Peaches always seem to be ready for us by Labor Day weekend. So we spent our family activity together doing peaches. This year I used my Harvest Stainless Steel Canner to bottle several batches of peaches and process lots of peach jam that I can use for neighbor gifts this year.
The Harvest Canner holds 7 quart jars at a time. I like to use the wide mouth jars for peaches. It's easier to put them in.
The Harvest Canner nicely holds 10 jam or jelly jars (8oz). For me that is 2 batches of jam. I used the Pomona's Universal Pectin so I could make it with less sugar than the typical jam recipes. It worked great. Peach jam is so easy. I simply blanch the peaches and take the skins off and remove the pits. Then I put them in my blender and pulse it until I get the peach mash the consistency that I like.
The peach jam recipe calls for 4 cups peach mashed, 1/4 cup lemon juice and I put 1 1/2 cups sugar. You can choose whatever kind of sweetener you like and the amount to taste. I mix the 3 teaspoons of pectin powder into the sugar so it will not clump as it is added into the fruit mixture. I set the sugar/pectin mixture aside. I also add the 4 teaspoons of calcium water (ingredient comes in the pectin package) to the fruit mash. Then I bring the fruit to a full boil. Next I gradually pour in the sugar and pectin mixture and whisk continually while mixture returns to a full boil. That can take a minute or two. Then it's time to remove it from the heat. I then add a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Then it's time to ladle the jam into clean sterilized jars.
I process my jars of jam at a full boil for 14 minutes (boiling 10 min plus and additional minute for each 1,000 ft above sea level).
Tip: When I have a little extra jam in my batch, after I've filled my five jars, then I scrape it into a separate container to put in the refrigerator for immediate use. Sometimes there is just a quarter cup or so. I just keep adding to it with any left over bits from each batch. I am able to see how well it is setting up too so I can make any adjustments to my recipe.
We also pureed some peaches to make fruit leather that the kids love taking to school in their lunches. It's a fun treat that you can feel good about since you know what's in it because you made it yourself.
The trays we used for the fruit leather hold exactly 2 cups so it was perfect for the 2 cup measuring scoop. (see product below). There are so many delicious ways to use your peaches. You can't help but try them all.