Since Dustin and I moved to Austin, we have wanted to visit this little town called Fredericksburg, Texas.
Fredericksburg is a small town deep in Texas Hill Country and is known for its peaches (as is its neighboring town, Stonewall).
With my parents visiting us for a week, we thought it’d be neat to make some homemade peach jam together. Over the years, we have all made homemade jam, including strawberry jam and blackberry jam.
So, not only did fresh peach jam sound amazing, but it also gave us an opportunity to visit Fredericksburg again. Yay!
That town is so darn cute — we couldn’t stand it. We both agree we already need to go back again. I’d like to do a post on it one of these days.
What’s not to love about a cute little country town that has “Fresh Peaches” signs posted everywhere? It’s like a rule or something: fresh peaches = happiness. Visiting Fredericksburg even reminded Dustin and me how much we would love to live out in the country and run a vineyard or farm.
Who knows – maybe we can make that dream a reality one of these days.
Making homemade jam is super fun and rewarding. Be prepared for it to take some time, but enjoy your time. Homemade jam will last you for the whole year and can also make great gifts to share with friends and family.
Our friends absolutely love it when we show up with a jar or two of tasty jam. What an awesome gift, right?
When buying fresh fruit for your jam, don’t worry about how it looks – just how it tastes. We even ask for the “ugly” ones because they’re usually cheaper.
We also learned the proper technique for how to peel a peach. To peel a fresh peach, blanch for 45 seconds in boiling water, then remove and place in ice cold water for 1 minute. Using a sharp paring knife, make a criss-cross slit at the bottom of the peach to create a place to insert the knife blade. Gently grab the skin between your finger and the knife blade and remove the skin. Trust me — this works wonders.
As far as what tools to use, I’ve put links to what you’ll need for the job in the directions. Have fun!
Fresh Peach Jam
Makes approximately 8 cups jam, recipe adapted from Certo
4 cups (about 3 lbs.) fresh peaches (we used a combination of Stonewall white and yellow peaches)
1/4 cup (about 2 lemons) fresh lemon juice
7 1/2 cups sugar
1 pouch Sure-Jell Certo Fruit Pectin (liquid fruit pectin)
Fill a Canner half-full of water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Remove the skin from the peaches by blanching for 45 seconds in boiling water, then removing and placing in ice cold water for 1 minute. Using a sharp paring knife, make a crisscross slit at the bottom of the peach to create a place to insert the knife blade. Gently grab the skin between your finger and the knife blade and remove the skin (see photos above). Once skin is removed, remove the pits. Finely chop the peeled, pitted peaches.
Measure 4 cups finely chopped peaches and cook over medium-high heat in 6- or 8-quart saucepan. Add lemon juice to the peaches and stir to combine. Add sugar to saucepan and stir to combine. You may add 1/2 tsp. unsalted butter to reduce the foaming if you wish.
Bring mixture to full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin pouch quickly. Return to a full rolling boil and boil for exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Be careful not to let mixture boil over. Remove from heat and skim off any foam with a metal spoon.
Ladle mixture into the prepared, cleaned jars. I really recommend using a Wide-Mouth Funnel to easily ladle mixture into jars. Fill each jar to within 1/8-inch from the top. Wipe the jar rims and threads and cover with 2-piece lids. Screw bands on tightly and place jars on elevated Canning Rack in canner. Lower rack into canner so that water covers jars by 1 to 2 inches. If more water is needed, add boiling water. Cover and bring to gently boil for 10 minutes. Remove jars using a Jar Lifter and place upright on a towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of the lid with your finger. If lid springs/pops back, it is not sealed and that jar will need to be refrigerated.
Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Store unopened jam in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 1 year. Refrigerate opened jams for up to 3 weeks.