I have gotten a request from a good friend for the peach jam recipe we used. I of course found them all on Pinterest. I made 4 different versions of peach jam because I am usually up for experimenting. The first version I made was this Vanilla Peach Jam. It doesn’t use pectin so it has to simmer for hours to get to the right consistency. I already had the vanilla beans on hand because I make my own Vanilla Extract. But if you buy individual beans at your grocery store they will set you back $3-4 each. Ouch. So I order about 1/4 pound of them each year from somebody in California who sells them on eBay. They are great quality and you get a lot more than you would think for the price. I think I spent a total of $9 last year and I got 27.5 beans. It was fantastic. I made over a half gallon of vanilla extract.
My Vanilla Peach Jam was simmering. Do you see the huge vanilla bean there on the bottom?
The second version of peach jam I made required pectin and boy was it so much easier with pectin. I followed the recipe on the pectin package and it turned out pretty great. This is the version I opened for the girls’ PB&J’s last week. I also gave a pint size jar of this to our friends who went camping with us.
The third version I made was an overnight crock-pot version. Never again will I try that. I started it after 10pm so it would be ready early in the morning after cooking for 8 hours like the recipe said. No, just NO! This resulted in a nasty smelling, burnt looking and tasting, pathetic excuse for jam. If you want to try making jam in the crock pot then please do it during the day when to can constantly check on it. This whole batch got dumped down the garbage disposal.
And this is the color you DO NOT want your jam to be. Crock Pot Jam was a failure.
The fourth version was a no-pectin version again but following a basic recipe. It was easier to do the simmering this time because I had the practice from the day before. I also knew what consistency I was looking for and it felt like it just took a lot less time.
All of my pretty jars of Peach Jam.
I really enjoyed being able to make all of this jam for super cheap. I stopped in at Walmart to get the lids with bands. The store had them stocked in the wrong place so I got a killer deal on them. And because of this I decided to buy my bags of sugar there as well. My budget for supplies was the $11 I had in my pocket. And at $8 even it left me a little extra to stop in at the local coffee place and grab a much desired fancy coffee concoction.
I got my lids with bands for only $1.48 because they were stocked in the wrong place in the store. I saved $2 per box because of their error.
My bags of super cheap sugar and the lids with bands needed to create a good seal.
Do you make your own jams?
Blanching sounded like a hassle and a difficult process to me a couple weeks ago. Now it is my go-to process to get the skins off of ripe peaches quickly. Here I will show you how simple it is.
First, you start with your ripe peaches.
Some peaches ready to make Peach Cobbler
Second, you boil water. I hope you don’t need a picture of that because I didn’t take one.
Third, you prepare an ice bath for your blanched peaches
5 peaches ready for blanching. An ice bath ready for the blanched peaches.
Fourth, you put your peaches into the boiling water for 20-45 seconds.
Blanching Peaches for 45 seconds in boiling water. This makes the skins peel right off without any hassle.
Fifth, you use a slotted spoon to transfer the peaches to the ice bath for a couple minutes.
Sixth, you pick up a peach and the skin should be kind of sliding off. You just peel it off and check to make sure you didn’t miss any. The peaches will be super slimy and gooey at this point if they are as ripe as mine were.
Seventh, you make something delicious out of them like Peach Cobbler or Peach Jam. Or you could just slice them up and freeze them for smoothies later.
5 jars of Vanilla Peach Jam on the far left and 10 jars of regular Peach Jam to the right.
A commenter suggested on my Peaches post that the skins come off easily once frozen too. I am going to give that a try with the 30 pounds of frozen and sliced peaches I have. How do you get the unwanted skins off of your fruits?
On our way to the grocery store yesterday we passed by Harry and David’s and saw their flashing sign advertising peaches for only $0.15/pound. And how can you pass that up? A few weeks ago we went by and bought quite a few pounds for only $0.20/pound… and I sliced those up and froze them. Yesterday we bought over 60 pounds and I have spent today slicing, peeling, dicing, and pureeing them… and I haven’t even gotten through a full 30 pounds. It looks like I will need to make a run to the store for lids and sugar to make peach jam.