Friday, June 7, 2019

Peach Jam with Rosemary and Ginger Flavor: Multiple Batch Process

(cross-posted from Spasms of Accommodation)

My aunt brought me a box of peaches from Barney last Friday. That's about 25 pounds. There were 79 peaches in there. I managed to use up a lot of them fresh, but 65 of them got made into jam. I made a video. (music: www.bensound.com)


I live in a tiny house with no stove. My procedure does not comply with Georgia Cottage Food Law since I do all the cooking outdoors. I accept the risk of contaminating my product as I eat it all myself. If you have a full kitchen you can work entirely indoors for maximum food safety. And if you have a big stove you can use two burners at once and streamline your process.
So much jam

Recipe for two batches of jam:

On the first day:

Start a stock pot of water boiling.
Prepare an ice water bath and a bowl of ascorbic acid to reduce browning. This is for all the peaches, not split into two batches yet.
  • 4 teaspoons Fruit Fresh
  • 6 Tablespoons water
Mix in a large bowl.

Get 24 ripe peaches out of the refrigerator. Chilling them first makes this part nicer.
Drop 6 peaches into the boiling water and count to 30. Remove the peaches to the ice water bath.
Replace lid and let pot boil up while you peel the skin off the first 6 peaches. Roll them around in the ascorbic acid as you finish them. I wear food prep gloves for this part because the acid in the peaches makes my skin rough.

Repeat for all the peaches.

You get to sit down for this next part. Cut out the pits and slice up the peaches into chunks. I don't like to cut too close to the pit or it gets woody bits in the jam. Put all the peaches into the bowl with the ascorbic acid. I squeeze the pit over the bowl to get all the peach juice.
Mix the cut up peaches after every one to coat in the ascorbic acid.

After all the peaches are cut up split them between two bowls. Add flavorings (5 sprigs of rosemary and a handful of sliced ginger in each bowl. Also add a teaspoon of Angostura bitters.)
Add 1 cup of sugar to each bowl. Use this amount for each batch.
  • ~ 6 cups cut up peaches
  • 5 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 + tablespoons sliced ginger
  • 1 tsp Angustora bitters
  • 1 cup sugar
Stir, cover, and refrigerate until the next day. Stir occasionally if you think about it.

Next day:

Start sterilizing jars. You need 7 half pint jam jars per batch of peaches. This low sugar jam doesn't last long when it's opened so I try not to make jars bigger than the 1 cup size. I ran out though so I used a few full pint jars. I may use that for cake filling so it gets used up all at once.

I use a silicone trivet in the bottom of a stock pot for my canning pot. Put 7 jars in the pot and start it boiling while you work on the peaches.

Take a bowl out of the refrigerator and pick out the rosemary sprigs and as much of the ginger as you see.
Scoop the cut up peaches into a food mill with the plate with large holes. Process all the peaches to a puree.
Repeat with the second bowl of peaches.
Measure out 6 cups of pureed peaches into a bowl. Repeat with another bowl.
Add citric acid and calcium water.
  • 6 cups peach puree
  • 1 1/2 tsp citric acid
  • 6 tsp calcium water
Check on jars and swap first batch for second batch to get them all sterilized.

Measure sugar and pectin into 2 bowls. Each bowl gets.
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp pectin
Get all jars into the pot of boiling water and set it aside.

Put one bowl of peaches into the pot. Stir over high heat until it boils. (about 8 minutes)
Add one bowl of sugar + pectin. Stir and bring to a full boil (no more than 3 minutes)
Turn off the heat.
Remove 7 jars from the pot and fill them with the hot jam.
Add hot water to the jar lids to soften the glue
Wipe down the rim of the jars with a wet paper towel and put on lids and rings. Set these jars aside.
Wash the pot, funnel, and scoop.
Start the second batch of jam.
Heat and stir to boiling,
Add sugar and pectin in the second bowl.
Boil again.
Fill jars, add lids.
Put canning pot back on to boil.
When water is boiling add the first batch of jam jars.
Time 10 minutes.
Remove jars from the water bath.
Put the next batch of jars in.
Time 10 minutes.
Remove the jars from the water bath.
When all the jars have sealed, the lid has sucked down and gone PLINK! then you can unscrew the rings and dry the threads and wipe off the jars.

If you still have peaches left repeat this whole process. You already have a pot full of boiling water! You can start right away blanching more peaches. Repeat for as many days as you have peaches.

This process yields 1 half pint jam jar for every 1.75 peaches. These were quite large peaches I had this year. You can calculate your own yield after you do your first batch. I started with 17 peaches and then raised that number to 24 to make it come out even at 7 jars per batch.

Materials needed: You can get most of this stuff at Walmart. They sell the jar lifter, magnet on a stick, canning funnel, citric acid and ascorbic acid (branded as Fruit Fresh), jam jars and lids, and big plastic bowls with lids. I also got the crock pot there. My enameled cast iron jelly pot I got from Tuesday Morning.

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