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Semele's Riches: Apples, oranges and peaches...

Semele's Riches

Adventures in handmade childhood.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Apples, oranges and peaches...

 This week I was lucky enough to host a "Ball Fresh Taste of Summer" house party. We "put up" home made salsa and peach jam.  Home canning and preserving isn't as tricky as you probably think, is fairly economical once you've purchased the equipment, and is a great way to make some of summer's bounty last though the winter.  Plus, you know what's in your food, especially if you grew and picked it yourself.  I enjoyed the opportunity to get back to home canning , since I haven't done any since Ian was born.  This was a great "Mamas' Night" activity, since we set up multiple chopping stations around my table and everyone got to participate while we chatted. 

Assuming you already know the basic canning process, here's the recipe we used:

Peach Jam

4-5 lbs of peaches- just ripe, not too soft!
1/4 cup lemon juice
7 cups sugar
1 1/4 package powdered pectin
  1. Wash the peaches.  Then scald them in boiling water, dunk them in ice water, and pull the peels off.  Cut and pit them, then crush them with your hands or a potato masher.  You should have about 8-10 cups of crushed peaches.
  2. Stir in lemon juice.  Put peaches and lemon into a large, non-reactive sauce pan over medium to high heat.  
  3. Mix your pectin with 1/4 cup of the sugar.  Add pectin mixture to pot and bring to a full boil.  This should take about 5 minutes.  Add remaining sugar and stir well.
  4. Bring the mixture back to a boil and let it boil, HARD, for 1 minute.  You'll know it's done when it "jells" at room temperature.  We put a little in a saucer and stuck it in the freezer for a minute.
  5. Put in pint jar, leaving 1/4" head space.  Apply lids and process in your water bath canner for 5 minutes.  
If you need more information on the canning process, a detailed tutorial can be found here.

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