from heat.  Allow foam to settle, and scoop off as much as you can, discarding the foam.

Your jam is now ready to put in jars for the preservation process.  Remove each jar from the hot water and fill with jam leaving 1/2″ head space.  Be sure to leave the proper head space to avoid the issues described here.  After jar is filled, you may choose to remove any additional foam with a  clean spoon and discard foam.  Clean rim carefully with damp cloth, place lid on jar and add ring.  Hand tighten ring.  Process jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.  Remember with a boiling water bath, the water must cover the jars completely, the jars should not sit directly on the bottom of the pot, and the timing starts when the water in the pot comes to a roiling boil.  When time is up, remove jars to a firm surface, covered with a towel and allow to cool.  Check for seal, clean any sticky residue from jars and store in a cool dry place.

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