Our lovely neighbor gifted us multiple pounds of truly perfect peaches last week, and as much as I love peaches, consuming 5 or 6 pounds of them before they went bad was just not realistic. After trying my hand at canning a small batch of dill pickles and managing not to blow up my kitchen, I felt confident enough to attempt preserving the peaches. Last week I bought a small jar of peach jam at the farmer’s market and managed to eat it all in 4 days, so I decided that would be the avenue to explore.
After reading many, many recipes for peach jam, I found that every single one called for blanching and peeling, followed by dredging with sugar and day after day of boiling and cooling before even starting the canning process, I thought there had to be a better (quicker, less processed) way. I happened upon this recipe that struck my fancy, mainly because it advocated leaving the peach skins on and also didn’t call for matching the peaches pound for pound with sugar. I adapted it a bit because I can’t stick to a recipe to save my life, and I had no way of weighing my ingredients. Perhaps a rebellious move especially in the realm of canning for shelf stability, but I’m a daredevil in my own way. I am also next level lazy when it comes to cooking anything. So, may I present:
The Laziest and Most Imprecise Peach Preserves
∴ 4-6ish pounds of peaches (after slicing I measured 2c of peaches ≈ 1 pound)
∴ 1/2ish pound of honey
∴ 1/4-1/2c sugar (optional, I used about 1/2c for about 5 1/2 pounds of peaches)
∴ Juice of 2 lemons
∴ Prepare 4-6 pint size mason jars (apx. 1 pint per pound), lids, and your water bath canner
∴ Wash your peaches very well to remove as much fuzz as possible, rinse, and place on clean kitchen towels to dry (I use a grapefruit seed extract based fruit/veg wash, similar to this one, I usually pick up a bottle when I’m at Trader Joe’s)
∴ Slice your peaches and remove the pits
∴ Working in batches, pulse your peach slices in a food processor (I have this one which I L-O-V-E) until you reach your desired texture, I aimed for a chunky not quite purée
∴ Mix your processed peaches, honey, sugar, and lemon juice very well, cover, and let sit for 45 minutes to an hour, until the peaches are very juicy
∴ Transfer your peach mixture to a pan and bring to a boil, stirring well and often (I let mine boil gently for about 10 minutes)
∴ Using a funnel, ladle your peaches into prepared jars, use a chopstick to remove bubbles, and leave 1/2 inch of headspace
∴ Wipe the rims and place your lids on the jars, then lower them into your water bath
∴ Process for 20 minutes
∴ After you remove the jars from the water bath and they are cool enough to touch, check that your lids are sealed. Jars that have not sealed properly should be refrigerated and consumed promptly.
I ended up with 5 pints of this preserves/jam hybrid, and the process took me about 4 hours start to finish. The word is these will last on the shelf for up to one year, and I don’t foresee having any trouble eating them all in that time, but they’ll make nice gifts should I need to clear them out quickly.
(a purchase made from a link in this post may result in my earning a small commission, a girl’s gotta eat)