My jam frenzy from the previous post continued for at least another 48 hours. Slicing fruit, boiling water, juggling hot jars. It’s kind of funny that such a hot task happens at the height of summer. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself, that it’s funny. Ha ha ha, it’s so funny that I’ve heated up the house another 70 degrees with all this canning! Ha ha ha!
But I can’t lose the jam exchange! I need to be number one! Wait, it’s not a contest, that’s right. It seems my jam exchange anxiety is manifesting now as the EYE OF THE TIGER. Must win! Must win the jam exchange! I MUST MAKE THE BEST JAM EVER. Ahem.
I made two types for this round. Blueberry-peach was the first kind. It was supposed to be Peach-blueberry, because I used slightly more peaches than I did blueberries. But those blueberries are a powerful lot. The jam is bright purple, and I don’t think anyone would believe that it’s really peach-blueberry. So I had to rename it. The other kind is peach jam with orange and ginger. I think that’s my favorite one. For that, I started out making a standard peach jam, but then added in some grated orange zest and some diced fresh ginger.
Both turned out well, I think! The blueberry-peach is a good solid jam. Well, I mean, it’s not solid like wood or metal, it’s very jammy. But it’s a great basic jam. Fruity, gooey. I don’t think it’s overly-sweet (though I didn’t use a strict recipe, I added one cup of sugar less than the recipes I consulted). To me it tastes a little more blueberry-y than it does peachy. But you can still pick up a lot of peach flavor what with all the little peach hunks in there. I love the peach jam with orange and ginger. Again, I added less sugar than suggested by the recipes I consulted, so the peachyness stands out. And I love the way orange, ginger, and peach all complement each other.
Here are recipes I used. They are based on the basic jam recipes on the insert of the Sure-Jell pectin package.
6 large peaches (I think it ended up being about 2 1/4 lbs)
2 containers of blueberries (I think they were 12-oz containers)
3 cups sugar
1 package pectin
Wash, peel, and chop peaches into tiny pieces. Wash blueberries and chop in a food processor, but be sure to only process them for a second or two–you don’t want blueberry juice, you just want chopped blueberries.
Combine both types of fruit in a large pan on the stove. Add the pectin and 1/4 cup sugar, bring to a boil. When the mixture boils, add the remaining sugar and bring to a boil again. Be sure it boils for at least 1 full minute. I think I went a few minutes longer, though, because I’m stricken with fear that I’m going to kill someone with jam bacteria.
Voila! You have jam, although, like I said in the previous post, it won’t seem like it because it won’t be set. If you don’t believe it’s jam, plop a bit on a frozen plate. It should get jammy pretty quickly.
Ladle jam into sterilized jars and process safely, with lots and lots of vigorous boiling
Peach jam with orange and ginger
Edit: I’ve since had a jar of it and I think it’s a little too firm. I think increasing the amount of fruit (another pound of peaches, probably, or decreasing the pectin (to 1/2 package) would make it perfect.
8 large peaches (I didn’t weigh them, sorry! Maybe it was about 2 1/2 or 3 lbs?)
zest from one big orange
1 Tbs fresh ginger, minced
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 package pectin
Wash, peel, and chop peaches. Place in large pot. Add orange zest and ginger and give it a good stir. Now add pectin and 1/4 cup sugar and bring to a boil. When the mixture boils, add the rest of the sugar and boil for about a minute longer, though again, here I went longer because of my jam bacteria paranoia.
There you go, jam! It’s ready for canning, so get out the ladle and the tongs.