This might not be the year to decide to experiment with my peach jam recipe with everyone saying what a horrible year it is going to be for peaches. Each year I try to preserve enough peaches and make enough jam to carry me through the winter months and I hope that this year is no different. Yes, peaches might be more expensive, yet I can't seem to imagine they will be so expensive that I won't find preserving enough to get me through the winter worthwhile.
But to take a great batch of fresh peaches picked up at the market and instead of making the tried, tested and true peach jam recipe to experiment with these precious peaches, is that just madness?
Madness or not it is what I decided to do today. I have a great peach jam recipe. I can't remember if my mom gave it to me or my sister Yvonne. They can both lay claim cause I am sure at one point or another they both shared their peach jam recipes with me. Whether my mom's or my sisters, it is good! But I had an idea on how to make it better. Now by making it better I am also making it perhaps not suitable to be spread on toast in the morning, which is how I have always loved my peach jam. All these things aside...I had an idea.
What if I were to add brandy to my peach jam recipe...what might that taste like? I was determined to find out.
Dizzy Peach Jam
4 pounds peaches (peel, remove the pit and then crush)
3/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp butter (unsalted)
7 cups sugar
2 pouches liquide pectin (3oz)
If you decide you are going to make the PG version of this and take out the brandy, there are a couple of alterations you will need to make to this recipe. The first is that you will only need 1 pouch of liquid pectin and the 2nd is that you might want to add about 1/2 cup more of sugar.
In a large pot. combine the peaches, brandy, lemon juice and 3.5 cups sugar. Place the lid on and cover for at least an hour. I gave it 3 hours so that the brandy would soak in real good :).
Remove the lid and add the rest of the sugar. Place the pot over med/low heat and stir until the sugar you just added dissolves. Once it is fully dissolved, turn the heat to high and continue to stir until it reaches a full rolling boil. If you continue to stir constantly this will take 20-30 minutes. Don't rush it as you want to allow some of the brandy to evaporate, otherwise the jam won't set. At this point take the pan off the burner and with a wooden spoon, skim off the foam.
Place the pot back on the stove and return it to a full boil. Add the pectin and continue stirring until it reaches a full rolling boil again. Boil and stir for another minute and then remove from the stove.
In order to prevent the fruit from separating, I usually let the jam sit for 5-8 minutes stirring from time to time before I ladle them into my previously sanitized and prepared jars. Once I wipe the rim and put on the lids I return it to the water bath and process 250ml jars for 10 minutes.
My official taste tester gave it a taste and claims that he wishes we had a loaf of white bread in the house to eat a jar with and I found myself craving Kawartha Dairy Vanilla Ice Cream. Tell me what you think it would taste best with and the person who makes my mouth water the most with their idea will get a jar to taste test for me!