Well, it’s kind of fall again, and this first fall out of school is weird. I feel like I’m supposed to be Doing Things again (especially since I am still “figuring out my life” and don’t actually have that much to do, really). So I decided to take on a project I’ve been wanting to try for a while — I bought some canning jars (that was fun), checked out a couple books from the library, read up on some preserving blogs, and set out to begin my canning self-education. Jam seemed like a good place to start, and with apple season just getting started, I wanted one last hurrah with the end-of-summer peaches.
The title of this post is a little misleading, I’ll admit. This was my first try at jam-making and canning, so not everything turned out as planned. My “jam” never gelled up all the way, even though I cooked it way longer than the recipe’s 20 minutes — so I guess we’re calling it sauce, or not-jam, or whatever else you please. And I also failed to buy quite enough ginger, so you can’t really taste it very much. But it’s still peach and delicious, so I’m calling it a success regardless.
This is my second peach post in a row on here. Not the best variety, perhaps, but peaches are kind of the greatest. When I was little, there used to be these peach juice boxes that I loved, but they seem to have disappeared since then. I spent a while a few years back trying to find a suitable replacement for them, but most peach juices you find in the grocery store have too much apple or pear juice added to really taste like pure peach (I’ve since discovered that the best and cheapest way to get peach juice is in the form of peach Izzes — the best).
But I digress. The point of this blog wasn’t to talk about peach juice. But like peach juice, this jam is a good way to get your peach fix. It only has three ingredients — not even pectin, which may be why I had trouble getting mine to gel — but that short ingredient list it does make it simple. Regardless of the jamminess or the gingeryness or whatever other quirks you end up with, this is worthy of your canning endeavors. I think it was a good start to mine.
Ginger Peach Jam (adapted from Food In Jars)
(Makes approximately 3 pints)
7 cups peaches, peeled and mashed
3.5 cups sugar
4 oz ginger (I only bought not-quite-3 oz, which was my downfall of gingeryness)
Make ginger juice: chop the ginger and pulse in the small bowl of a food processor with 1/4 cup water until blended. Strain through a piece of cheesecloth and squeeze to get all the liquid out.
Combine the peaches, ginger juice, and sugar in a large pot and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, until the jam reaches 220 degrees or passes the plate test (click through to the original recipe above for a link to that one) or whatever other jam-consistency test or method you have. Also, boil your jars.
When the jam is cooked, fill the prepared jars, wipe the rims, and put on the lids and rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Remove and let them cool on a towel.
Keep in a cool dark place for up to a year.