So I told my good friend a few weeks ago that I had been canning the extra produce from our garden, and she said she wanted to try out canning sometime. That, coupled with a sale on peaches, and a few recipes I've been wanting to try, led me to this week's activity.
First we made Peach Bellini Jam. I have seen this recipe in a few other places, but we were following the Better Homes and Gardens Canning issue recipe, except that we doubled it (remember that part about how I am unable to follow a recipe as written?). Below is how we did it.
Peach Bellini Jam Ingredients:
- 15 cups sugar
- 6 cups finely chopped, peeled peaches
- 2 cups Prosecco wine
- 4 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 6-ounce package of liquid pectin (use both pouches)
Peach Bellini Jam Process:
Combine all the ingredients except the pectin in a large stainless steel or enamel pot, and when I say large, I mean huge. The original recipe called for 6-8 quarts, but everything fit in my 5 1/2 quart so I just went on my merry way, which was a mistake. It was a mistake that involved dismantling the stove top to scrape up burned sugar with a razor blade and steam cleaning the floor, twice! Do as I say, not as I do.
And while we're on the topic of what I say, make sure the Prosecco is pointed away from you as you open it, especially if it is at room temperature. I was not quite finished untwisting the cage when the cork came flying off and hit the ceiling. Then the wine bubbled up and went everywhere, and my poor friend was subjected to some colorful obscenities that don't really have a place at 7 o'clock in the morning. Luckily there was enough left in the bottle for our 2 cups, plus a small glass for each of us - we needed it!
Bring everything in the pot up to a full boil that cannot be stirred down. Stir in the pectin. If you've never used liquid pectin, this where having a friend is very helpful because it's super thick and super sticky. Return the pot to a boil and keep stirring. (This is where we had our overflow event.) Boil for one minute and then remove from heat. Carefully skim off any foam that is on top.
Use a canning funnel to ladle the jam into hot, sterilized half-pint jars. This recipe made 18 jars for us, though the original recipe said 8, so I was only expecting 16 jars. Try to distribute the peaches evenly among the jars. We ended up with a few jars where the peaches themselves almost seemed like an afterthought.
Wipe the rims, add your canning lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Once done, set them out to cool and listen for the satisfying pop of the jars sealing. The jam will still be somewhat liquid and the peaches will float to the tops of the jars, so twirl them gently, without tipping the jars over, to redistribute. Some of our jars took a full day to really "gel" so be patient.
I am in love with how the sun shines through the jam. That's the only reason you get this picture of my scroungy yard. Can you tell it's already super hot, and it hasn't rained in ages? I'm also in love with all the things you can do with it. The grilled pork chops at the beginning of this post are just the beginning of my ideas for it - grilled chicken, ice cream, PB&J, on toast, with spicy Indian food. So hungry...
Now that this post has gotten hugely long, I believe I will post our other recipe from that day, Spicy Pickled Butternut Squash, later. I have more pictures for that one. Thank you for reading!