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Servings: 5half-pint jars
Author: Whitney Reist | Sweet Cayenne
12ouncesGranny Smith Applesabout 2 large
3tablespoonsfresh lemon juicestrained
Preparing for Canning
Sterilize canning jars by placing them in a boiling water bath (I do this in my canning pot) for ten minutes. Keep them warm in the water until ready to use. Place the lids in a heatproof bowl and ladle a few spoonfuls of boiling water on top. Keep them warm in the bowl until ready to use. For more information on hot water bath canning, see this article.
Core the apples and cut them into quarters - do not peel them. Place the cores in a square of cheesecloth. Set both aside.
Place a small plate in the freezer and chill for later.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl with ice and water. Wash each peach and cut a small “X” into the bottom of each one. Use a slotted spoon to lower peaches, 3-4 at a time, into the boiling water. Boil for 30-45 seconds. Transfer the peaches to the ice water bowl and let them soak for a minute. Transfer to a towel and repeat this process with the remaining peaches.
Making the Jam
Remove the peels from the peaches, pit them, and dice the fruit into rough 1’’ pieces. Transfer them to a large 6-8 quart Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed, wide-rimmed pot.
Add the sugar and to the peaches and stir to combine. Place the pot over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the the peaches have released enough juice to cover the pieces.
Use a strainer or slotted spoon to remove the peach chunks from the juice, transferring the fruit to a heatproof bowl.
Add the apple quarters and core in the cheesecloth to the peach juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, until the juice is thick and syrup-like, about 15 minutes.
Return the peaches to the pot with the reduced juice, apples, and add the lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the peaches are very tender and the mixture is thick and jammy. To test for doneness, place a small dab of the peach mixture on the plate from the freezer. Freeze for a minute, and then test with your finger. The mixture should be somewhat firm and will not slide across the plate when tilted (however, it will not gel). Continue cooking the jam and doing the plate test until the jam reaches the desired consistency. Use tongs to remove any remaining apple peel and the cheeecloth with the apple core from the jam.
Preserving the Jam
Using a jar lifter, carefully remove the jars from the hot water canning bath and place them upright on a towel. Remove the lids from the bowl of water and pat them dry.
Ladle the hot jam into the sterilized jars, leaving ¼ inch of headspace at the top. Remove air bubbles with an offset spatula as needed. Use a damp paper towel or cloth to wipe the rims of the jars clean. Place the lid on top, followed by the jar ring, and adjust the ring until it is finger-tight (do not force it).
Return the jars to the water bath, being sure that each is covered by at least 1 inch of water. Bring the water to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Use the jar lifter to carefully remove the jars from the water and transfer them to a towel. Do not disturb the jars for 12 hours.
After one hour of resting, make sure the jar lids have sealed by pressing down on the center of the lid. If the center can be pressed down, the lid has not sealed and the contents of the jar should be refrigerated immediately for use within 1-2 weeks.
Label the sealed jars and store in a dark, cool, dry place for up to 1 year.