Thursday, April 10, 2014

Maggie Beer's Peach Jam

It has been a week of using up lacklustre fruit from the end of the season.  I had a kilo of peaches languishing in my fridge because - well, they were pretty bland peaches.  However, I didn't want to waste them.  Initially, I thought of making baked goods with them, but I thought that a whole kilo of peaches would take an awful lot of baking to use them up.  Plan B was to make jam!

I searched for the right recipe for peach jam for me, and I chose Maggie Beer’s Peach Jam recipe from The Cook and the Chef TV series. I liked the fact that Maggie did not peel the peaches - she used the whole fruit in her jam after de-seeding them.  In fact, she even uses the seeds in the cooking process, presumably to add flavour.  Instead of amaretto, I added brandy to my jam.  I am so glad I didn't skip it - the alcohol added a lovely flavour to the jam.

This jam is so versatile.  As well as indulging my habit of eating jam out of the jar, I have been mixing it in with my rolled oats for breakfast and putting it on icecream for dessert.  It would also be fabulous in muffins, to fill cakes or on toast.  And it transformed some very ordinary peaches into the extraordinary.   Perfect!

The recipe is as follows:

1.5kg peaches
750g sugar
rind of 1 lemon
juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons amaretto (optional)

Wash the peaches, then cut the peach flesh off the stone and chop the flesh into pieces. (Use a mixture of ripe and less ripe peaches - the less ripe peaches add pectin.)  Maggie's tip is not to store the peaches in the fridge (oops!) as it reduces the pectin in the fruit.
Place a large, heavy based saucepan over low heat. Add peaches and lemon rind to the pot and allow to simmer in the juice that will ooze from the peaches, stirring occasionally. Add the peach stones tied up in a clean Chux (dish cloth) to the pot and continue to simmer.

When fruit seems cooked (ie soft), remove the peach stones and add the sugar and lemon juice. Once sugar has dissolved into the fruit increase the heat. Allow to boil rapidly until setting stage has been reached, stirring occasionally so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. Just after removing the jam from the heat, stir through the amaretto.

Carefully spoon the hot jam into glass jars and top with the lids.  Turn the jars upside down while cooling to sterilise the whole of the jars with hot jam.


yummychunklet said...

I just love homemade jam, even though I never have the patience to make it myself. Looks great!

Mae Travels said...

I hope you spoon it out of the jar, don't just eat it with your own spoon and put the jar back on the shelf! It really sounds good.

Jill said...

What a great way to use some not-so-great fruit. I think it would be good with plain yogurt too.

Cakelaw said...

@ Mae - my habit involves getting a clean teaspoon out of the drawer and scooping one teaspoon of jam out of the jar - like popping sweets. If I want seconds, I get another spoon.

~~louise~~ said...

We have quite a ways to go before peach season is upon us, Cakelaw but, I decided last year that I would like to take full advantage when it does arrive. Making jam is just what I was thinking and yours glistening before me has convinced me that it is surely the way to go!

The Amaretto is a perfect touch. For some reason, I thought the peach stone would make the jam more bitter but if it didn't, then why not try to extract every bit of flavor!

Thank you so much for sharing, Cakelaw. I wish I was dipping with you:)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hehe I like it when I don't have to peel things. Perhaps the seeds have pectin too which is always good :D

Johanna GGG said...

looks delicious - I have long ago given up on peaches and need to stew some of the last plums of the season but I think making jam out of the peaches is a great way to make them last and keep a little summer in the kitchen

Kari said...

The peaches I bought last week in the hope they'd be the last, sweet summer stock were very bland, and would have been far better in jam than fresh! Great decision :)

Kayte said...

Jam out of the jar is like Greek spoon fruits...basically the same thing, so you are just enjoying some Greek specialty! :-)

2paw said...

Oh, I have had jam with vanilla blancmange, but never eaten it straight from the jar!! I must do that. It looks scrumptious!!