No one loves peach jam more than me; well, except maybe my son. He loves my canned peaches, but his favorite is my peach jam. When I make him a peanut butter and jam sandwich he always makes me put the jam on one side and the peanut butter on the other and then eats them separately, so the jam and peanut butter do not touch. He does not want anything to get in the way of the peach flavor. If I would let him he would eat peach jam right out of the jar. Peach jam is easy to make, but be careful because your children might not ever eat store bought peach jam or preserves again!
How to Can and Make Peach Jam
I started with about 90lbs of peaches. Click here to see how I cleaned them, skinned them and cut them.
I started with 8 cups of peaches per batch. I usually make two batches of jam at a time because I use quart jars and my water bath canner will process 7 quarts at a time. One batch of jam will make about 2 1/2 quarts. It’s risky to make your jam batches any larger because the pectin might not set if the batch is too big. So I keep my batches fairly small.
Wash your jars.
Wash your rings.
Wash your lids.
Sterilizing jars and lids is not necessary for processing times of 10 minutes or longer, I place them in the oven at 200 degrees to keep them warm. Go ahead and fill your canner with water and place it on the stove. You want to place hot jars in a hot canner (almost boiling). (Update: Ball no longer recommends doing this. So after you’ve washed your lids just place them in a bowl and set them aside until your ready to use them) If one is hot and the other cold you might wind up with broken jars, as the temperature difference can cause the glass to shatter.
Place your peaches in a food processor and pulse until you get the consistency you desire. This is a matter of preference – some people like their jam super chunky and some do not.
Place your peaches on the stove over medium heat. Add 2 cups of water.
Add 6 tablespoons of lemon.
Gradually add 8 tablespoons of pectin. I like my jam to be low in sugar so I use the low sugar or no sugar variety.
While you are waiting for your peaches to boil go ahead and put your lids and rings in water and place them over medium heat. Heating them up loosens the rubber seal on the lid just enough to provide a good seal during the canning process. Don’t go too far away from your jam as it needs to be stirred constantly.
When the peaches reach a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down then it’s time to add 2 1/2 cup sugar. Return your peaches to a rolling boil and boil for about one minute.
Fill your jars.
Remove any air bubbles. You can use a spatula for doing this, however, this tool does double duty. It helps get air bubbles out and it helps measure headspace.
Leave 1/4 inch headspace.
Wipe off the rims of the jars so that you can get a good seal.
Remove the rings and lids from the pot. This tool has a magnet on the end and makes it easier to grab the rings and the lids. Place the lids on the jars.
Place the rings on the jars and tighten “finger tight.” Finger tight means not too tight and not too loose. Just tighten them as far as they will go without forcing them.
Place your hot jars in the hot canner. Bring the water to a boil and start the timer. Peach jam should be processed (boiled) for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. You can find adjustments for altitude here. To look up your altitude go here. Turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the water for about 5 minutes.
Then remove the jars from the canner.
Let your jars sit and cool for at least eight hours. Remove the rings. If the rings stay on and the lid fails (becomes unsealed) while the ring is on, the lid may reseal itself. However, bacteria has already invaded the jar and the food should not be eaten; with the ring left on, there is no way you will know about the resealing. If the rings are off the lid has no pressure to reseal itself so if the lid seal fails then you’ll know and you can throw that jar out. Label and put away.