This is likely to be the last weekend for stone fruit at the farmers market, so I'm planning on picking up some extra peaches to make a few jars of easy peach jam. As much as I love to cook, I'm not into canning and preserving, so when I say a few jars I mean two or three that will keep in the fridge a month or two.
There are only 4 ingredients—peaches, water, sugar, lemon juice—and the recipe couldn't be simpler. I approximate one cup of sugar for every pound of peaches, but, it really depends on the size of the fruit, and how sweet you like your jam. Remember though, this jam is made without pectin, so don’t skimp too much on the sugar or the mixture may not jell.
2-3 pounds of fresh peaches
½ cup of water
1 cup of sugar per pound of peaches, approximately
Juice from a fresh lemon
Several glass jars of various sizes
1. Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits
2. Place the peaches in a heavy bottom stockpot, add the water, cover the pot, and simmer the peaches until they are cooked through. Stir the mixture frequently.
3. Add the sugar and continue to cook, uncovered. The mixture will reduce and thicken. If foam appears, remove it. Continue to stir to make sure it doesn’t burn.
4. You’ll know the jam is finished cooking if, when you stick a cold metal spoon into the mixture, the jam doesn’t run off the spoon when you pull it out.
5. Stir in the lemon juice and spoon the jam into clean jars. (I don’t sterilize my jars, but I do run them through the dishwasher on the highest temp.)
6. Cover tightly, and cool completely before refrigerating.
This recipe takes very little time—probably less than an hour. But making use of fruit-in-season is oh-so-French. Of course, the pleasure you get from making something so fresh is incomparable; the smell of the peaches is heady and fragrant. And, it is so delicious—better than any jam you will buy from the grocery store. If you give this easy confiture a try, I’d love to hear how it turns out.
I can’t wait until Sunday morning to spoon this on to a fresh baguette or croissant . . .