Classic Peach Jam Recipe for Canning

Summer means peach jam, and making it yourself is easier than you might think. You can either freeze it or can it for later – both ways are delicious.

Every year, our family goes a little overboard on peaches. We grab a ton (seriously, a case or three) from the Amish farm stand and spend a day canning them. It’s like sunshine in a jar, perfect for those cold winter months.

This year, though, I struck out at the usual place. All the home canners had cleaned them out! But guess what? I stumbled on something even better – local Vermont peaches!

Now, these peaches are like finding a unicorn. They’re tough to come by, and some folks can’t even grow them commercially. But let me tell you, the flavor is out-of-this-world. They were so fresh they still had leaves on them!

When you find peaches this incredible, it’s time to make something truly special. So, let’s get jamming!

Here’s the thing about peaches for jam: there are a few choices to make. First, you pick freestone or clingstone, and yellow or white. And believe it or not, it makes a difference.

Freestone peaches are the ones you see most at the store. They’re bright yellow, juicy, and the pit practically pops out. Clingstone peaches, well, they cling to the pit like their name says. You gotta cut the flesh away, which can get messy.

But here’s the thing: clingstone peaches are super sweet and flavorful, worth the extra work in my book. They might not be good for canning whole or halved peaches, but for jam where the fruit gets cooked down anyway, they’re perfect.

Now, if you want things easy, freestone peaches are the way to go. But either kind makes fantastic jam.

Next up is the color. Here’s where things get interesting: yellow peaches are the only ones you can safely can for shelf-stable jam (water bath canning). White peaches are lower in acid, which isn’t safe for canning. They’re also a bit milder flavored when cooked.

This recipe uses lemon juice for some extra tang, and that might bump up the acidity enough for white peaches… but I wouldn’t risk it. Play it safe and stick with yellow peaches for canning, and save the white ones for freezer jam.

Alright, let’s get to the fun part: making jam! First things first, we gotta peel those peaches.

If I’m making a giant batch, like for peach pie filling, I have a trick. I dunk the peaches in boiling water for a minute, then shove them in an ice bath. This loosens the skin, and you can just peel it right off with your fingers.

But for this small batch, we only need 4 cups of chopped peaches, which is like 6 to 8 big peaches. For this amount, I find it faster to just peel them with a sharp knife. Whichever way works for you is fine!

Once they’re peeled, chop those peaches into bite-sized pieces, about half an inch to an inch. Peaches brown fast after cutting, and if you want that beautiful orange jam color, you gotta toss them in some lemon juice. This recipe has ¼ cup of lemon juice, and I’m adding it right to the chopped peaches now to keep them nice and bright.

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Classic Peach Jam Recipe for Canning

Classic Peach Jam Recipe for Canning

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Summer means peach jam, and making it yourself is easier than you might think. You can either freeze it or can it for later – both ways are delicious.

  • Total Time: 25
  • Yield: 1 1x

Ingredients

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  • 4 cups chopped peaches (about 3 lbs whole)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 box (1.75 oz) powdered pectin
  • 5 cups sugar

Instructions

  1. Prep the peaches: Peel, chop, and toss peaches with lemon juice to prevent browning.
  2. Cook the peaches: Combine peaches, juice, and pectin in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then cook for 2-3 minutes. Mash some peaches for a smoother jam, or leave them whole for a chunkier version.
  3. Add sugar and finish: Stir in sugar and return to a full boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  4. Jarring: Ladle hot jam into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch space at the top. Seal with lids.
  • Author: Anwar
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Diet: Gluten Free

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