If ever you wanted to know the face of true goodness in this rag tag world (or better yet, why I’m an “Ange” and not an “Angie”), then you need to know my buddy Angie. Friends from back in the day in high school, every chance I get to catch up with her leaves me grinning ear to ear – she is just that marvelous. A while back, while living vicariously through her pictures of picking fruit with her adorable kiddies, I found one of her recipes for homemade jam. I knew at that moment that I had to beg her for a guest post. No need to twist her arm, though – here is a taste of some majesty courtesy of Angie. -AG
I got into making jams two years ago after picking about 15 gallons of strawberries at a local farm. I don’t know why I picked so many berries at one time. I guess because they were really so flavorful, fresh and quite beautiful that I couldn’t stop picking!
One of my friends who picked with me suggested making jam and I said no way can I do that and she suggested making freezer jam. I rushed out bought some jars and freezer jam pectin and tried it out – and the results were amazing! I used Sugar in the Raw, which totally made it super expensive but it was the best jam ever – and I was astonished I made it. The only thing I didn’t do correctly was I cut the sugar amount in half. The flavor was amazing but it wasn’t really of jam-like consistency. The spread was absorbed into the bread, but I learned my lesson to stick to the recipe if I want jam-like results. Later that year when fall hit I bought my water boiler canner so I could can my fruits and spreads and not take up my valuable freezer space with jars – and I’ve been canning like crazy ever since!
This recipe sounds like it contains a lot of sugar and it does, but when making jams it’s important to keep the ingredient amounts as listed because it affects the consistency of the jam. The pectin, fruit and sugar have a chemical reaction, which makes the jam gel and if you take out some of the sugar it will impact the consistency.
Peach Bellini Jam
3 c. chopped, ripe, peeled peaches
1 c. Prosecco (sparkling white wine)
7 ½ c. of sugar
2 tbs. lemon juice
½ of a 6-oz package of liquid pectin or 3 tbs. of powder flex batch pectin
In a large heavy pot combine peaches, Prosecco, sugar and the lemon juice. You want all your sugar to dissolve so bring this pot to a rolling boil. Once the sugar is dissolved add the pectin and boil hard and stir constantly for about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam, if necessary. Try not to get out any of those yummy peaches. If you are going to can the jars proceed to step 2, if not skip to freezer jam directions.
Pour hot jam into hot, sterilized jars, preferably 8 oz or 4 oz. Leave a bit of space, ¼ inch from the top. Wipe jar rims and tighten the lid (don’t over tighten because the air bubbles need to get out when you process the jar in a boiling water bath).
Process the jars in a boiling-water bath for 5 minutes – timer starts once the boil has returned. Turn stove off, remove lid and let jars sit in water for an additional five minutes. Remove jars from canner and cool in a not-so-drafty place so the jars can seal properly. The jars need to sit undisturbed for 12-24 hours to properly seal. When you hear the pops of the jars you can smile because they sealed! If properly sealed these can last as long as one year unopened on your shelf. Once opened the jam stays good for three weeks when stored in the refrigerator.
The peaches will float to the top. To distribute them more evenly tilt the jar from side to side. Makes about eight half pints.
Directions for Freezer Jam
Ladle the hot jam into clean containers. Let them cool a little bit and store in the freezer for up to one year or in your refrigerator for up to three weeks.