Peaches are available at our local u-pick and I was thrilled to be out there picking yesterday. We picked about 50 lbs of big beautiful peaches and brought them home to preserve for the coming winter. This morning I woke to the smell of peaches ripening in my kitchen, simply delightful. On closer inspection I noticed yesterday’s little helping hands left a few peaches bruised so I set to preserving them right away. I prepared all my canning equipment and started skinning the peaches. As I sliced the peach in half I discovered that the peaches were clingstone. Oh no! Clingstone peaches are impossible to halve nicely because the pit sticks to the flesh. I managed to skin and cut the flesh off a bowl full of peaches and then I stared at them wondering what to do. They wouldn’t work well for peach halves in light syrup, which is how we like them, so I started flipping through my arsenal of canning books. Through combining several recipes I came up with this tasty peach and lavender jam.
Peach Lavender Jam
Makes about 5 half-pint
2.5 lbs (about 5 cups) peaches, skinned and chopped
3 3/4 cups cane sugar
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1/2 cup boiling water
3 Tbsp. lavender
1 – 85ml packet of liquid pectin
Start by skinning and chopping the peaches. To skin a peach dip the whole fruit into a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds to a minute then plunge the peach in ice cold water to stop the peach from cooking. The skin should slip off easily.
Add the chopped peaches, sugar, lemon juice and zest to a large heavy bottomed pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat and then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer the peaches for about 30 minutes, this allows them to cook down.
As the peaches simmer add 1/2 cup boiling water to the lavender and let it steep for 20 minutes.
Also remember to sterilize your jars and prepare your lids.
Using an immersion blender, or a counter top blender, blend the peaches to your preferred consistency. I prefer a smooth peach jam with few chunks. Strain the lavender tea into the mixture (don’t add the lavender) and continue to simmer the peach jam.
Peach are low in pectin so it’s pretty helpful to add some. Add the packet of liquid pectin and bring the mixture to a rolling boil for 5 minutes. The mixture should thicken. When the jam has thickened, ladle it into sterilized jars, wipe the rims before adding the lids. Place the jars into a water bath canner and bring to a boil. When the water is boiling process the jars for 10 minutes. Remove the jars and let them cool on the counter top. Check the seals and place any jars that failed to seal in the fridge.