Butterscotch Peach Jam

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10 Aug Butterscotch Peach Jam

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Last week for Summer Fest, Stephanie of Wasabimon and I swapped blogs for the day. I posted about peach ice cream on her blog and she posted about peach freezer jam on mine. She was even kind enough to watch the comments section and answer reader questions. Thanks, Stephanie! I owe you.

The dual-posts on peach ice cream and peach jam got me thinking. I wanted to taste them together, so I decided to try an old-fashioned cooked peach jam. I haven’t made jam since childhood, and back then all I really did was watch my mother from a distance beyond the reach of boiling water or spluttering preserves. During the process, I asked so many questions I’m sure she wished I was out of ear shot as well.

After reading the shocking amount of sugar that goes into most cooked jams, I decided to look into alternatives. Mary Anne Dragan in Well Preserved: Small Batch Preserving for the New Cook (Whitecap 2009) uses the long-cook method which requires no commercial pectin. She writes, “Long-cooked jams use less sugar than those made with commercial pectin, and, I believe, have a more intense fruit flavor.”

While I remember the roasting pan my mom used to sterilize the jars and the recycled baby-food jars, I don’t recall much more. Fortunately, Dragan walks you through all this and provides an impressive amount of notes. A 3:4 ration of ripe to unripe fruit works best, paraffin is no longer considered necessary for a proper seal, acid helps thicken jam, and don’t tempt fate by wearing shorts when making jam — no matter how hot it gets in the kitchen.

It was a toss up between Peach Melba Jam with raspberries or brown-sugary Butterscotch Peach Jam. I didn’t have enough white sugar for the Melba version so settled on the butterscotch variation which called for brown. The results? As Dragan says, the no-pectin, long-cook jam is softer and runnier, but delicious.

Peach ice cream with butterscotch peach jam – TheMessyBaker.com

There’s no way I could ever be a hard-core food stylist. I can’t resist nibbling during the shoot. See the melted ice cream and the bits of jam speckling the rim of the bowl. Hardly the stuff of Bon Appetit or Gourmet.

Peach Ice Cream topped with Butterscotch Peach Jam

While I enjoyed the peach on peach variation, the sweet on sweet was a bit over-kill. So I stirred the jam into plain yogurt, and there the layers came out. The brightness of the peach and the sweetness of the butterscotch popped against the tart yogurt. I can only imagine this is the perfect preserve for a round of warm brie or camembert.

Butterscotch Peach Jam swirled into plain yogurtwellpreserved_coverPRESS.inddDragan’s book is an excellent guide for beginners and goes beyond the expected jams and jellies. She covers all things fruit (marmalades, conserves, fruit sauces and butters) as well as pickles, relishes, chutneys, ketchups, infused vinegars and cooking with preserves. She mixes classics like Strawberry Jam with updated variations. Pickled Rosemary Carrots, Blueberry Chutney, Cranberry Ketchup and Lavender Vinegar are just a few of the recipes.

I’ll be trying more of Dragan’s recipes as the harvest rolls in. In the meantime, here’s the recipe for the jam.

Ice cream fans, don’t pout. I’ve uploaded the peach ice cream printable recipe for you.

 

Butterscotch Peach Jam
Author: 
Recipe type: Preserves
Prep / inactive time: 
Cook / active time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Makes 5 or 6 8-ounce (250 mL) jars
 
Brown sugar makes this peach jam extra sweet with butterscotch undertones. It goes well with plain yogurt or on bread with sharp cheese.
Ingredients
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) peeled, cored and chopped peaches
  • ⅓ cup (80 mL) lemon juice
  • 5 cups (1.2 L) brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Prepare the preserving jars.
  2. Combine the peaches and lemon juice in your preserving pot. Crush the fruit with a potato masher. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the brown sugar. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often for about 20 to 25 minutes, until slightly thickened.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir the jam for 3 to 5 minutes. Skim off the foam if necessary. Ladle the jam into hot, sterilzed jars, leaving a ¼ inch (6 mm) head pace. Wipe the rims clean. Seal according to manufacturer's directions.
  4. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Notes
Buy freestone rather than clingstone peaches — they are so much quicker to prepare, as the flesh of the peach easily separates from the pit.

Excerpt printed with permission from Well Preserved Small Batch Preserving for the New Cook by Mary Anne Dragan. Published by Whitecap Books (© 2009)

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23 Comments
  • Cheryl
    Posted at 11:02h, 10 August Reply

    I don't generally believe in signs, but everything in my life is conspiring to convince me that this is the summer I finally can/preserve something properly.

    "Preserving pot?" Is this a special-type of pot? Is there, like, a kit that has the pot and the proper jars all-in-one?

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 11:10h, 10 August Reply

    Cheryl, usually a preserving kettle is large, but I just used a stainless steel dutch oven.

    You can buy proper kits of the sterilizing/ water baths, but unless you do a LOT of preserving, it's not worth the money. I used small jars and an extra large stock pot to do my sterilizing / water bath.

  • Cheryl Arkison
    Posted at 12:28h, 10 August Reply

    Love the idea of this jam! Still seems like a lot of sugar to me, but I'm not one to be fussed by sugar, ever.

    Oh, and I will fully admit to not processing my jam and only having one pot spoil in over 13 years of personal jam making. Just put the hot jam in a hot jar and seal immediately with fresh lids. You will hear the pop pop of sealed lids. Adter 24 hours put those that didn't seal (you will be able to feel if you used snap lids) in teh freezer or fridge and use them first.

    This is definitely the peach jam I'm making this year. And I need to find that book.

  • Cheryl Arkison
    Posted at 12:28h, 10 August Reply

    Love the idea of this jam! Still seems like a lot of sugar to me, but I'm not one to be fussed by sugar, ever.

    Oh, and I will fully admit to not processing my jam and only having one pot spoil in over 13 years of personal jam making. Just put the hot jam in a hot jar and seal immediately with fresh lids. You will hear the pop pop of sealed lids. Adter 24 hours put those that didn't seal (you will be able to feel if you used snap lids) in teh freezer or fridge and use them first.

    This is definitely the peach jam I'm making this year. And I need to find that book.

  • danamccauley
    Posted at 13:15h, 10 August Reply

    Loverly! I've been on a crisp binge at my house with all the fantastic peaches but jam and ice cream sound like a good next stepl

    Cheryl: use your lobster pot if you don't have a kettle.

  • Stephanie - Wasabimon.com
    Posted at 13:29h, 10 August Reply

    Oooh! This sounds divine! Will have to check out that book – I'm really curious about the no-pectin process. Was the peach flavor much more intense?

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 13:59h, 10 August Reply

    You post, and especially these gorgeous photos, make me wish I wanted to can or preserve something! Frankly, the idea rather terrifies me, but anything butterscotch is tempting indeed. How yummy, Charmian!

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 13:59h, 10 August Reply

    You post, and especially these gorgeous photos, make me wish I wanted to can or preserve something! Frankly, the idea rather terrifies me, but anything butterscotch is tempting indeed. How yummy, Charmian!

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 15:41h, 10 August Reply

    Cheryl A, I was extra fussy on the preserving process because I'm paranoid for my readers. I don't mind poisoning Andrew and myself, but my readers. No way! Love your freezer solution for the jars that don't seal. I'm definitely going to use that trick if I run into trouble.

    Dana, I could just eat peaches until they came out my ears — not a pretty picture but accurate. They're stellar this year.

    Stephanie, it's hard to tell if the peach flavour was more intense because of the brown sugar. It did taste peachy but your freezer jam is likely the closet to the real fruit.

    Diva, this is not your usual preserve. I'm not a big jam fan, so thought I'd go for something a bit different.

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 16:33h, 10 August Reply

    Yes, VT … and believe me, I will def. be dropping both you and Dana a line the next time I find myself in TO! :)

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 16:33h, 10 August Reply

    Yes, VT … and believe me, I will def. be dropping both you and Dana a line the next time I find myself in TO! :)

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 21:42h, 10 August Reply

    I agree 5 cups of suagr to 6 cups of fruit does seem like a bit much!I am interested in the book though, as I love preserving and have a gift card from Chapters left over from Mother's Day ….

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 05:31h, 11 August Reply

    "The brightness of the peach and the sweetness of the butterscotch popped against the tart yogurt." ???
    ???
    ???

    What kind of comment is that? It's just jam mixed into yogurt. Big deal. jeez foodbloggers are so self obsessed.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 07:48h, 11 August Reply

    Anonymous 1, if you do get a copy I'd love to know what you think of the book.

    Anonymous 2, I'd say I'm more food-obsessed than self-obsessed.

  • The Apple Hill Adventurer
    Posted at 11:04h, 12 August Reply

    that jam sounds AMAZING!

    this is my first time at your blog, i cant wait to look around some more. yuummmy

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 19:31h, 12 August Reply

    yes I did get the book and was very pleased with the set up of the book, the great step by step instructions, extra info in the sidebars, the fantastic variety of recipes. I know the book will be around till I'm a grandma and will be well used-probably splattered with all sorts of fruits and veggies! I am already planning this weekend's trip to the market-I'm thinking apricot jam…….

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 11:29h, 14 August Reply

    Apple Hill, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! Hope you like the jam.

    Anonymous, I'm so glad you like the book. I, too, think it's great. I really appreciate you returning to let me (and others) know what you thought of the book. Much appreciated!!

  • Heidi
    Posted at 16:04h, 01 August Reply

    I stumbled upon this recipe, found peaches on sale at my co-op, and took it as a sign that I should make this jam!… Maybe my peaches weren’t ripe enough, but I can hardly taste them. Nor does it taste of butterscotch. :( Any tips?

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:13h, 01 August Reply

      @Heidi, I’m really sorry you were disappointed in this jam. I hate going to a lot of trouble and not liking the results.

      I made this almost a year ago, but fortunately had a small jar left so I opened it to see how it tasted. Straight from the jar, I definitely taste butterscotch/brown sugar. The peach flavour is subtle but it’s there. Almost apricot. It’s not like a straight up peach jam. Again, I stirred it into plain yogurt and the peach flavour came out more. I’m not sure why. You might want to try this jam on crackers with plain cream cheese or brie. Go for a creamy base, not anything sweet.

      As for why it isn’t peachy? Ripe peaches are best, especially tree-ripened. If they are picked too soon and “ripen” off the tree they don’t develop their flavour — ever.

      Also, last year was a stellar year for peaches — the peachiest I’ve had in years. Perhaps this had something to do with it?

      Again, I’m sorry you aren’t happy with the results. I hope my suggestion helps and that I haven’t scared you off other recipes.

      • Heidi
        Posted at 19:50h, 01 August Reply

        @Charmian Christie, Thank you for your reply! So quick and friendly! :) I definitely taste mostly brown sugar, but don’t get me wrong: I am a sugar-holic and will eat every last drop of this! I’ll try it in plain yogurt, and I’m a big fan of baked cheese with jam, too. I’m also thinking I could make a shortbread thumbprint cookie with it. Oh, the possibilities!

        • Charmian Christie
          Posted at 15:54h, 02 August Reply

          @Heidi, I think your thumbprint cookies sound like a wonderful way to use this jam. They would definitely be decadent.

          We sugar-holics have to stick together. Have fun experimenting.

  • Ditto Osborn
    Posted at 13:51h, 09 September Reply

    What a wondrous jam! Color is rich as is the flavor. I must have consumed a quarter-jar while cooking alone. Can’t wait to try it on toast.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:40h, 22 September Reply

      Nice. It is tempting to eat it with a spoon. So glad you like the recipe. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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