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Homemade Peach Jam

by Stark Bro's on 07/09/2013
Jars of Finished Peach Jam

Peaches have a long growing season (late May through October), so, luckily  you have lots of time to make a whole cupboard-full of delicious jam. Depending upon the kind of peaches you grow, you’ll want to eat some of them fresh, and leave other varieties for your jam-making. In all, there are three different categories of peaches:

Freestone. This type of peach is very aptly named: the stone is easy to free from the peach. Freestones are usually what you see in grocery stores, and are great for fresh eating, canning, jam, baking and freezing. They’re generally bigger, sweeter and firmer than clingstones, as well as less drippy. A good all-around peach.

Semi-freestone: This type of peach’s pit tends to stick, usually on one side, so it falls somewhere between the freestone and clingstone category. A general all-purpose peach that good for eating and canning.

Clingstone. The pretty yellow peach flesh “clings” to the stone, and therefore the name. These are the earliest peaches to come in. Distinguished by their juiciness and sweet peach flavor, they lend themselves very well to jams, preserves and canning. This is the canned peach you usually see on the supermarket shelf.

We have several outstanding “jam-peach trees” that we recommend:

Carolina Belle Peach
Perfect for honey-sweet peach jam and preserves. Large freestone fruit with gorgeous red skin and creamy white flesh, intensely peach-y flavor. Ripens in mid-August. Self-pollinating.

Redhaven Peach
An early medium-sized freestone that is non-browning, with sweet yellow flesh that’s firm and smooth. Excellent for canning, freezing, and fresh eating. Self-fertile. Ripens in late July.

Stark® Hal-Berta Giant™ Peach
Large (up to a pound each!), luscious, nearly fuzzless and freestone, so it’s easy to pit. Sensational peach flavor makes a winning jam. Ripens in late August. Best pollinators: a different peach variety, such as Burbank™ July Elberta.

Stark® Elberta Queen™ Peach
Just “peachy” for canning or jam! Big, sweet, firm peaches that ripen in August. Self-pollinating.

You’re likely to have more peaches than you’ll know what to do with when the harvest comes in, so make sure you have enough canning supplies on hand.

Basket of Peaches

Tips to Making the Best Peach Jam Ever:

  • Get everything in place before you begin, because there are points in the process where you won’t be able to stop and get what you need.
  • Don’t be tempted to increase the spice amounts; you want the peach flavor to shine through.
  • Use the amounts below, follow the directions, and your jam will come out perfect every time. Overcooking and using the wrong proportion of ingredients are the main causes of runny jam.

The Best Peach Jam Recipe Ever

You will need:

  • 8 cups pitted, peeled* peaches, cut in a 1” dice
  • A large bowl of ice water
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 Tablespoons classic fruit pectin (like Ball® or Pomona’s)
  • 7 cups white sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Large canning pot with rack
  • Jar lifter (typically found in canning sets)
  • Large tongs (typically found in canning sets)
  • Large ladle
  • A wet paper towel
  • Dry paper towels
  • 6 one-pint (16 oz.) glass canning jars, with lids and screw-on bands

Instructions:

  1. Get your boiling water going in your canning pot. The water should be two inches over the height of the jars. Heat jars, lids and bands in simmering (not boiling) water until ready to use. Remove with tongs and set on dry paper towels.
  2. Peeling Peach Skin*You can use the same pot to peel your peaches. Cut an X in the bottom of each peach. Drop 4 or 5 at a time into the simmering water for 45 seconds. Immediate remove peaches and drop in a large bowl of ice water for 20-30 seconds. You should easily be able to slip the skin right off the peaches. Repeat this step if the skin is stubborn.
  3. In a 6- to 8-quart saucepan, set to medium-high heat, bring the peaches and lemon juice to a boil. Lightly mash the peaches (this will help thicken the jam).
  4. Add the pectin and quickly return the mixture to a boil. Stirring constantly, gradually add the sugar.
  5. Peaches Cooking for JamAll at once, stir in the crystallized ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, reserved lemon zest and salt, and continue to boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  6. Remove from heat. Skim any foam off the top.
  7. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe rim with wet paper towel. Center lid on jar. Screw on the band until firmly in place.
  8. Process in the boiling water bath 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Check lids after 24 hours; they should not flex when center is pressed.
  9. Label and date your jars. Peach jam will keep up to two years.

Makes 6 pints.

Preserve Your Harvest! Shop All Canning Supplies »

Topics → Recipes

22 Comments

  1. Sissy permalink

    I can’t find a place to print this receipe. It looks great.

    • Countrymouse5 permalink

      Look under share there a print there. Recipe look goooodd

  2. Sid Kirtley permalink

    I have one of the ball jam and jelly cookers that just came out. I have used their receipe as stated in the book that came with the machine. I use the lower added sugar receipe and the jam still comes out great. I love the taste and will be making more. Too bad the new peach tree does not have any peaches on it right now. Next year or two, I will have an abundant supply if the tree gets to growing. Little worried about it for it does not have many leaves on it and the upper branches seem a little dead. Keep the receipes coming. Sid

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Sid! Remember, if ever you have any dead branches on your fruit trees, you can remove these to help the rest of your tree’s energy go toward supporting healthy growth. Peach trees don’t mind a little pruning in the summer to keep things growing well! :)

  3. wwo permalink

    thanks for the recipe. you use a “T” for I assume teaspoon or tablespoon. pleas tell me which it is. ps this is the homemade peach jam recipe

    • Thanks for the input! Traditionally, a capitalized “T” is for Tablespoon and lower case “t” is for teaspoon. I will see if I can get this changed to spell it out, or at least use the Tbs/tsp abbreviations, to avoid any other confusion. :)

  4. David permalink

    Sounds like a good recipe, can I substitute nectarines for the peaches?

    • I can vouch for using apricots instead of peaches in recipes (yum!) but nectarines should work equally as well — definitely give it a try. :)

      • This sounds yummy..
        Can you use ground ginger in place of
        crystallized ginger?

        • I would absolutely encourage it! And please let us know how it turns out for you. :)

  5. Allison permalink

    I made a version of this recipe today: about 8.5 c peaches, 10 c sugar, 7T pectin, cinnamon, lemon juice, tsp vanilla, 1 c bourbon. For some reason, the jam has not jelled enough. I tried the frozen plate test & it developed a skin & stayed in place. The temp was 220. I continued trying to cook it down to thicken it but it stayed the same thickness. This happened last year too! My strawberry & blueberry jams came out great. Altho I decided the peaches, I didn’t mash them. Any idea what I did wrong? Should I open the jars & put the jam back in a pot & add more pectin? I can’t add any more sugar coz it’s too sweet already! Tyvm for any ideas!

    • Hi Allison! Sometimes jam just doesn’t turn out — frustrating, isn’t it? I’ve had this happen to me as well. Usually, runny jam (or jelly) happens if the pectin, sugar, or acidity (from the lemon juice) weren’t just right or if you didn’t reach a hard boil. Reheating the jam in a pot and adding more pectin may help. Fortunately, there are tips out there for people like us! I found this site useful: http://foodinjars.com/2011/08/canning-101-how-to-save-runny-jam/

  6. Tina permalink

    I have some peaches that I just canned and a few of the jars didn’t seal. They’re packed in a 2:1 (water:sugar) syrup. Could I use these peaches?

    • As long as you literally just canned these peaches and they weren’t from months or years ago, then they’re fine to use. I always see the jars that don’t seal as volunteers to be used/eaten first. ;)

  7. Rena permalink

    Hi Sarah, in the recipe you state 6 Tablespoons of pectin, is that liquid or dry pectin? Thank you for your help.

    • Good question Rena! We use the dry pectin for this recipe. I’ll update the ingredients list to reflect that. Thank you :)

  8. cynthia kurtz permalink

    I would like to use smaller jars so that I have more to give away with other things in a basket. Would the processing time be the same for 1/2 pint jars as for pint jars? Can 1/2 pints be stacked in the water bath?

    • I made mine in half-pint jars and processed them for the same amount of time that’s mentioned here. I didn’t stack my jars though – I was already afraid of things breaking (because I didn’t have the right-sized canning rack at the time). I wouldn’t recommend stacking them, personally!

  9. Deb permalink

    Is it possible to use peaches that have been frozen? I know fresh is always best. But just thought i would ask.

  10. Carl Swensen permalink

    Hi Sarah. I am going to can peaches tomorrow with your recipe and I didn’t notice that you use Fresh Fruit Produce Protector. After peeling peaches should I put them in lemon juice or Fresh Fruit/water until I get the batch complete for slicing? Didn’t want them to turn brown.

    • That’s definitely fine, Carl. I didn’t find that the peaches lost their color very quickly when I sliced them before canning, but there wouldn’t be any harm in putting lemon juice or something on them before the batch is finished. :)

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