July 28, 2012

How to can delicious peach jam without killing your friends

Botulism is a terrible thing....that's why its important to be very sanitary when canning items at home. Go here to read tips on how to make home canning safe. Even though I'm not the USDA's (or FDA's) biggest fan, I do tend to agree that home canning can be dangerous if you don't educate yourself first! So, you go do that, then come back here and watch me make jam. Yum.

Super kick ass peach jam recipe:
You will need:
Fruit Fresh (optional)
Lemon Juice

Canning jars
1 small saucepan
1 medium saucepan
1 large water bath pan (to process jars)

In the small saucepan, place the rings and lids in water and turn the burner on medium. The lids will need to sit in simmering water to sterilize while you make the jam. In the large water bath pan (a large soup pot will do), boil the jars for 10 minutes to sterilize and drain on a clean towel in the clean location of the kitchen. Refill the large pot with water and bring to a slow boil.
 I dont know what happened to this picture, so sorry for the shotty photography. Its a photo of sterilized jars, so I'm sure you get the point.
 Slice a shallow X on the bottom of each peach. Dunk the peach in boiling water for about 30 seconds, pull it out and plunge it into a sink full of cold water. Continue doing this until all peaches have been blanched. At this point, the peaches should be very easy to peel with your fingers. Grab a corner of the X and pull back, like i'm doing above.
 Pit and dice your peaches into small chunks. I like peach jam a little chunky, but if you like it smoother you can mash it with a potato masher. Place peaches in the medium saucepan and sprinkle with 2 tsp of fruit fresh (this is optional....if you plan on storing the peaches for a long time, fruit fresh helps it keep its pretty color) and 3 TBS of lemon juice for every 2 cups of fruit. Brink mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, and for every 2 cups of fruit I add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 1 1/2 TBS pectin. Stir to combine, bring to a boil again, stirring constantly. If the mixture starts to foam, add a TBS of butter. The milk fats will cut down on the foam.
jam jam jam!

After about 5 minutes of boiling, ladle the hot jam into clean jars. Wipe the rims of the jars, so they are clean. Place the lids and rings on the jars, and put the jars back into the boiling water bath. Process for 10 minutes. Remove the jars from the hot water *carefully!* and put them on the counter to finish sealing. You will hear a series of clicking and popping noises, and the next morning when you press down on the lids, they should not move at all. If they do, just put that jar in the fridge and eat it first. DO NOT store jars that have not sealed properly in your pantry, and DO NOT give them as gifts (see: botulism, above).

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