End of Summer Means Peaches

End of Summer Means Peaches

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.

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