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Summer Fest and Peach Freezer Jam Recipe

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To celebrate Summer Fest, a four-week cross-blog celebration, Stephanie Stiavetti and I are swapping posts for the day. This week Summer Fest is all over fruit, and Stephanie and I selected peaches.

I have always maintained raspberry is my favourite fruit, but a damned good peach is enough to make a liar out of me. While you can pop a whole raspberry into your mouth, swallowing every iota of the berry, biting into a perfect peach is a decadent act of waste. Juice dribbles down your chin and you know there’s flavour in the skin you so diligently peeled and threw away.

Plus a truly peachy peach is a rare find. So I will amend my previous declarations and say, “An everyday raspberry is my favourite fruit but a damned good peach trumps them all.”

And so, using the decadent peach, Stephanie is going to introduce you to freezer jam, a preserve that tastes more like the fruit than standard jam. Meanwhile, I’m at her blog, Wasabimon.com, blogging about peach ice cream. Imagine the two together? Now that’s some thing to celebrate!

Peach Freezer Jam Hi everyone! This is Stephanie from Wasabimon.com. I blog about all sorts of food topics, most of which are gluten free. My goal is to keep things fun, healthy, and above all, fresh! I’m excited to write this post for Christie’s Corner, and look forward to your comments. Please do say hello and let me know what you think.

Peaches are the one fruit I wish were in season all year round. Maybe someday I’ll find a magical genie in a lamp, and when I do, that’s exactly what I’m going to ask for. Until then, I’ll keep making peach preserves to keep me content through winter’s staunch fruitlessness.

Many folks are wary of preserving their own fruit, and for good reason. Besides being a fairly time consuming process, a botched attempt at canning can spell disaster for anyone who eats from a contaminated batch. In reality, canning isn’t difficult or scary, though it can take some time to build up the gumption for such an involved project. Fortunately, there’s a baby step on the roadway to heat-processed preserves: freezer jam.

It’s so easy to make freezer jam that it’s almost laughable – the only time consuming part is chopping your fruit. Beyond that, you can easily make a whole batch in half an hour or less. Perhaps the best thing about freezer jam is that it doesn’t require cooking, so when you crack open your container sometime mid-January, your fruit will look and taste much fresher than if it were heat-canned.

Another plus: since there’s no heat involved, this is a great project to get your kids involved in the kitchen. They’ll love the fact that they made the best part of their peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

Peach Freezer JamFreezer Jam Containers
There are many kinds of containers you can store your freezer jam in. While you can buy specially made plastic tubs, you can also use good, old-fashioned mason jars. You’ll want to buy the straight-sided kind, not the ones with rounded shoulders up near the mouth. When your jam expands in the freezer, it will push against the shoulders of the jar and cause it to explode. Seriously no bueno.

A Few Words on Pectin
When it comes to pectin, I use Ball’s Freezer Jam Pectin, though you can also use Pomona’s Universal Pectin with great results. These two particular brands allow you to use Splenda instead of sugar, if that’s your inclination, but if you’re using another brand of pectin, make sure to read the directions ahead of time to ensure that it will gel with something other than regular sugar.

Another note about pectin: it’s imperative that you buy the correct kind for your project and read the instructions carefully. Recipes can (and will) vary from brand to brand. Different kinds of pectin will call for different amounts of sugar, so read the directions or your jam won’t gel correctly. Freezer jams are always a little thinner than regular heat-processed preserves, but they should still set to a nice spreadable consistency.

Peach Freezer Jam

Easy Peach Freezer Jam Recipe
Recipe type: Preserves
Cuisine: North American
Serves: 4 cups of jam, enough to fill five 8-ounce containers with room to expand.
 
You don't have to spend ages in front of a hot stove to enjoy homemade jam. This no-cook freezer jam is very quick to make and requires far less sugar than standard pectin-based jams. You can even use a sugar substitute.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups of peeled and finely chopped ripe peaches (about 12 medium peaches)
  • 1-1/2 cups white sugar or Splenda, ideally superfine
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 package Ball No-Cook Freezer Jam Pectin
  • 5 - 8-ounce freezer-proof jam containers
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, crush your peaches with a potato masher. Mash them until they're a consistency you like.
  2. Add in sugar and lemon juice, stirring until well mixed. Let stand for ten minutes.
  3. Gradually stir in the pectin, making sure that there are no lumps. Keep stirring for another two or three minutes to make sure the pectin is completely dissolved.
  4. Ladle jam into clean jars or freezer-proof plastic containers, making sure you leave about half an inch of headspace so that it can expand.
  5. Let sit for at least 60 minutes before storing so that it can fully gel. Store in freezer for up to one year, or in the fridge for three weeks. Remember that this is not heat-treated jam, so you can't store it at room temperature!

Thank you Charmian for having me guest post! I’ve really enjoyed my time here on Christie’s Corner.

<3 Stephanie
Visit me at Wasabimon.com
Or follow me on Twitter: @sstiavetti


Photos of peaches from market © Charmian ChristieThe 3 photos of peach jam © Stephanie Stiavetti

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29 Responses to Summer Fest and Peach Freezer Jam Recipe

  1. Kristina August 4, 2009 at 9:01 am #

    There is nothing more summery than peach jam. And I love freezer jam – I've always made strawberry freezer jam but never peach. I'll have to try it soon!

    Here's my entry for this week – a buttery cornbread cake topped with loads of peaches:
    http://tnlocavore.typepad.com/tennessee_locavore/2009/08/drowning-in-peaches-what-a-wonderful-problem-to-have.html

  2. Kelsey B. August 4, 2009 at 10:20 am #

    I love this idea for jam Stephanie/Charmain! Here is my entry for this week, a Simple Rhubarb Almond cake that I often make with tree fruit. Here it is made with rhubarb (not a tree fruit), but I often make it with plums, apples or peaches. Yum!

  3. Kelsey B. August 4, 2009 at 10:22 am #

    Duh – the link for the cake! :)http://www.thenaptimechef.com/2009/05/napping-in-rhubarb-patch.html

  4. Melanie Mc August 4, 2009 at 1:44 pm #

    Sounds delicious. I made plenty of fruit butters this last year, but haven't tried freezer jam. I'll have to give it a go when it is stone fruit season down here in New Zealand.

  5. Cheryl Sternman Rule August 4, 2009 at 2:07 pm #

    I always try to time my farmers' market visits to the last 1/2 hour of the market, when the farmers slash their prices and the fruit costs pretty much nothing. This Sunday? Peaches for sure. Between Charmian's gorgeous ice cream and this jam, I'll have plenty of ideas for using up my windfall.

  6. Steph - Wasabimon! August 4, 2009 at 3:09 pm #

    Kelsey, that sounds delicious!

    Cheryl, I actually find that I get a really good deal at the farmers market when it first opens and they're separating their prime fruit from what's a little bruised. Last week I got ten pounds of peaches for $5! Incredible deal.

  7. Steph - Wasabimon! August 4, 2009 at 3:10 pm #

    Kristina, WOW, I will have to try that out.

  8. Anonymous August 4, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    I love peaches too, especially homemade peach shortcake. I also adore rhubarb anything, so what a great day -two wonderful ideas in one day. This is such a "do able" recipe that I am gung ho to make jam for the first time.
    Robin

  9. danamccauley August 4, 2009 at 9:29 pm #

    Haven't the peaches been fantastic this year? I think I've eaten my weight in them and that, my dears, is a lot of peaches.

    Next week I'm posting two peach recipes.

  10. Sophie August 5, 2009 at 2:57 am #

    MMMMMMM,…a very good & yummie recipe!!

    easy does it for me!!!

  11. Elizabeth Kricfalusi August 5, 2009 at 12:10 pm #

    I made jam for the very first time in my life a few weeks ago. I made plum jam the "normal" way and it turned out really well. Then I made some strawberry freezer jam, which wasn't as good. I followed the instructions in the pectin box exactly, used superfine sugar, and stirred it until it seemed completely dissolved to me. But when I tasted it, I could still taste the sugar crystals. Any tips on being sure they're fully dissolved?

  12. Steph - Wasabimon! August 5, 2009 at 2:27 pm #

    Hi Elizabeth,

    What kind of pectin were you using? Some kinds require the use of A LOT more sugar, and using a lot might prevent it from dissolving correctly.

    Also, what steps did this kind of pectin require you to follow? Did you mix the sugar with the pectin first, or did you add it to the fruit on its own? How long did it require you mix for?

    Let me know and we'll get to the bottom of this! :)

  13. Misao August 6, 2009 at 8:42 am #

    This was really yummy!! I have never made freezer jam!! Thanks!

  14. Anonymous August 6, 2009 at 8:23 pm #

    I make chutney with peaches, apples and this yer I tried rhubarb-wonderful with meats, cheeses crackers , ryevita etc…the wondeful spices-cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg-we eat it year round. Now I am experimenting with preserves-made a peach/red pepper preserve last year-It disappeared too quickly so plan on making 2 or 3 batches.As well make 4 different recipes of chili sauce. Some with more of a fruit base than tomato.

  15. Elizabeth Kricfalusi August 7, 2009 at 12:08 pm #

    I used Certo pectin (regular, not for low-sugar). It calls for adding the sugar to the mashed berries and letting it stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then adding the pectin to the lemon juice and adding that mixture into the sweetened fruit and stirring for three minutes.

    I'll try again and stir longer but, otherwise, not sure what else I can do.

  16. Stephanie - Wasabimon.com August 7, 2009 at 10:30 pm #

    Elizabeth, I can only imagine that it needed to be stirred more, as whenever I make freezer jam, the instructions call for at least two minutes of extended mixing. If you make it again, please report back and let us know how it goes!

    Stephanie
    Peach Elderberry jam @ Wasabimon!

  17. Christie's Corner August 9, 2009 at 10:26 am #

    I'm making freezer jam this weekend and will keep Stephanie's notes in mind. Stir, stir, stir…

  18. Anne September 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm #

    I just finished my first batch of freezer jam (triple berry). It is delicious and easy just like you said.

    I am wondering if I can send some to my nephew, he does not eat gluten or dairy. Do you know if freezer jam meets both of these requirements? This may sound silly, but I am unclear on all of the pectin ingredients.

    Thanks

  19. Christie's Corner September 17, 2009 at 6:50 pm #

    Anne, glad you liked your jam. Mixed berry is one of my favourites.

    As for your nephew? The jam should be fine for him. It has no dairy in it so it's clear on the non-dairy front. And on the gluten-free front, jams and jellies are that, too.

    Pectin is a CARBOHYDRATE. It's a naturally occurring gelling agent found in the cell walls of some fruits and vegetables. Apples are highest in pectin. But gluten is a PROTEIN found in wheat, rye and barley.

    Your nephew should be fine with the jam, but not with a jam tart because of the crust.

    You're wise to double check. If you're really concerned, put a list of ingredients on the jam.

    Hope he likes the gift. He's lucky to have such a thoughtful and concerned aunt.

  20. Stephanie - Wasabimon.com September 17, 2009 at 8:54 pm #

    Hi Anne,

    To add to what Charmian noted, your nephew is totally safe to eat freezer jam – though the jam must remain frozen (or at the least refrigerated) in transit. Just wanted to let you know in case you were thinking of shipping him your lovely treat!

  21. Angie Larkin September 18, 2009 at 7:19 pm #

    Oh PRAISE be! I just recieved two HUGE boxes of peaches from my folks's ranch and all the freezer jam recipes I could find were too complicated or sugar laden. Love your blog. And I'll think of you as I bag the whole knife thing and scrape the peach peels off with my bare hands and eat myself sick:)

  22. Christie's Corner September 19, 2009 at 9:36 am #

    Angie, I'm so glad this jam recipe suits you. Credit goes to Stephanie on this one.

    Enjoy your peaches and eat some for me. Fresh, ripe peaches are the best.

  23. Nancy mikes January 5, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    Can you use regular pectin if you don’t have the other.

    • Charmian Christie January 6, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

      Regular pectin requires heat to activate it. Theoretically, you can boil regular pectin with some water and then stir it into the fruit. However, I have never tried this myself. Peaches are a low-pectin fruit, so the jam might be a bit runny — which I don’t mind. If runny jam is an issue for you, you are probably best using pectin designed for no-cook jams. If taste is more important than consistency, then give this a try.

  24. julia August 15, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    Awesome recipe. Best with minimal sugar like this one. The flavour of the peaches sings. I added1/2 red chili pepper, diced fine, to the last half of jam beforerfilling jars for my daughter who loves spice.

    • Charmian Christie August 17, 2013 at 12:55 am #

      Oh, adding chili would be great. Not everyone likes to play with sweet/savory but this sounds wonderful. I hope your daughter liked it! Thanks for sharing your variation. Anyone else riff on this recipe?

  25. gene hume August 23, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    In the freezer peach jam it calls for 1 package of ball instant freezer pectin ? how many oz .? My package is 4.7 oz.

    • Charmian Christie August 23, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

      The Ball package in this recipe is 0.4 ounces or 11 grams. The 4.7 ounce jar you have holds enough for 3 to 4 batches of jam. It’s designed to be “scalable” so the label should give you an indication of how much to use based on the amount of fruit. Hope this helps.

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