In spite of the fact that we are building a new home, packing up our current home, and preparing to move, I have tried to keep up with one canning project per week in an effort to stock our pantry with healthy, homemade convenience food.
I will admit I have fallen behind, but one project per week has been my goal and up until this past week when things began to go completely haywire, I was pretty consistent with it.
My most recent project deviated a bit from the “meals in a jar” theme when I decided to can up some jam.
We live about forty miles from a reputable peach and apple orchard and one afternoon when I was out at Black Fox I drove the extra stretch to pick up some peaches and apples. The peaches have since been preserved one way or another. The apples are still on my dining room table in the midst of a bunch of packing paraphernalia. By the end of this week, all things being equal, they should be in jars too, but I digress…
After I canned the peaches and made some peach and apple jam (anyone want that recipe too?) I decided to give this peach rosemary jam a try.
Before you get started, your jars will need to be sterilized as anything that is processed for less than 15 minutes must go into sterile jars (Someone please correct me if I am wrong here, the canning book I use for reference has been packed). To do this* fill up your canner with your jars and enough water to cover them by one inch; then bring them to a rolling boil and continue to boil for 15 minutes. When they are finished, lower the heat and hold them in the hot water until you are ready to fill them. At this time I like to go ahead and simmer the lids and wash the bands so everything is ready the same time as the jam.
Now, supposedly, if you drop whole peaches into boiling water and then plunge them into cold water the peel should come right off. I personally think this bit of advice is very funny because I’ve never managed to get the peel off easily unless the peaches were about to spoil. I say all that to say: this recipe calls for four cups peeled,sliced and chopped so prepare yourself. Quiet the kitchen, light a candle, put on a pretty apron, listen to some nice music (Bing Crosby for this should be nice), and set yourself to peeling. You may be there a while, but it is a pleasant task if you aren’t in too much of a hurry.
When your peaches are prepared assemble the remaining ingredients and put them in a stock pot. The recipe says to stir constantly and it does mean to stir constantly. I happened to leave it for a second(no I wasn’t checking Facebook this time, if I recall correctly I was actually doing something responsible) and when I came back the pectin had caused the mess to jell and I had to stir, and stir, all the while worrying I had ruined my jam.
When it is finished fish out the rosemary and quickly pour into jars leaving 1/4″ of head space. Wipe off the rim, remove any air bubbles, put on your lids, and screw the bands on finger tight. Process in a water bath for ten minutes, setting the timer when the water comes to a full rolling boil.
Our general consensus: husbie is not a fan of aromatic herbs and personally I didn’t care for this fancy flavor on pedestrian wheat toast. My recommendation would be to:
*Save this and serve it with croissants or scones for a special occasion, or…
*Spread it between two small pieces of shortbread ~ lovely!
*It might also make a nice glaze for chicken or Cornish game hens. And…
*Dressed up with a fancy label, this would also be pretty to give for Christmas gifts.
Have fun making your jam!
*Before undertaking any kind of canning project please consult a current, up to date resource such as the Ball Blue Book or your local extension office. The internet and fellow canners are a great resource but not always reliable and canning isn’t an area where you want to take any chances. Just sayin’.
4 c peeled and chopped fresh peaches
1 t grated lemon rind
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
2 rosemary sprigs
1 (1 3/4 oz) package powdered fruit pectin
5 c sugar
Bring first 5 ingredients to a full rolling boil in a Dutch oven. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add sugar to peach mixture, and bring to a full rolling boil; boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Remove and discard rosemary sprigs; skim off foam with a metal spoon.
Pour hot mixture immediately into hot sterilized jars, filling to 1/4″ from the top. Remove air bubbles; wipe jar rims. Cover at once with metal lids, and screw on bands.
Process in boiling water bath 10 minutes.
Makes 7 half-pints