Indulge in the sweet flavors of summer with homemade peach jam without pectin. This delightful preserve captures the essence of ripe peaches, providing a burst of sunshine in every bite. Learn how to make peach jam from scratch for canning or enjoying fresh. Get ready to savor the taste of fresh peaches all year round!
Every year when we harvest the peach trees we are left with hundreds of pounds of peaches to enjoy. Typically we can peach halves in syrup, eat them fresh as whole fruit, freeze the peaches for later, or turn them into peach popsicles, but this year I decided to add peach jam to the docket!
Note: Peach jam and peach butter are basically the same things, but peach jam tends to have more sugar. However, this recipe is going to go pretty light on the sugar for a more mellow, true peach flavor.
Homemade Peach Jam
Growing peaches on our homestead has been such a blessing, for a lot of reasons. But being able to make homemade peach cobbler and peach jam has been top of that list!
If you've never tried making your own peach jam, here are a few reasons to start.
- Freshness: Capture the peak flavors of ripe peaches.
- Customization: Adjust sweetness, texture, and flavors to suit your preferences.
- Quality Ingredients: Choose organic or locally sourced peaches for a higher standard of freshness.
- Avoid Additives: Create a healthier, additive-free preserve without unwanted chemicals.
- Preserving the Season: Enjoy the taste of summer all year round.
- Homemade Goodness: Experience the pride and satisfaction of creating something from scratch.
Tips for Picking the Perfect Peach
If you are growing your own peaches, you are somewhat stuck with what you get (which isn't a bad thing!), but if you are purchasing your peaches from a local farm, market, or grocery store, then you can be a bit more selective with your peaches!
Here's a quick guide for what to look for:
- Scent: Follow your nose! A sweet aroma near the stem indicates a ripe peach.
- Squeeze: Gently squeeze the peach; it should yield slightly when pressed, indicating ripeness.
- Colors: Look for vibrant hues of yellow, orange, or red in the peach's skin.
- Uniformity: Choose peaches with smooth skin, no blemishes, and no soft spots.
- Background: Consider the golden area around the stem, indicating a fully ripened peach.
- Expert Advice: Seek guidance from local farmers' markets or fruit stands; they can offer knowledge and even samples.
One of the best things about making your own peach jam is the ability to know exactly what goes into the jam and to adjust the recipe to your liking. You'll notice there is no pectin in this peach jam recipe, instead, we are using lemon juice to help thicken the recipe.
The ingredients for peach jam are very simple, so let's take a look!
- Peaches: Ripe and juicy fruit that forms the base of the jam, providing a sweet and tangy flavor.
- Sugar: Sweetens the jam and acts as a preservative, helping to thicken and preserve the fruit. You can use honey or maple syrup instead, but the jam texture may change a bit as a result.
- Lemon Juice: Adds a touch of acidity to balance the sweetness, enhances the natural flavors of the peaches, and helps prevent browning. It also helps the sugar to gel, creating a better jam experience.
Each of these ingredients plays a crucial role in creating the delicious taste and desired texture of homemade peach jam.
How to Make Peach Jam
The process of making peach jam is very straightforward! The full printable recipe is at the end of the post as always, but here is a quick overview of the steps.
- Prepare: Blanch and peel the peaches, remove pits, and chop into chunks.
- Boil: Add peaches, sugar, and lemon juice to a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- Mash: Use a masher or an immersion blender to achieve desired texture.
- Thicken: Continue cooking until the jam reaches desired consistency.
- Test: Check readiness by placing a small amount on a chilled plate and testing for set.
- Adjust: Return to a boil if needed to reach desired thickness.
- Jar: Ladle the hot jam into clean jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace.
- Process: Seal jars and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.
By following these simple steps, you'll be able to create a delicious homemade peach jam that can be enjoyed throughout the year!
Never canned anything before? Don't worry, it's simple! Check out our guide to water bath canning for a more detailed look at the process.
Want to Enjoy Peach Jam without Canning?
If you don't want to can your peach jam, there are alternative methods for preserving and storing it. Here are a few options:
- Refrigerator Storage: After cooking and cooling the peach jam, transfer it to clean, airtight containers or jars. Store the jam in the refrigerator, where it will stay fresh for a few weeks. Be sure to use clean utensils when scooping out the jam to prevent contamination.
- Freezing: Another option is to freeze your peach jam. Allow the jam to cool completely, then spoon it into freezer-safe containers or freezer bags. Leave some headspace to account for expansion during freezing. Seal the containers tightly and label them with the date. Frozen peach jam can typically last for up to 6 months in the freezer. Thaw the jam in the refrigerator when ready to use.
- Small-Batch Preparation: Consider making smaller batches of peach jam that can be consumed within a shorter period. This way, you can enjoy the fresh flavors without the need for long-term preservation. Adjust the quantities in the recipe to fit your desired batch size.
Yes, you can use frozen peaches to make peach jam. Thaw the peaches before proceeding with the recipe, and keep in mind that frozen fruit may release more liquid during the cooking process, which can affect the overall consistency of the jam.
When properly canned and sealed, homemade peach jam is best after a year, however, it can be enjoyed forever as long as the seal is still intact. Ensure that the jars are sealed correctly, and store them in a cool, dark place. Once opened, refrigerate the jam and consume it within a few weeks for the best quality.
Yes! You can adjust the amount of sugar to suit your taste preferences. Be cautious when reducing the sugar, as it may impact the texture!
Peaches have lower natural pectin levels compared to other fruits. Adding lemon juice or using commercial pectin can help achieve a better set in your peach jam.
Freestone peaches, such as Red Haven or Elberta varieties, work well for making jam. Their flesh separates easily from the pit, making them convenient for preparation.
Peach jam may take longer to set compared to jams made with high-pectin fruits. Patience is key.
To peel peaches, blanch them in boiling water for about 30 seconds, then transfer them to an ice bath. The skins can be easily removed, allowing for smooth-textured jam.
Even More Canning Ideas
Keep your pantry filled and your family smiling with more canning recipes from the homestead! These are some of our favorite water bath canning recipes for you to try next.
Homemade Peach Jam
- 7 half pint jars
- 7 rings and lids
- 4 pounds peaches
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Blanch and peel the peaches, remove the pits and chop into chunks. Add peaches, sugar, and lemon juice to large saucepan.
- You can use a masher to mash the peaches, or process them into a smooth texture with an immersion blender or food processor.
- Bring peaches to a boil, stirring frequently.
- Continue to boil and stir, until peaches reduce and reach desired consistency. (Anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes – jam should stick to spoon when lifted and turned sideways.)
- Fill clean pint or half-pint jars leaving a 1/4 inch headspace and add the 2-piece lids.
- Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.