It’s peach season and they’re everywhere. Did you know they’re actually the second largest fruit crop in the US? If you guessed apples as the first largest, you’re right. Even with the growing season being a little early this year, you should still be able to find abondances of peaches through the end of August. The question becomes what to do with them all? I already made some yummy peach salsa, what’s next on the list?
Now peaches and I have a strange relationship. I love peaches, but I don’t like peachy flavors, if that even makes any sense. I could probably eat a dozen peaches in a single sitting (might not feel too well) but if you give me some peach iced tea or put some peach ice cream in front of me, I’ll probably turn it away. Salsas and chutneys are great because you still get the texture and feel of the actual peach. But peach jams? I don’t know.
I came across a recipe for peach lavender jam. It sounded intriguing, but an extra peach puree wasn’t really appealing. That was until I read further and learned it was also great for baking made delicious fillings for layer cakes–like the Brown Sugar Cake with Vanilla Buttercream on the next page! I can never turn down desserts. Especially when I considered how much better it would taste as a cupcake filled with peach lavender jam (and maybe a lavender buttercream?). Yup, I was sold.
A quick warning before we go into the jam recipe: this was not one of my usual quick and easy canning sessions. You have to blanch and peel the peaches first. On top of that, there’s probably a good hour of cooking time, before you even start the canning process. It’s worth it, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Peach Lavender Jam (from Sweet and Tart) makes 5 pints
- 6 lbs *ripe* peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (or since I realized I was pureeing them anyway, I skipped the slicing and just squished them with my hands after pitting)
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 2 c sugar, divided
- 6 tbsp dried lavender flowers (purchased at Union Square from Lavender by the Bay)
- 1 c boiling water
- 1/4 c calcium water (comes with Pomona’s Universal Pectin powder)
- 3 tbsp Pomoma’s Universal Pectin powder
Steep the lavender flowers in the boiling water for 20 minutes.Bring peaches, lemon juice and 1 cup sugar to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Strain lavender flowers and pour lavender water over peaches.
Once the fruit has broken down, lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and blend in pot with immersion blender or transfer in small batches to a standing blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Return peach mixture to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the calcium water.
In a separate bowl combine pectin and remaining 1 cup sugar. Add to peach mixture and stir well to dissolve pectin. Simmer for another 20 minutes or until it has a nice jammy consistency. Remove from heat and skim any foam.
Ladle into hot half pint or 4oz jelly jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Check for air bubbles, wipe rims and seal. Process for 10 minutes.
- Preserving Berry Season (brooklynlocavore.wordpress.com)
- Add a Little Salsa to Your Life – Part II (brooklynlocavore.wordpress.com)
- Summer Baking: Peach and Blueberry Cheesecake Tart (williams-sonoma.com)