Someone gave me a whole bunch of peaches! Like 35lbs?? I didn’t weigh them.
I was very happy to receive them since I had no fruit to make jam with this year (darn bears). Instead of canning them like I usually do, I made jam. And instead of doing the hot water/cold water/peel thing, I thought I’d try using the Victorio Strainer. It’s a maaavelous piece of equipment I “inherited” from my parents. I figured that if it worked so well for making applesauce, that it would probably work for peaches too.
It does! All the prep required was halving the peaches and taking out the pit. They went through the strainer as easily as cooked apples.
The peach innards get smushed out the little holes along with the juice, and the skins get spit out the end. Perfect.
I ran the skins through at the end to get every last bit of peach flesh out.
Then I poured all the juice and peach puree into a stock pot, added an awful lot of sugar and a few boxes of pectin. When I poured it all into hot jars, they all sealed, but of course, it didn’t set. I had a feeling that would happen when I figured out I needed to add more boxes of pectin (which I didn’t have) and I ran out of room in the pot for the sugar. So, the next day I popped the seals and poured half the batch back into the pot along with more sugar and more pectin. They all sealed again, but still no setting. So, the next day I poured the OTHER half in the pot with more sugar and pectin, but I knew it wasn’t going to work, so I left it overnight. Darryl bought more pectin, so yesterday I poured all of it into the pot and added another 4 boxes of pectin. This time they all sealed and they set too! Finally I’m done the darn jam! Only took 4 days.
I got 16 1/2 pints.
I’m not going to all that work for 6 pints.
This weekend, I’m getting a whole bunch of free plums. I was thinking of making jam out of some of them, to round out my collection. I need at least 18 pints to last me the next year, and variety is nice. I should also have enough to give some away too.
This time, I will buy more pectin.
Side note: I realize there’s a ton of sugar in jam and one day I’ll make it with next to no sugar (or none if possible), but I’d rather eat jam I made myself from fresh fruit than buy jam with other additives in it, plus sugar. I did just find a brand of pectin online that doesn’t need sugar to set, so I’ll be looking into that for sure.
Did you make any jam this year?