The peach. What can I say? It speaks to me…it says summer: long, lazy, hot days that are made worth the torment when there is a ripe, sweet, juicy mouthful of fruit waiting for you to devour. There is just nothin’ like a peach so perfect that, when you bite into it, the juice runs down your chin; the sticky fingers that you really must lick clean. And never forget, peach pit spittin’ contests! Now, doesn’t that sound like summer to you too?
My sister started making strawberry freezer jam years ago. Every year, she loads her two kids in the car and heads to the strawberry fields to pick a mess for jam.
The first time I made freezer jam it was as gifts for friends and I used peaches. So, when my friend Rebecca made Strawberry Balsamic Thyme Freezer Jam, I thought, “YES!”. You see, strawberries were just about over here, since we had an early, hot, dry summer. But, peaches were just right, now. It was karmic.
As you can see, I bought a metric boat-load of peaches. This abundance of the luscious fruit was the inspiration for Peachapalooza Day! A veritable smorgasbord of peach ideas and recipes I intend to post all in one day. This is the first of several I’ll be posting using said peaches.
I adapted Rebecca’s recipe to the Peach:
- 5 cups mashed, peeled, pitted, sliced peaches
- 1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¾-2 cups granulated sugar (I experimented...and ended up using only ¾ a cup on my second batch. The peaches were plenty sweet enough.)
- 4 tablespoons Ball Instant Pectin for Freezer Jam
- ¾ cup water
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- Prepare freezer-safe jars or containers with airtight lids that can hold up to 6 cups of jam.
- Stir together sugar, crushed peaches, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl.
- Add sprigs of thyme to water and bring to a boil, remove from heat.
- Remove the thyme sprigs from the water.
- Sprinkle the pectin powder over the boiling water and whisk until the pectin powder is completely dissolved.
- Scrape into the peach mixture and stir well.
- Ladle into prepared containers to within ¼″ of the rims, fix the lids on tightly and freeze immediately.
After I made this, I told Rebecca that the addition of the balsamic and thyme made this taste as though there was a titch of cinnamon in it. Those two ingredients certainly added a bright, fresh dimension to the jam.