First off, I want to thank The Washington State Fruit Commission for sending me such fabulous fruits as part of my 2017 Canbassadorship! I love trying to come up with new flavors, fresh ideas, and inventive concoctions! Since I had just canned up Danish Cherry Sauce using my Sweet Cherries from Northwest Cherries, I wondered how that would 'pair' with peaches. The pairing it great - such a wonderful outcome using the two fruits together and the cherries being spiced up already. I have written out below how you can get the same 'effect' in this jam without having to first can up some Danish Cherry Sauce (although, its worth doing because that alone is out of the World - great!) I hope you enjoy this jam as much as we are enjoying it!! I will be sharing a new no sugar peach jam here soon - its a softer set jam but, most all no sugar jams are - stay tuned! Enjoy! ~Diane
Diane's Peach & Cherry Jam
*lower in sugar then traditional peach jams
4-1/2 cups chopped Peaches
1 cup sweet chopped Cherries
2 cups Sugar + 2 Tbs; *divided
1-1/2 cups Honey
2 Tbs + 1 tsp Sure jell Pectin (1/2 box, pink box low sugar pectin)
1 Cinnamon Stick about 4" long
1/4 medium Navel Orange; the juice (1 Tbs) and zest
1 Lemon; the juice (2 Tbs) and zest
2 Tbs Water
1/8 tsp Butter, to prevent foaming
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
Place chopped peaches and cherries in a large bowl, add one cup of sugar, toss to coat, cover and set in fridge overnight. This will macerate the fruit (this releases the juices and deepens the fruit flavor in finished product)
Take Macerated fruit, and all the juices in bowl and scrape into a large jam pot adding in the cinnamon stick. Cook down 15 minutes on medium (keep an eye on it and stir to prevent scorching) Add in sugar, honey, orange and lemon juice, zest and water (*reserve 2 Tbs of sugar for later.) Stir and cook down the entire mixture another 30-45 minutes (it should start to thicken as it cooks down)
Remove cinnamon stick. Add in butter, then use an immersion blender (or mash with a potato masher) and break up large chunks of fruit until you get the consistency of jam you prefer **do not liquefy the mixture. I prefer to leave some larger bits of peach and cherry in mine. Take your pectin and 2 Tbs of the reserved sugar and stir together in a small bowl. Raise the heat on your jam mixture to High. Add in the sugar/pectin mix and stir constantly until you are at a boil that cannot be stirred away - boil hard for one minute. I usually look for a craggy skin to start to form around the edges of the pot/mixture...indicating gel stage has been released. Remove pot from heat, stir in almond extract, do freezer plate test and prepare to jar jam for processing.
Waterbath Can at 1/4" head-space for 10 minutes, adjusting for your altitude. Remove to a draft free area and let sit undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Wash & Label Jars. Store in Pantry up to One Year. Once opened, this lower sugar jam can be refrigerated up to 3 weeks.
Makes approx 7 half pints
Pinterest Pin: www.pinterest.com/pin/530510031096585489/
Recipe and Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
So many people request my Colorado Peach Jam. In the simple list of ingredients, it appears as a marmalade but, its quite the opposite. You are using the zest and citrus juices to bring about the proper gel point of the peaches and the lemon juice also deepens the peach flavor. In my original version of this jam, I use all sugar but, since I've been jamming with half sugar and half honey with better taste results - I thought I give my original recipe a "re-do"... It's wonderful! ~Enjoy! Diane
Peach Jam with Orange & Honey
4-5 Pounds Peaches (5 Cups chopped)
2 Cups of Sugar
2 Cups Honey
2 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice; plus 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 large Navel Orange, zested and then segmented *you do not want the white pith
1 packet of pink box, low sugar SureJell Pectin
Photo/Recipe by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
Honey Syrup Peaches: trying two new "flavors" this year along with plain peaches in honey (One Pint Cardamom & Black Peppercorn; Two Pints Cinnamon Stick)
Honey Syrup Peach Slices
7 pounds peaches: blanched,peeled sliced
Fruit Fresh, slices placed into fruit fresh in water
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
5 cups water
1 cup honey
1 cup sugar
Prepare peaches by washing, blanching and peeling and set aside in a bowl of water with fruit fresh sprinkled into it (prevents browning) Prepare syrup by bringing ingredients to a boil and adding in drained peach slices. Return to a boil and reduce to simmer 5 mins. Pack hot peaches into hot pint jars, and either waterbath can OR pressure can (see link below)
If you want to try any spices - its best to add them to the clean, hot jars before adding in peaches and syrup. I placed a small cinnamon stick in the bottom of two pints, I placed crushed cardamom pods and some black peppercorns in the bottom of one pint and left two pints plain (no spices added)
NCHFP Canning Times and Methods (click here)
Yield; Approx 5 pints
Photos & Recipe by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
What's nice about this is that you control the syrup wanted and the fruit you want!! I chose a light syrup and used honey in place of some of the sugar (you can substitute up to half the sugar with a light honey or bland corn syrup.) I also added a large dollop of vanilla bean paste which was whisked into syrup. This gives an ever so slight vanilla flavor that compliments the honey and fruit and doesn't overpower like sugar alone can... A similar recipe from Ball and says to use your own mix of over 3 fruits for best results - I used: sweet cherries sent to me by Northwest Cherries, white peaches, anjou pears, pineapple, and green grapes ~Enjoy! Diane
Homemade Fruit Cocktail
3 lbs peaches
2 lbs pears
1 lbs slightly under-ripe seedless green grapes
1 lbs pineapple
1 to 2 cups of sweet cherries
large dollop of vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup honey
5 cups water
Yield: About 7 pints
Procedure: Cut, core and slice pineapple into 1-inch cubes, set aside.
Stem and wash grapes, and keep in ascorbic acid solution.
Dip ripe but firm peaches, a few at a time, in boiling water for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes to loosen skins. Dip in cold water and slip off skins. Cut in half, remove pits, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and keep in solution with grapes.
Peel, halve, and core pears. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes, and keep in solution with grapes and peaches.
Cherries (stemmed & pitted) will be added directly to the bottom of each jar (do not heat)
Combine sugar, honey and water in a saucepan and bring to low boil to dissolve the sugars. Drain the mixed fruit and add all fruit to the syrup until the fruit is heated through (approx 10 mins).
Add 1/2 cup of hot syrup to each jar - then add a few cherries to each jar and gently fill the jar with mixed fruit, de-bubble jars and more hot syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
Process pints and half-pints: 20 minutes in a boiling waterbath or according to your altitude.
Recipe adapted from: Ball and NCHFP
Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
Cherries by: Northwest Cherries/Washington State
Yes! I decided to take the "plunge" and buy my first dehydrator!! I did a bit of research and decided on a few things: I wanted a low cost unit, minimum 500watts, quieter motor with temperature control, a fan that blows downward into unit and if plastic- that it be BPA free. I got all of those. I found the Nesco FD-61 SnackMaster and Jerky Express. It's a basic unit with 4 trays and a fruit roll try included. Nesco's website also has many great recipes to offer!! I can't wait to make the Harvest Granola! My first try was marinating and dehydrating some "chip tip" beef (thin sliced beef, lean from my local butchers) this beef was the perfect cut to use for this first timer!! I used the marinade that Nesco offered in their recipe book that came with the unit. Once marinated, I dried the beef for 90 mins at the proper temp. What Nesco (and others) don't come out and say is that meats need to be precooked to at least 160 BEFORE you place into the dehydrator to ensure eColi and other nasties are killed off...you also can finish off your beef in the oven at 350 for 10 mins *this is what I did...since I didn't know this "cook before caveat" beforehand...My next 'adventure' was slicing and dehydrating peaches, bananas and apples. I will say - next time I will do bananas by themselves as they take approx 11 hours in my machine - where the apples and peaches take approx 7 hours. I do NOT pre-treat my fruit with lemon juice as some suggest - there is just 'no need' in my mind and since we live in such a low humid area - the threat of my apple slices turning brown were low...as you can see in the photo above - they look great and the taste is AMAZING!! the sugars concentrate when the moisture is wicked away and it leaves you with the amazing natural sugars and flavors!! Best Snack Eats Ever!! I will be keeping you all posted of 'future' drying adventures too :) Diane