Canning Lesson: Raspberry-Peach Jam

My friend, Sharon, invited me over for a canning lesson. My mom and grandmothers can each summer, but I’ve never been involved in the actual canning process–just the fruit and veggie preparation side of the operation.

During my lesson with Sharon we canned some Raspberry-Peach jam using her scrumptious recipe.

Sharon Z’s Raspberry-Peach Jam

1 (10-12 oz) package frozen red raspberries, thawed (should equal 1/2 c berries and 1/2 c plus a little of berry juice)
2 lbs firm, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped (about 6 medium peaches)
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp unsalted butter
6 c sugar
3 oz liquid fruit pectin

Put raspberries and juice in 1 quart measuring cup. Add enough peaches to make 4 cups of fruit. Place fruit mixture in a large saucepan and add lemon juice, butter, and sugar. Mix well.

Place over high heat. Bring to a full, rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and quickly stir in fruit pectin. Stir and skim for 5 minutes to cool slightly and to prevent floating fruit.

Ladle quickly into hot, sterilized bottles, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe off any specks of jam from rim of each bottle. Put on lids and bands and process in water bath for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the jars from the hot water bath and listen for the lids (a.k.a. “seals”) to POP! to confirm the sealing.

Yields: 8 half pint jars

Sharon’s Tips & Notes:

  1. Microwave lemons for 30-35 seconds and then roll on counter before squeezing the juice. This maximizes the juice extraction.
  2. Boil peaches with peel on for 1 minute then immediately transfer peaches into an ice cold water bath to stop the cooking process. This makes the peaches easier to peel and will minimize the amount of fruit that is removed when peeling. Boiling the peaches also cleans them.
  3. The lids or seals can only be used once for canning.

Freezer Jammin’ with Peaches

I decided that this was the year that I should give freezer jam a shot. I’m not sure why I never tried it before. Maybe I thought it would be too hard or too time consuming. I don’t know. One of my sisters-in-law tried it for the first time this year, and she assured us that it was so easy! I decided to give it a whirl with my fresh peaches.

Growing up, my mom always made strawberry freezer jam, and we loved it. Between Mom’s freezer jam and Grandma’s other jams and jellies, we were set in that department. In fact, I don’t remember ever eating “store-bought” jams or jellies when I was growing up. Maybe, I tried them at a restaurant…I don’t remember. Oh well, college changed that for me for sure, but I’ve never found a store-bought jam as good as homemade.

Instead of just trying one freezer jam, I decided to dive right in and try a couple. I certainly had enough peaches…. Below are the recipes I used for Raspberry-Peach Freezer Jam & Peach Freezer Jam.

Turns out, it is easy! I’ll have to do this again next summer during berry season. I can now mark this off my list!

Raspberry-Peach Freezer Jam
Recipe from SURE.JELL

3-1/2 cups prepared fruit (buy about 1-1/2 pt. fully ripe red raspberries and about 1-1/4 lb. fully ripe peaches)
7 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
3/4 cup water
1 box SURE.JELL Fruit Pectin

RINSE clean plastic containers and lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly.

CRUSH raspberries thoroughly, one layer at a time. (Press half of pulp through a sieve to remove some of the seeds, if desired.) Measure exactly 2 cups prepared raspberries into large bowl. Peel and pit peaches; finely chop or grind the fruit. Measure exactly 1-1/2 cups prepared peaches into bowl with the raspberries. Stir in sugar. Let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

MIX water and pectin in small saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Add to fruit mixture; stir 3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and no longer grainy. (A few sugar crystals may remain.)

FILL all containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freeze extra containers up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator before using.

MY NOTES: I didn’t remove any of the raspberry seeds, and the jam seemed fine to me. I don’t mind seeds, though. My containers were bigger than the standard 6-ounce plastic, freezer containers, so I left more than 1/2 inch space from the top of the container. Also, I couldn’t bring myself to add 7 whole cups of sugar! So, I opted to add 4 c sugar and 3 c Splenda. Next time, I’ll probably try adding even more Splenda and less sugar.

Erin’s Peach Freezer Jam

3-1/2 c peaches
2-1/2 c sugar
1- 3 oz package of peach Jell-O

Mash or puree peaches to desired consistency. Mix with sugar. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Boil peach-sugar mixture for 5 minutes over medium heat.

Remove from heat. Stir in Jell-O.

Immediately pour into clean plastic, freezer containers. Fill to within 1/2 inch of top of container.

After jam has cooled, store in refrigerator and/or freezer.

MY NOTES: I used sugar-free peach Jell-O instead of regular. I like my jam to have some good-sized chunks of fruit in it, so I don’t puree too much. I’m more of a roughly-chopped kind of girl. Erin says that she also uses this recipe for strawberry freezer jam.