Peeling the Peaches
- Prepare several containers-
- Pot of boiling water
- Bowl of ice water
- Bowl for peeled peaches
- Bowl for skins
- CAREFULLY place 3 or 4 peaches into the boiling water, using a slotted spoon, and cook for 30 seconds. (Splashing boiling hot water onto your neck and face is no fun- trust me. So be gentle!)
- CAREFULLY remove each of the peaches to the ice water with a slotted spoon.
- Run a sharp paring knife around the peach (longitudinally), cutting to the pit, but leave the peach together (Keeping it mostly intact until ready to process cuts down on oxidization).
- Run the knife cross-wise to the first cut (again longitudinally), cutting the peach into fourths.
- Peel the skin from each of the four sections.
- Start over with 3 more peaches.
- When ready to process peaches, pull flesh from stone.
It's not? Well, it's part of it anyway.
Once I had all mine peeled, I made some of them into gelato and some into jam, which is what I'll describe here.
Necessary ingredients for Peach Jam (these might vary based on the type of canning pectin you buy, but I'll give you the basics, so you get the gist of it. It's really not that hard.)
- 4 1/2 cups of finely chopped peaches (I pulsed them in the food processor)
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 packet of Sure-Jell fruit pectin.
- You can either wash all the mason jar parts really well in very hot soapy water and then boil them in the canner or run them through the sterilize cycle on your dishwasher. Which one do you think I did?
- Fill your boiling-water canner half way with water and bring to a simmer.
- Add the fruit to a 6 or 8 quart pot along with the lemon juice.
- Measure the sugar into a separate bowl.
- Pull out 1/4 cup of that sugar and mix with the pectin in yet another bowl.
- Add the pectin and sugar mixture to the fruit.
- Bring the fruit to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
- When it boils, add the rest of the sugar, bring back to a boil and cook for one minute exactly (stirring the entire time). I don't know what kind of disaster will happen if you cook for more or less than one minute, but they use the words exact and I didn't want to find out.
- Ladle into the sterilized jars, to within 1/8 inch of the top. Wipe the rims clean and cover with the lids. Screw down tightly and place in canner on rack. They should be covered with water by 1 or 2 inches.
- Cover and bring to a gentle boil.
- Boil for 10 minutes if you're at sea level, 15 minutes if at 1,000 to 3,000 feet, 20 minutes if at 3,000 to 6,000 feet, 25 minutes if at 6,000 to 8,000 feet and 30 minutes if you live on the moon.
Once I figure out the No-Added sugar version that doesn't involve Splenda (ugh!), I'll be posting that too.
I have a new favorite sound... the 'tink' of a successfully sealing mason jar.