|A fresh peach jam made with peaches, sweet red bell peppers and jalapeno.|
Peach and Pepper JamLike cornbread, whether a hoecake is make from flour or cornmeal, what is the so-called "right" way to make southern chicken and dumplings and how we all make other regional foods, the title of who can claim the top peach in the country is one of those things that can create an argument quickly among several Southern states. Truth is, I figure whatever peach is local to you is probably the winner.
Cling peaches arrive first in the season, followed by freestone, the ones most popular for canning because they come away from the pit much easier, and we're pretty much winding down on peach season here, so yes, I'm a little late with getting this one up. They're still around in the Deep South, though they're beginning to make way for early apples. Before the best and tastiest peaches are completely gone, figured I'd better get this one up, and hey, at least it'll be here for next peach season if they are already gone from your markets, right?
This is not a pepper jelly. Most recipes for pepper jelly call for almost a pound of jalapenos. A medium sized jalapeno is about an ounce in weight, so you'd need roughly a dozen or more peppers. Here, I was looking to make a peach jam, but one that would have just a little touch of sweet and hot peppers to it also, perfect for crackers and cream cheese, biscuits, or as a condiment with meat. I'm using one large sweet red bell pepper along with two medium sized jalapenos here.
First, you'll need to peel, core and chop the peaches. You can use the boiling water method for removing the skin from peaches - where you make crosscuts into the fruit and dunk it into a boiling water bath for a few seconds, then transfer to iced water and slip the skins off.
I love using a soft skin peeler for peaches and tomatoes these days since I discovered that tool. It's fast and certainly way less work and mess. Sure makes an easier job of it. You'll want about 3 pounds of freestone peaches, roughly 9 nice-sized peaches, which should yield about 6 cups of chopped peaches. You may also use cling peaches, however they are much more difficult to pit.
As always, with all canning recipes that you find here on my site, please understand that I am just a home cook and not a canning expert, so I have to add my caveat. Before proceeding with any recipe for canning or preserving on Deep South Dish, I advise you to always consult a professional canning resource for complete details on how to safely can foods, from start to finish, to make them pantry stable.
Some of you have asked, so this is the base canning kit I use for water bath canning and it can be purchased at many home stores in your area, or online at Amazon, which is where I bought mine. With summer produce winding down, now is the time to put up!
Here's how to make my Peach and Pepper Jam.
Mix chopped peaches and 2 cups of the sugar in a non-reactive bowl or pot; cover and let stand about 30 minutes to macerate.
Mash the peaches slightly, leaving some large chunks. Use an immersion blender if you want the jam smoother. If your peaches are a little more firm than ripe, cook them down first on their own for about 10 minutes.
Before juicing the lemon, be sure to zest it first. A microplane is the perfect tool for zesting citrus and also for grating fresh blocks of Parmesan cheese over pasta dishes. I use mine way more than I ever thought I would, so it's another great tool to have in the kitchen!
Toss the zest in with the peppers.
Add the remaining sugar to the peaches, along with the peppers and zest.
Add the lemon juice and cider vinegar.
Stir, bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
Stir in the liquid pectin, bring to a full boil, boiling hard for 1 minute, until mixture is thickened and looks spreadable. Remove from heat and use a slotted spoon to skim off any foam that has formed. Ladle into sterilized jars and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.
Recipe: Peach and Pepper Jam©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 40 min | Yield: About 7 half pints
- 3 pounds peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped (about 6 cups chopped)
- 6 cups of granulated sugar, divided
- 1 large sweet red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- 1 (3 ounce) envelope of liquid pectin
Mix chopped peaches and 2 cups of the sugar in a non-reactive bowl or pot; cover and let stand about 30 minutes to macerate. Mash the peaches slightly, leaving some large chunks. Use an immersion blender if you want the jam smoother.
Add the peppers, zest and remaining sugar to the peaches. Add the lemon juice and cider vinegar. Stir, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
Bring to a boil and stir in the pectin, return to a full rolling boil, one that cannot be stirred down, and boil hard for 1 minute, until mixture is thickened and looks spreadable. Remove from heat and use a slotted spoon to skim off any foam that has formed. Ladle quickly into sterilized jars and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. Makes about 7 half pints.
Cook's Notes: I am not a professional canning expert. Please consult a professional canning resource for details on water bath canning before attempting to home can. Use this recipe with that knowledge. 3 pounds of peaches is equal to about 6 cups chopped, or about 9 peaches. If your peaches are a little firm, cook them down first for about 10 minutes. If you prefer a smoother texture for your jam, use an immersion blender to mash and break down the peaches further. To have the pepper flavor without a lot of heat, trim jalapenos of all ribs and seeds. For a hotter version, leave the seeds and/or ribs intact, or use a hotter variety of peppers, such as red chili peppers.
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©Deep South Dish
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