A couple of interesting things have happened since last jam-making season…
One, my husband gave up white sugar (go him!) and dragged my unrepentant sweet tooth along with him (jerk! … I mean, thank you, honey, I really needed that loving boot to the fanny).
So, early this summer, just as the local strawberries were making themselves known, I was in a bit of a quandary. I could knock myself out making jam that my husband would not eat–and, let’s be honest, that I shouldn’t be eating myself, OR feeding to my kids–or I could try to figure out how to make jam with local honey or some other natural sweetener.
Then the solution hit me. No, I mean it literally Fell On My Head while I was searching for GMO-free chocolate chips in my local grocery store. (No small feat, let me tell you! But you can get some here. 😉 )
Pomona’s Universal Pectin. (Get it here.)
Besides the fact that I have been harboring doubts about the pectin I had been using (this is the second thing; though, to be quite honest, I wasn’t planning on tackling it this year), Pomona’s Pectin was all about low-sugar, and using honey or other natural sweeteners.
My first batch of strawberry jam was amazing. Jam where you can actually taste the fruit?!? Count me in!
I was so excited that I bought the accompanying book, Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin, and immediately started fiddling with the recipes.
(Have I mentioned that I’m not much of a direction-follower?)
The Honey-Peach Jam was something of an accident.
I needed more honey to make a blueberry-peach jam (I haven’t done that yet) and stopped by my favorite honey vendor (you can check out their Facebook page here) at the Public Market. Naturally, my kids–okay, I did too–wanted to taste the honey samples. And, as I was savoring some of the lovely dark, rich Summer-Fall Blossom honey, I thought, “Wouldn’t this be delightful with peaches…”
So that’s what I did.
And it was.
You already know how to make jam, right? So I don’t need to tell you about setting up the canner and getting the jars and lids ready and all that, right? Well here’s a quick refresher course (or first-time instructions)… plus a quick tutorial on using Pomona’s Pectin, which is a little different from the “regular” pectin, but easy enough. I promise.
This is modified from the Simple Classics: Peach Preserves in the book. (So I guess it’s not jam at all, but preserves… Though I have to admit that the technical differences between jam and preserves don’t interest me. Can I spread it on toast? That’s what interests me.)
What you need:
About 3 pounds peaches
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 1/2 tsp calcium water — don’t worry; this is explained in the “refresher course” above, and in the package directions. Plus, the calcium for the calcium water comes with the pectin
3/4 c Summer-Fall Blossom honey (I’m sure any raw honey would do, but it might not be quite so amazing!)
2 1/2 tsp Pomona’s Universal Pectin (get it here)
Pit, peel, and cut up the peaches.
Combine peaches and water in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 3-5 minutes. (You’re looking for 4 cups when you’re done. You can measure if you like; I didn’t.)
Add calcium water and lemon juice. Mix well.
In a separate bowl, measure out honey and add pectin. Mix well. This takes a minute or two, but the pectin should completely dissolve into the honey.
Bring peach mixture to a full boil. Slowly add honey-pectin mixture, stirring constantly. Stir vigorously 1-2 minutes until the honey-pectin mixture is completely incorporated.
Return to a boil.
Take the mixture off the heat, place in jars, and can properly in a water bath canner. (Do I need to tell you not to “can” this with wax? I didn’t thinks so.)
This jam is quite delightful on toast.
I hope you enjoy it!
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