Sunday, August 25, 2013

Back in the Kitchen

It's been a while, but today I am finally back to canning!  Sure, I've frozen and dried a bunch of things, but summer just isn't complete until I break out the canning jars and whip up a batch of something good.  It makes me so happy to add back to my pantry and see all those glowing jars of bounty smiling at me.

This morning started with lots of chopping: jalapeño peppers and red onion from the garden and hoop house, peaches from the Farmers Market, and lemon and lime--juice and zest--all tumbled into a fragrant pot.  Add some sugar and a bit of pectin, and there you have it: Peach Jalapeño Jam!  I think it will be great on top of roast pork or chicken, maybe even a nice piece of fish.  Of course, served up with a mild creamy chèvre and crackers would be a fine way to use it, too, or spread as a layer in a turkey sandwich.  Yum!

Peach Jalapeño Jam

You'll need: roughly six cups of peeled & chopped peaches; one lime; one lemon: about one cup of minced red onion (I had one medium and two small from a walk in the garden); five or six small jalapeño peppers, minced (I like it hot & leave the seeds in but you can scrape them out if you prefer); three cups raw sugar; one package powdered pectin (I buy mine in bulk, called All Natural Dutch Jell, and use a mounded 1/3 cup's worth)

Place the peaches, peppers, and onions in the pot.  Juice the lemon and add to the pot.  Zest the lime, adding it to the pot, and then juice the lime into the pot.  Add sugar and give everything a good stir.

Start heating the pot, on medium-low heat.  Stir occasionally and bring to a boil.  Maintain a slow rolling boil for 15-20 minutes, until peaches have softened and broken down.  I help this along by using my potato masher to break up the fruit chunks.  If you like a more smooth jam, put the peaches into a food processor before adding them to the pot.  I prefer this jam to be fairly chunky, though.

When mixture is uniformly cooked, add the pectin.  Bring pot to a fast rolling boil (you may need to increase the heat a little) and boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.  Top with hot lids and tighten bands.  Process in a hot water bath for 20 minutes.  I got about four pints of lovely, fragrant, sweet-savory jam.


1 comment:

  1. THat sounds really good! I might have to make some of that with my peaches. Hmmmmm I amd glad you are back canning, I felt the same way. Alot of work, but also calming , relaxing and gratifying!


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