Peach Jam

Posted by on Aug 9, 2010 in Farm Blog, Farm Recipes | 26 comments

A perfectly ripe peach, fresh from the tree, is one of summer’s great gifts, and of the fruits you can grow yourself, there is nothing more perfect, or more flavorful, than a homegrown peach. Unlike pomme fruits however, peaches cannot be stored for long in their natural state, so it’s not uncommon to find yourself with a glut of fruit, that needs to be used quickly.

Too many peaches? Make jam!

This is a very simple jam recipe, perfect for novice and seasoned jam-makers alike, and produces a jam far superior to the sugary sweet products available in the grocery store.

To keep the added sugar content lower, preserving the natural sweet flavor of the fruit, this recipe does not use commercially prepared pectin.  However, it’s important to note than on the pectin scale of fruits, peaches naturally have relatively low amounts of pectin in their skin.  As such, it’s important not to use overripe peaches for this jam recipe, and not to peel your peaches!

Yield: 8-9 8fl oz (250 ml) jars

5.5 lbs Peaches (2.75 kg)
3 Cups Sugar (750 g)
3/4 Cup (180 ml) Fresh Lemon Juice

Gently rub the fuzz from the skins of the peaches with a damp dish towel.  Halve and pit the peaches, and cut each half into 1/2 inch thick slices.

Gently toss the peaches and sugar together in a large nonreactive (i.e. stainless steel, glass or ceramic) bowl.  Cover and allow to stand at room temperature for 4 hours (alternatively place the covered bowl in the refrigerator overnight).

Peaches, with sugar and lemon juice, ready to cook

Have 9 hot, sterilized jars and their lids ready (see video below for tips on preparing your jars for canning).

Transfer the peach and sugar mixture to a large nonreactive saucepan, and add the lemon juice.  Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the jam is thick, 15-25 minutes.

The jam will gradually thicken as it cooks

To avoid overcooking the fruit a large flat skillet, rather than a deep saucepan, will help reduce the liquid more quickly.

Ladle the hot jam into the prepared jars, and leave 1/4 inch of head-space.  Remove any air bubbles, and adjust the head-space as needed.

Wipe the rims clean and seal with the lids, and finger tighten the rings.  Do not over-tighten the rings.

Process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Homemade Peach Jam

Sealed jars may be stored for 1 year in a cool, dark place.  If the seal has failed, store the jam in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

If you don’t have your own peach trees, try asking vendors at your local farmer’s markets if they have seconds fruits available for jam making at their local farms.  Many farms often have slightly blemished, undersized, or misshapen fruits they’d be happy to sell, sometimes at a discount, so it’s worth asking. Otherwise, check with a neighbor or friend.  Perhaps you can arrange to pick their extra fruit, in exchange for returning some jam.

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The following helpful video demonstrates the boiling-water bath canning technique, including basic required equipment, and how to prepare your jars and lids for canning:

Visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation for more helpful information on canning home produce.

26 Comments

  1. Summer has kept me so busy that I’ve not been visiting my favorite blogs as much as I’d like. I have a lot of catching up to do on this one! This recipe is exactly what I need this week, I’m hoping for some just right jamming peaches at the Farmer’s Market. Thank you so much for taking the time to post this information during this especially hectic time.
    graceonline´s last post…Learning mean- teaching grace

    • You’re welcome Kathryn. Despite our chilly California summer, it’s trying to be peek peach season, and it’s such a shame to waste good peaches. I’m always much more willing to try a new recipe, if I know someone else tried it before me! :)

  2. I need more land for fruit trees. It’s not relevant that I’ve only planted 1.4% of the land I have, I need more! I love peach jam.
    Turling´s last post…Yosemite

  3. I knew it, I just knew it … smelled somethin’ cookin’! Thank you, dear Clare. Love the addition of all the lemon … this recipe sounds divine.
    joey´s last post…BOLD AND LUSCIOUS HARDY HIBISCUS ROSE MALLOW FROZEN WHITE CHOCOLATE PIE with RASPBERRIES

    • At first it seemed like an awful lot of lemon juice, but it worked perfectly. The jam was very peachy in flavor, and had a bright taste as a result of the lemon, but isn’t ‘lemony’ in the least. I’d definitely make this again. I find commercial jams to be too syrupy sweet.

  4. Curse you, Clare, you made me dribble on my keyboard AGAIN :oD Really, it’s neither attractive nor feminine and it scares the cats!

    Great recipe. Sadly we only had 7 peaches this year and hubby promptly ate 5 of them :o) But I’m planting a couple of new trees soon so I’ll definitely refer back to your tips anon.

    Thanks again. Can’t wait to sample one of your Curbstone creations, either here in Tuscany or with you in CA sometime.

    Love, big hugs and drool,
    Juls xxx

    • I have a hunch the two of us could prove to be very dangerous in the kitchen together :P Cooking in Tuscany though…I can’t wait!

  5. This looks wonderful. I used to have a delicious peach growing in my garden and now I am missing it greatly.

    • Thanks for dropping in Bakingbarb! I love how this jam turned out. We feel the same way about our old apricot tree. I can’t wait for our new apricots to start producing. We had a fabulous mature tree at our last house, and miss it (well the garden fresh fruit) so much!

  6. Yum, what a great jam recipe!
    meemsnyc´s last post…Something to look forward to- Part 2

  7. Nice bowl of peaches! I’ll make a cobbler with mine. I’m hoping that cooking them will intensify the flavor a bit making up for the lack of heat. You jam looks great!
    Angela´s last post…New in My Harvest Basket

  8. Yum! Wish I had homegrown peaches to make it with, but might try with purchased ones. Cooking it in a skillet instead of deep saucepan is an interesting idea. Doesn’t it splatter out, though?
    Barbara´s last post…A visit to the Schwetzingen palace gardens

    • It can splatter a little, the trick is not to turn the heat up too high while cooking, and keep an eagle-eye on the stove!

  9. Dear Clare, I was so heartened to read at the start of this receipt for peach jam that it was suitable for novices. Alas, there are novices and novices and this, for me, seemed way beyond what I might achieve. However something as delicious as this is not to be ignored and so I am passing it to my friend, B, who does make jams and chutneys, in the hope of thepresent of a pot.
    Edith Hope´s last post…Set For Tea

    • I must admit, canning, or making jams and jellies, seems very intimating if you’ve never done it. I bet if you watched B. during the jam making process, you’d realize there’s no magic or mystery. It can help to see someone make it once before trying it yourself though :)

  10. Good Morning Clare

    I’m not sure how many peaches there would be left if my DH got to your farm – we buy a huge amount of these every week as it would be too cold to grow them in any number in our garden. I have not tasted peach jam since we were in Morocco.

    Your recipe will certainly interest my friend A. as she makes me loads of plum jam, chutneys, apple jelly and lemon curd.
    Rosie´s last post…Orchids at the Palace

  11. Hello Clare, we can peaches every year and now I’d like to try your recipe – thanks for joining the Garden Blog Hop too!
    Heather @ Dusty Bay´s last post…dahlia

  12. Oh my, that jam sounds yummy. It will be a couple of years before our peach trees start bearing, but when they do we will be looking for ways like this to preserve them.
    villager´s last post…Butterfly Banquet Part 2

  13. This is a really useful post – I loved the clip about canning as I’ve been making dill pickles and worrying if I’d done it right. The recipes and instructions on the jars and lids were not as clear as that clip – I was doing it right and the peace of mind is great! Thank you.

    I think I will try to make peach jam if the neighbors peaches haven’t gotten too ripe!
    Byddi – We didn’t come here for the grass…´s last post…Growing herbs – just do it!

    • I’m glad you found the video helpful Byddi. It was the most clear and concise one I could find. I hadn’t made jam in a few years, and it was helpful even for me, just to review technique.

  14. Once upon a time I planted several peach trees with visions of peach pies and peach jam floating through my mind. Unfortunately they all succumbed to a blight within two years, and I never harvested a single peach! I do love homemade jam. Your recipe looks easy!
    debsgarden´s last post…View From My Blue Bench

  15. Hmm…you said “To keep the added sugar content lower, preserving the natural sweet flavor of the fruit, this recipe does not use commercially prepared pectin.” I didn’t realize the pectin was or contained sugar… Pectin is the only thing I’ve been adding to my plum jam.

    • Sorry Jackie, I didn’t mean pectin has added sugar, but pectin added jams typically require more sugar to gel than au naturel jams.

  16. Yummmm!! That peach jam looks delish! I wish I knew how to can… :0)

  17. That looks so lovely, Claire. I so want to learn to can properly — but I won’t do it yet in case we end up having to travel far and needing to rid ourselves of all extraneous things. I love the idea of preserving summer’s sweetness for the colder days of winter. :)

    My father proudly displayed to me the two wee peaches he’d let ripen this year, when I went home recently. It’s a tradition by now to give a tree or plant for every mother’s and father’s day, and their peach tree is now exactly 2 years old, working its way to abundant harvests…
    Meredith´s last post…tilt focus- week 31

  18. This looks delicious!

    (I wonder if we can grow peaches in Oakland? We planted a pluot tree this spring, but it’s jsut a wee twig.)
    Lisa´s last post…The Cats have the Flue