Peachapalooza

22 Aug

I know what you are thinking…ENOUGH with the palooza.  This will be my last palooza for a while, but it’s never been more necessary…

Our vacation included two days in Lancaster County where we stopped at Kaufman’s fruit farm, the wonderful Mennonite run store from which I purchased my bulk pectin.

Even on vacation I was obsessed with preserving so I bought 1/2 a peck of peaches and some plums, anticipating arriving at my father’s house on Sunday in time to do some canning.

Of course my father had talked about picking me up some peaches from Solebury PA so I arrived to find another 1/2 peck of peaches for me to put up.  Oh boy. Well, I guess its lucky I had a few peach recipes I had been itching to make. First on my list was Ginger Peach Jam.

There are 100 recipes out there for this and I went through a lot of them, finally settling on the one above.  I liked this because it used crystalized ginger and was water bath processed (as opposed to frozen or just refrigerated).  Below I made a few adjustments

  • 4¼ cups peeled, chopped peaches (about 3½ pounds peaches)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 7 cups sugar (yeah, I used a little less. That’s a lot of sugar, but then I used the low sugar pectin so I’d get a set)
  • 1-2 ounces finely chopped candied ginger (I kind of wung it on this as I didn’t have a scale. I probably added more)
  • 1 pouch liquid pectin  (I used regular pectin, maybe 2/3 cup?)

Yield: About 6 to 8 half-pint jars

Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Put your peaches, lemon juice and sugar into a heavy bottomed pan. Mix well and add your ginger.  Add lemon juice and sugar and stir well. Place on high heat and, stirring constantly, bring quickly to a full boil with bubbles over the entire surface. Boil hard for a few minutes stirring constantly. Stir in pectin, check for set.

Fill hot jam immediately into hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids. Process in a Boiling Water Canner.

This is delicious. I ate this on toast every morning of vacation and we had it as a snack with cheese (triple cream and goat) on baguettes one afternoon.  My dad also made bacon and jam sandwiches with it until he fell in love with the Plum Rum Jam (future post).

Peach Barbeque Sauce was up next.  I cannot replicate this recipe.  I combined two recipes, one from Epicurious and this one from Ball.  Then when it still wasn’t perfect I asked Rob to fix it. A little of this, a little of that, and viola, Peach Barbeque Sauce that sent my daughter looking for something to dip.  It really is good! I’m excited to make ribs or something for a Steelers game gathering to accompany this!

Also if you have a wealth of peaches and are looking for something new, you must try this:

This is a Dutch Boy “Pancake.”  It’s somewhere between a pancake and a soufle, rising up in the oven and then slowly deflating when you take it out. It’s traditionally served with powdered sugar, but we always had it with juicy sliced peaches and a topping my mother made by mixing marshmellow fluff and cream cheese.  Weird right? But oh. so. delicious.  It’s like cream cheese icing in a sauce. I’ve also had it served with yogurt mixed with honey which is also good, but not as good as the fluff laced sauce I grew up with.

**Oh my gosh, in searching for the recipe I used to share with yinz, I found the Kraft foods version, which is served with a sauce of marshmallow and cream cheese!!! The mystery of where my mother found the recipe is solved!  Don’t make this version, the instructions are incomplete anyway. Make the recipe I linked above and just mix 8 oz of softened cream cheese with about a cup of fluff.  (seriously, try it!)

Finally, peachapalooza was complete with some lavender peach jam.  There are a lot of recipes floating around but I used this one.  I adjusted it, naturally, adding a touch less sugar, using low sugar pectin, and cooking it for longer. Don’t leave out the lime zest, which I was tempted to do. It actually is perfectly paired with the sweet peaches and the herbal lavender.

For good measure, and because the recipe is boring, I’m just going to throw in some gratuitous raspberry pictures. With the help of my regular taste tester, expert cookie baker, and wing woman Desiree, we picked 6 pints of berries and I made raspberry jam.  Why nothing fancy? This will be the mainstay of my daughter’s lunch for the year. She loves homemade, full of seeds, raspberry jam. Grandma used to provide us with many jars, but she is gone and its my job now.

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