Every summer for the last nine years, I’ve teamed up with the folks at the Washington State Fruit Commission. As one of their Canbassadors, they send me boxes of fruit. I take those cherries, peaches, and plums into my kitchen, turn them into various preserves and then share what I’ve done here.
Earlier in the summer, they sent me some cherries, which became Sweet Cherry Butter and Cherry Balsamic Jam. More recently, they sent me 18 pounds of the most glorious, fragrant peaches. I’ve turned them into five different preserves and over the course of this week, I’ll share those recipes right here.
For this first recipe, I’ve made a relatively small batch of peach cardamom jam. This is made without added pectin and requires constant stirring and a bit of bravery at the end of cooking for it to thicken sufficiently. Use a wide pot, turn the heat down a little, and trust your judgment. I have no doubt you can do it.
I use ground cardamom for this preserve and I love both the intense flavor and speckled appearance that it gives the finished jam. You could also try using lightly crushed whole cardamom pods, but take care to count how many you put in so that you can pull them out when the jam is finished (I imagine 5 or 6 pods should do it).
If you want to see what some of the other Canbassadors have done this year, make sure to follow the Washington State Stone Fruit Growers and Northwest Cherries folks on social media, as they’ve been sharing the posts. Here’s where you can find them.
- 3 pounds peaches, pitted, peeled, and diced
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Prepare a canning pot and four half pint jars.
- Combine the prepped peaches, sugar, cardamom and lemon juice in a low, wide, non-reactive pot and stir to combine.
- Once the sugar has started to dissolve and there's some liquid in the pot, place it on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring regularly for 15-20 minutes, until the total volume in the pot has reduced by at least one-third and the jam looks quite thick.
- As the jam cooks, use a potato masher to help break down the peaches.
- Funnel the jam into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
- Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
- When the time is up, remove the jars and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool.
- Once the jars have cooled enough that you can comfortably handle them, check the seals. Sealed jars can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.