Ahhh…. Summer goodness! I love putting beautiful preserves in these lovely clear jars that I can open in the winter months. I can spread the goodness on a piece of toast (I am a bit addicted to toast) and remember that the leaves will soon return….
I had the wonderful blessing of getting some peaches and yellow plums this last week. Some of the peaches that weren’t in the best shape I decided to throw into some of my plum juice I was making and freezing. It had delicious results.
I loved the color and taste of the peach and yellow plum combination so I decided to create a jam.
I have always been a follow-the recipe-in-the-book kind of girl but I did some research on the differences and similarities of peach and plum jam recipes and made my own.
The result: Beautiful, beautiful yellow/orange jam…. and tasty too.
I was so pleased and excited that I decided to share.
This recipe makes 5- 1/2 pints of jam. I chose to do a water-bath preserving method. You can make this jam, put it in a sterilized container, refrigerate and eat within a couple months or water-bath can it for enjoying on those cold winter months.
If you don’t know how to can your own food? Want some more online resources? Click here to skip to some fabulous links.
Low-Sugar Peach and Yellow Plum Jam
Yield: 5- ½ pints
First you need 4c. peach and plum juice. I create this by slicing up my fruit (half yellow plums and half peaches). I then put them in a pot, added 1/2 cup water for every quart of fruit and brought it to a simmer. (hint: don’t leave the room… if it really starts going it can easily overflow your pot… I lost about 1/2 a cup this way )
After the fruit is soft I put it in my conical sieve (You could use a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth) and crank out the juice.
Waa La! beautiful juice for your jam. Any extra I add water and sugar too and it makes a yummy drink, I especially like it warm.
Making the Jam
You will need:
4 c. Peach/Plum juice
1 peach chopped fine (optional. I do this because it is pretty in the jar)
3 ½ Tbsp. low sugar pectin
1 c. sugar
3 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
- PREPARE water bath canner, jars and lids according to manufacturer’s instructions, if preserving.
2. COMBINE finely chopped peaches with fruit juice in a large saucepan. Gradually stir in Low sugar Pectin. Add 1/4 tsp. butter, if using. (Why butter? See note under recipe)
3. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.
4. ADD sugar. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary.
5.) PACK based on your preserving method.
If you try out this recipe I would LOVE to hear about it. You can easily use this recipe as a base and add some different flavors. My first batch did not have vanilla, but it was a bit on the bland… eh… boring side. What would you change or add?
Why add butter? If you add about 1/4 of a tsp. of butter into your cooking jam it will prevent a foam from forming on your jam. I honestly don’t know the science behind it. Just know it works.
Without butter I have to skim a layer at the end of cooking
With Butter I didn’t have to do any skimming:
If you are not familiar with water-bath canning…
When learning something new that is very tactile I like to do several things….
1) I find a good source of information to read. Make sure it is a credible source.
Ball is a great company that has been putting recipes and tips out there for a long time. Get a Ball Canning Book to read through and see what recipe appeals to you. They also have great pages with illustrations that show step-by-step methods. Pick something to can you would enjoy. I started with jam because it is simple, easy and my family eats a ton of it.
2) Experience. My favorite way to learn something like canning is to go experience it. If you know someone who knows how to can, ask if you con join them for a time of canning. People are usually very open to someone coming to experience and learn.
3) If you don’t know someone who cans their own food. Go Visual. Cooking shows became popular for good reason. About 65% of the population are dominate visual learns, which means they learn best through seeing or watching.
I found this fabulous video by MSU Extension: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eVXHsWJDlg I like this video because she is educating and not trying to sell a product. The only thing she misses is after your jars are processed put them on a rack to cool. Do not set them on the cold counter to avoid thermal shock that can break your jars.
4) Take a deep breath! The goal is to learn. On your first or even 100th canning cooking adventure you do not have to have a large counter full of product when you are finished. Savor each small batch victory and learn from the mistakes.
5) Find someone to share with. A fellow canner to talk to can be invaluable. If you don’t have someone you know. I would LOVE to share experiences with you here. If you would like to be part of online community Garden Web Forum is a good one.
The Carpenter’s Grandmother is my sounding board for my canning mistakes. I called her when my peach jars popped a bottom and my beautiful peaches were swimming with glass shards. I called her when my applesauce was pulled out of the canner and suddenly started flowing out the top(Ahhh!!!)
She said something to me I won’t forget and has changed my perspective. She told me that after over 60 years of canning she still has things go wrong every once in a while. That was comforting to know I am not alone and even if something messes up it’s not a reason to stop learning and trying.
Here are a couple more online food preservation sources that I like:
Ball Step-by-Step Guide to Water Bath Canning This is a great site to explore if you are just getting started canning. They have some great videos and step-by-steps
National Center for Home Food Preservation This is also a great tutorial and a large amount of wonderful info on food preservation.
The Frabjus Lady