Low Sugar Spiced Peach Jam

finished peach jam

For the last four summers, I’ve been invited by the folks at the Washington State Fruit Commission and Sweet Preservation to participate in their Canbassador program. Essentially, sometime around mid-summer, they drop me an email and ask if I want to make something tasty with their fruit. When I say yes, the ship a box of delicious Washington-grown cherries, peaches, plums, or apricots.

peach box

Some years, they send me a mix of fruit. Other years, it’s just a single variety. Here’s what I’ve made for this partnership since kicking things off in 2010.

chopped peaches

This year, they sent me a giant box of sweet, juicy peaches. About half the fruit was at the apex of ripeness upon arrival. I triaged the box, sorting the peaches that had to be used immediately from the ones that could stand a couple of days in the fridge. When I was done, I had six pounds of peaches that required immediate action.

And so I peeled them, roughly chopped them, and divided them between a couple of large jars. I added some sugar to help hold them (1/2 a cup for the quart jar and 1 cup for the half gallon), gave both jars a good shake to distribute everything, and plunked them in the fridge for 2 1/2 days while I went down to Washington, D.C. to teach some classes.

peaches in the pan

When I got home from the trip, I poured the macerated peaches into a low, wide pan (in fact, the one I wrote about here). I added a tablespoon of calcium water (Pomona’s Pectin), 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, and the zest and juice from a lemon.

I brought it to a boil and cooked until the peaches where very soft and the syrup became to thicken. I whisked 1 tablespoon of Pomona’s Pectin into 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar and after about 35 minutes of cooking, stirred it into the jam. A few more minutes of simmering to help everything combined and then the jam was done.

cooked peach jam

Funneled into eight half pint jars and processed for 10 minutes, this jam is lighter on sugar than many, but doesn’t sacrifice anything in terms of flavor. It’s a nice one for holiday gifts and eating with fat slices of angel food cake.

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Links: Pickles, Hard Cider, and a Winner

rainbow in the fountain

Last week in Chicago went about as well as it possibly could. I taught a bunch of classes, did three TV segments, and caught up with some dear friends. I got home to Philadelphia on Friday evening, dashed up to New York yesterday, and spent all of today doing not much of anything beyond taking a walk around the city with Scott (it was a beautiful day). Tomorrow when it’s off to New England for four nights of classes, demos, and signings. Now, links!

Last week, I wrote a series of posts for The Kitchn about preserving tomatoes. Check ‘em out!

syrupy plums

Thanks to everyone who took the time to enter the Anolon giveaway last week! The winner is #371/Deborah. She said, “We have an old, large enameled Dutch oven found at a flea market that gets heavy rotation for jam-making, roasting veggie, making stock, you name it. I love that it shows its age, but still does the job beautifully.” Here’s hoping you like your new cookware, Deborah! 

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Upcoming Events: Vermont and Maine

All set up to demo at the @ballcanning International Can-It-Forward. Join us via the livestream!

As you might have noticed, I’ve been traveling a lot this summer. I’ve been up and down the west coast, spent two weeks driving around the south, and flew to Chicago twice. One portion of the country that I’ve pretty well neglected has been New England. However, all that changes this week. I’m going to be doing events in Vermont and Maine and I hope that those of you who live up there will come, bring your books (or buy one!) and say hi!

August 19 – Waterbury, VT
I’m kicking off this New England trip with a canning demo and book signing at Bridgeside Books. The event runs from 6-8 pm and is free and open to all.

August 20 – South Burlington, VT
On Wednesday night, I’ll be VT Food Swap at the Healthy Living Market in South Burlington from 6-8 pm. My demo will kick off the evening, and then the swap will take place immediately after. Registration is required to attend, but is free, so don’t let that stop you. Sign up here.

August 21 – Falmouth, ME
On Thursday I head to Maine to teach a canning class at University of Maine Cooperative Extension Regional Learning Center. The class runs from 7-9 pm and just is $15 and you can sign up here.

August 22 – Brunswick, ME
I’ll be rounding out my trip up north with a canning demo and book signing at Local from 5-7 pm. This is another free event, so please come, hang out for the demo and pick up a book!

After the events are over, Scott and I are spending the weekend in Portland just to hang out and relax. If you’ve got any Portland, Maine must-sees, please let me know!

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Livestream of the International Can-It-Forward Day

peaches

Saturday, August 16 is International Can-It-Forward Day. Canning events are taking place all across the globe in order to help more people discover the pleasures and practicalities of home preserving. I’m going to be at the main event at the Brooklyn Borough Hall in New York to demonstrate the Peach Sriracha Jam from Preserving by the Pint

If you’re in the greater New York region, you should come out and join the fun. If you’re a bit further flung, join us on the livestream!

Here’s the full schedule of events!

10:00am – Pepper Jelly demonstration by Chef Sara featuring the FreshTECH Automatic Jam & Jelly Maker
10:45am – Tips on urban gardening & herb preservation
11:00am – Peach Sriracha Jam demonstration by Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars
11:30am – Crafting in Ball jars with staff from Martha Stewart Living
11:45am – Hugh Acheson Preserving and Mixology demonstrations
1:15pm – Special Mixology demonstration with local mixologists
1:30pm – Salsa Verde demonstration by Chef Sarah featuring the FreshTECH Automatic Home Canning System

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Plum Cardamom Jam and a Anolon Advanced 11-Piece Cookware Set Giveaway [sponsored]

finished plum cardamom jam

The first homemade jam I ever tasted was made with homegrown plums. I was just four or five years old and the trees in our backyard were having a bumper year. My mom picked enough to fill her yellow enamel colander, gave them a good rinse under the tap, and turned them in sweet, slightly drippy preserves. We ate those plums over pancakes and with oatmeal every chance we got.

syrupy plums

Though I will often tell people that blueberries are my foundational fruit (and they were the star in my very first solo batch of jam), there is something about the flavor of plum jam that makes my brain go, “ah yes, THIS is what homemade jam should taste like.”

finished plum jam

I recently made my first batch of plum jam for this season (I was asked by Anolon gourmet cookware to develop this particular recipe), from the same kind of sturdy black plums that used to grow in our southern California yard. I added a little ground cardamom for extra depth and I cooked the whole thing in the 7.5 quart wide stock pot from the Anolon Advanced line. Though I don’t normally gravitate towards non-stick cookware for jam making, the width and low walls of the pan made it irresistible.

Get the recipe for Plum Cardamom Jam! 

Currently, Macy’s is offering 20% off all open stock of Anolon Advanced cookware through the month of August, so if the idea of a low, wide, large, non-stick stockpot floats your boat, make sure to check it out!

I also have one Anolon Advanced 11-Piece Cookware Set to give away to one Food in Jars reader. Anolon is hosting a number of giveaways this month, so make sure to follow them on social media (Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest) to stay in the know. Here’s how to enter my giveaway.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me about your favorite piece of cookware. Skillet? Dutch oven? Stock pot? Random fish pan you got at a garage sale?
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, August 16, 2014. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, August 17, 2014.
  3. Giveaway open to United States residents only.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post (hopefully that was clear before you got to this disclosure statement). Anolon has compensated me for the creation of the plum jam recipe. They sent me the stockpot in which I made the jam (I did really like it, though), and they’re providing the cookware set for the giveaway. The thoughts and words are still all entire mine. 

 

Links: Fig Syrup, Blackberry Butter, and Winners

Apricot jam with fresh thyme! Last batch for the Wyck Festival.

I stayed up too late canning last night (vanilla peach butter, peach-plum-cherry jam, and apricot everything) and then got up early this morning to fly to Chicago. Just call me the canning jetsetter! I have a slew of events this week and then I’m back to the east coast on Friday afternoon. Now, links!

Mrs. Wages Pickle Pack giveaway

Because I didn’t get a link post up last Sunday, I also didn’t manage to announce the winner of the Mrs. Wages giveaway last week either. But here it is now. The winner is #12/Earle Grossman, who said:

My favorite pickle is a half-sour pickle that I have eaten and made since I was five years old. Started buying them out of a pickle barrel and then learned how to make them from my grandmother. 60 years and I am still looking forward to making them this summer.

I will update this space later tonight with the Orchard Road giveaway winners. Stay tuned!

The winners of the Orchard Road giveaway are:

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