Peach Jam

peaches in bowl of water

Peaches have become one of those fruits that is nearly always available, but they are only transcendent during the months of July and August. Those mealy, impenetrable fruits that you pay a small fortune for during the winter can’t possibly compare.

Every summer, I make a point to buy between 25 and 50 pounds of peaches. I slice and freeze a bunch, can halves in light syrup and make sauce (like apple only peachy), butter and jam. Glorious peach jam!

After the jump, you’ll find my basic peach jam recipe. I like to flavor mine with cinnamon and nutmeg, but you could also go with vanilla, a bit of bourbon, ginger, lavender, rosemary or thyme.

I apologize for the slightly weird picture of the peaches floating in water above, but somehow, I didn’t manage to take a single picture of the jam-making process. I made my jam on a Friday night, after an evening of cocktails and sushi, so I must have been a little addled.

Peach Jam

Yield: Makes 6-7 pints

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds peaches, peeled and chopped (about 10 cups)
  • 6 cups of sugar
  • 4 tablespoons powdered pectin
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced

Instructions

  1. Prepare a boiling water bath canner and enough jars to hold 6 pints of jam.
  2. Pour the peaches into a large, non-reactive pot.
  3. Whisk the pectin, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the sugar to combine and add that to the fruit.
  4. Stir so that the peaches begin to release their juice and the sugar begins to dissolve.
  5. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring regularly for 15-20 minutes. If the fruit hasn’t broken down much after that time is up, use a potato masher (taking care not to burn yourself with hot jam) to break down the chunks.
  6. Add the lemon juice and zest and continue cooking until the volume in the pot has reduced by approximately half and the jam passes your set test of choice (temperature, freezer, sheeting).
  7. Remove the pot from the heat and funnel the jam into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  8. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
  9. When the time is up, remove the jars and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. When 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.
https://foodinjars.com/recipe/peach-jam/

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145 responses to “Peach Jam”

  1. Ooohh…cannot WAIT to make this! Also, I really, really like that you made peach jam after having cocktails. That is so something I would do. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. I love how the peaches fuzzy skin looks underwater. It’s a beautiful photo!
    I would never have thought of all those great falvoring idea either. thank you!

  3. That sounds great! We buy just as many peaches, but my little brothers eat them up so quickly, I’ve only “made” one thing with my produce. Definitely want to try this.

  4. We are just to the end of our half bushel of peaches. We’ve got peach jam, peach/cherry jam (with a little vanilla) and nearly ready ginger-spiked peach butter. It has made the house smell wonderful!

  5. I am totally with you – off season peaches are not worth it at ALL. They’re just starting to show up in markets here in Boston, I can’t wait to stock up and freeze some for those dark January days 🙂

  6. I’ve got a date for picking peaches next weekend for my own jamming needs, but I’d love a chance to win a jar of your creation.

  7. I’ll be making and canning peaches for the first time next week–can’t wait! But I’d love to try your jam… Sounds delicious!

  8. I keep thinking about other kinds of jam I might enjoy–love strawberry, but I don’t do a lot else because I hate the seeds. Peach sounds delicious though!

  9. Sounds delicious! Peach season is my favorite time of year. I’ll be canning peachy creations next weekend. Most excited to try a “blushing peach” jam.

  10. I’m a beginning canner and I love reading your blog. You make it sounds so simple! Do you have any recommended canning books? I’ve come across a couple but don’t feel like I’ve found the right one yet…

  11. Thanks for sharing the recipe and a jar! I just discovered your blog a couple of weeks ago and it has inspired to do a lot of canning this summer. Can’t wait for peaches to be really in season here!

  12. How do you can your peaches in sauce? I’d love to do that for my kiddos to eat on all year.

    Corinne, I make peach sauce just the way I do applesauce and then can it according to instructions for canning applesauce (such a helpful reply, I know). I’m going to be making a batch tonight, so I will try and get a post up about it over the weekend. -Marisa

  13. Got a great peach brandy recipe on the blogs the other day. Might be neat to create a nice thick peach brandy preserve – hmmm. I like the shot of the peaches in water, it captures one of the less glam moments in preserving. I really like this blog, so glad I found it!

  14. peach jam sounds amazing right now! I plan on canning and freezing some too as soon as I get around to buying some from the farmers market.

    p.s. I just found your blog a few days ago, and I’m really loving it! I’m wondering if you’ve ever seen a recipe for sweet and sour sauce that cooks up like a fruit jam and get’s canned? If not, no big deal… I’ll keep looking 🙂

    Hmm, I haven’t seen any recipes like that recently, but I’ll keep my eyes out and let you know if I do. -Marisa

  15. Fondly remember making peach jam with my Mother in the summer. We used SC peaches, and this was at a time when canners poured paraffin wax to seal underneath the lids and rims, so when ever I think of peach jam I always think of pulling out that wax disk…and, of course, my Mom. Would love a jar!

  16. Oddly, a bank dropped off baskets of peaches as a thank-you gift at my job yesterday. I do live in Georgia and all, but it was an unusual (although not unappreciated) thank you. Maybe I’ll try my hand at some peach jam with my unexpected windfall!

  17. You are so right about summer peaches. They are the best. I can some every year, but have not yet tried peach jam. I may just have to after reading about yours.

  18. This sounds delicious. I would love to win the jar.

    I usually wait until the end of peach season and then pick up a bushel of half price peach seconds and cut them up and sugar them and then leave them to ferment. (skim and discard the top layer every time you stir – couple months apart) 6-8 months in, the fizzy, sweet peaches are good with yogurt. And then 8-10 months in, the peach cordial is awesome!

  19. I liked the picture of the peaches because it reminds me of when I was a kid and my mom used to freeze peach slices in the summer. Yummy times!

  20. I am so glad I found your blog! My sister and I are going to try making jam (with our mother)for the first time later this month. This sounds delicious! I have added a link to my blog.

  21. My oldest was just asking why we haven’t made peach jam yet (because the boys eat them as fast as I bring them home!), so now we have a recipe and plans for next week!

  22. I LOVE peaches and I LOVE peach jam. I’m planning to can some peaches in at least 1 or 2 forms this summer, hopefully jam, but I might do slices or pie filling. Can’t decide! Since peaches aren’t *quite* in season up here in Ottawa yet (maybe 2 weeks to go?), I’d love to try some of yours in the mean time!!!

  23. i have not canned or jammed the past couple of years and i miss it! i have frozen–do you think i could make jam from frozen in the winter? a few years ago i made a jam or jelly(cant remember which) using peach peeling and scraps. it was from recipezaar…called blushing peach something by dibs. it was awesome!

  24. I would love to win a jar of dilly beans– but I’d be happy to win a jar of peach jam. 😉

    Just discovered the local grocery store sells mason jars– maybe this will be the year I try to can?

  25. You make me want to dash off to the nearest farmers market or you pick farms for fruits and veggies to cook, bake, heck – almost learn how to, can! Someday I will and it will be this blog as my inspiration. Thanks so much!

  26. Is there a natural way to thicken the jam without using synthetic pectin? I remember reading about a strawberry jam that used lemon seeds (wrapped in cheese cloth) and peels as a thickening agent – would that work with the peach jam?

    Sarah, store-bought pectin isn’t unnatural, it’s made from citrus fruit. However, if you want something a little closer to the earth, you can make your own pectin with green apples (google homemade pectin and you’ll find a number of recipes) or you can simply cook your peach jam down until it thickens. Also check out Linda Ziedrich’s The Joy of Jams, Jellies, and Other Sweet Preserves. None of her recipes use pectin. -Marisa

  27. Oh, my – where have I been that I’ve not been over here! Have to check your dilly bean recipe out next, but really would love a jar of that fabulous peach jam. And now that Maryhill peaches are coming into their own, perhaps I need to try a batch of this. With bourbon, of course…

  28. I made this today and it smelled amazing – like apple cider. 🙂 I can’t wait to try it!

    PS – I did all your measurements as called for but ended up with 12 half pints and a full pint. Out of curiosity, do yield estimations account for headspace?

  29. I want to make peach jalapeno jam, but I’m having a hard time finding a suitable recipe. Do you have recommendations for making a pepper jam with fruit?

  30. I just made some peach jam, but it doesn’t appear to have gotten super thick in the finished jars. Is that okay? Will it thicken over time or stay sort of soupy? I followed a Ball recipe and used one box of pectin to about 8 cups of chopped peach.

  31. […] 2 C peaches and cream blended into a mush (see this peaches and cream recipe) or 1 C peach jam (try to find high quality jam with lots of real peach pieces or, if the season is right, make your own peach jam) […]

  32. how would you go about adding another flavor to your peach jam? for example could you add a puree of another fruit and at what point would you add it?

  33. Sylvia, if you just want to add another fruit to the peach jam, I would simply cook them down together from the very beginning.

  34. On my way back to Florida last week, I stopped in Georgia and bought some beautiful just-picked peaches. I made your peach jam recipe yesterday, and although the flavor is delicious, the jam turned out runny. I’m no super-experienced jam/preserves canner, but the only deviation I made from the recipe was adding a little bit of almond extract and reducing the amount of cinnamon because of concerns that it would overpower the fresh peach flavor, so I’m not sure exactly what went wrong. The consistency is not so thin that I’ll throw it away, but it definitely is not as thick as it should be. And I did my canning in the morning, so no cocktails were imbibed 🙂 Suggestions on what happened???

    • I made peach jam 2 yrs ago that didn’t set up so well, kind of runny as you say. Turned out my family loved it as pancake syrup! now this year they are asking me to make some more peach syrup??

  35. Pat, the tricky thing about cooking jams is that there are just so many variables. The level of humidity in the air, the length of time you cook the jam, the width of your pot and how much sugar exists in the fruit can all impact the set of your jam.

  36. Your recipe looks great; we have a peach tree here in Brooklyn New York (I know, nobody believes us until they see it) that yields hundreds of peaches, so I am always looking for good recipes. I made some jam last year and waved a little bit of lavender (tied up in cheesecloth) through the cooking fruit, infusing it with a little bit of interesting flavor. Not for everyone, but most people liked it. Anyway, I will try your recipe out, since my kitchen is so crammed with baskets of peaches that I can’t turn around in there!

  37. Oh, and just to touch on the comments by other readers about runny jam: the cooking time is not exact; some of it depends on your fruit (the ripest peaches contain the least natural pectin) and the other variables you mentioned like humidity. To test jam for setting, one method is to put a spoon in the freezer and use it to test the set when I think the jam is done by dribbling a tiny bit of hot jam into the cold spoon, letting it cool down and then seeing if the cooled jam is thick or runny. It also doesn’t hurt to use a candy thermometer, but in general I find that any jam has to cook on a light boil for forty minutes in order to gel. Also, make sure to leave the jars alone for 24 hours, you can break the set by sloshing them around too early!

  38. I picked peaches for the first time this past weekend and I’ve just finished jamming some and canning some. My question is not directly related to that, though. Since I know you go to Mood’s, I wonder if you (or anyone you know, or anyone else who might read this) have asked them how much they spray. Peaches’ position at #2 on the pesticide dirty dozen list is freaking me out a little, making me reconsider whether I should eat like 5 fresh peaches a day until I run out.

  39. I just made this recipe yesterday (fabulous peaches here in South Carolina this summer), and waited 24 hours to comment so I could test the set — and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Simply wonderful jam, with just exactly right spices, perfect thickness, and flavor was superb. I’ll be putting up several more batches to enjoy this winter.

    I didn’t see any other commenters note one problem, though: the instructions say to cook ‘peaches, sugar and water…’ together, but there’s no water listed in the ingredient list. I took a guess and used one and a half cups, and that worked out fine.

    I’ve been reading your blog since last summer, but this was my first time using one of your recipes. Thanks so much for your efforts and your reporting!

  40. This was a great recipe. I have a Messermeister peeler that peels anything, even the ripest peach! No cooking needed, so easy!

  41. 10 cups of sliced peaches is equivilant to how many pounds of whole peaches? I don’t have the equipment to do a lot at a time, and the farmer I buy peaches from doesn’t usually have bushels of peaches available. I have no idea how much to buy.

  42. Having just finished putting up another batch of peach jam, I have to ask: How do people produce peach jams that are bright orange? Yes, I have used lemon juice and Fruit Fresh. My peach concoctions are always an orangey-RED. Still pretty and everything, but I’d love to have something preserved that is orange in the jar. My peaches do have a good bit of red flesh, and I’ve been tempted to cut that center part away just to see if I wind up with the color I want then.

  43. i just made a batch of peach jam tonight and realized AFTER making it that i didn’t bring the jam back to a boil after adding the sugar. the jams aren’t setting, and look very liquidy in the jars. Is the second round of boiling necessary for safety, or is it a thickening agent? is it possible to cook those jams further, or should they be thrown out? any advice would be great!!

    • That second round of boiling post-sugar addition is what really activates the setting process. You could certainly un-jar the jam, bring it back up to a vigorous boil and re-can it. You will have to use new lids, though.

  44. Made 11 more jars today… i don’t use the nutmeg and i ladle off half before i add the cinnamon… so that i have half that tastes more cobblery and half that tastes more peachy! 😉

  45. going picking tonite for white peaches at my fields orchard. sooo excited and will be trying your recipe.
    thanks for sharing

  46. My daughter has this wonderful peach tree in her back yard I have already made four peach pies now I am going to make peach jam, can’t wait to try your recipe!!!

  47. Oh yummm!! Just finished making this recipe this week. Cannot wait to break into those jars this winter! Took your suggestion and added a touch of vanilla~ the aroma is unbelievable. I think this will also make a great filling for turnovers. Another great recipe!!

  48. Marisa- met you a year ago at class you did at Terrain. We were the guys from Indianapolis. Just tried this recipe tonight with fresh Michigan peaches. The immersion blender turned the fruit into a beautiful jammy texture. This might be my new favorite recipe. Hope to share on my gardening blog- with a link to your site!

    • Mario! I remember you guys well! I am SO glad to hear that you like that recipe and I can’t wait to see it on your site. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!

  49. I use the No Sugar Needed powdered pectin with 1 box to 6 cups of peeled, diced peaches. I cut them up and drop them into a gallon of water to which 3/4 cup lemon juice has been added, to keep them from darkening. I mix 1/4 of sugar with the pectin and add that to the peaches (drained of the liquid) in a large pan. Cook until it comes to a full, rolling boil. Add 4 cups additional sugar and bring to a boil once again and cook for 2 minute. The secret to getting the jam to set well is not to overcook. The longer the pectin cooks, the less it jells the jam. An immersion blender would be a good item to use to break up the large pieces of peach, or you can use a food processor before you start the process. The No Sugar Needed pectin allows you to use a smaller amount of sugar or sugar and Splenda if you wish.

  50. Hi! I apologinze in advance:) I’ve never canned anything before, so please forgive my ignorance:-). But is peeling absolutely neccessary? Could I just chop, skin and all, in a food processor before cooking????
    Thanks!! :0)

    • Nope, you can’t skip the peeling step with peaches. Their skin never breaks down and you just end up with small little pieces of peel that gets stuck on the roof of your mouth while you eat it. If you don’t want to peel, you can use nectarines instead.

  51. I just made some peach jam for the first time. I didn’t add all the yuumy stuff you did. I would love to taste yours. Maybe next time I do jam, I will add the xtra goodies. By the way have you ever tried Pomona’s Pectin? That’s what I used today and it was pretty good. I was able to make 6 cups of mashed fruit at one time.

  52. First time making jam. I made a 1/2 batch of your peach jam with cinnamon and nutmeg this afternoon. It’s absolutely delicious. Is this a “soft” jam or does it take a while to set up? ( Probably a dumb question)

    • Jam set varies a lot depending on the weather during the growing season, the amount of water in the fruit, the humidity in the air, the size of the pan you cook the jam in and how long you cook it. Also, jam can take up to a week to set. So it might end up being a soft set jam and it might not be. Only the factor of those variables and time will tell.

  53. What a coincedence! Someone I work with just brought in a box of super ugly, overripe peaches and he gave them to me for jam. I was cruising the web for recipes and found your site. No one here will eat them, because they are wildly unattractive, but they’ll change their tune when I bring in some delicious peach vanilla bean jam. I would love to win a jar of yours…

  54. Today is my first time making peach jam. Last year we didn’t have a good crop, but the year before, tons. I tried the easy way out, freezer jam, but still have some left…..not that good, and I like to give away my jams and jellies, freezer jam just sits in the freezer. Wish me good luck. Hubby is putting netting over one of our trees that seems to be producing the best. SOOOOOOOO, I will be doing more canning and pies in the coming weeks. And then there’s the “give aways.” BTW we here in SE Nebraska haven’t have measureable rain for over a month……….

  55. Can I use hard, not so ripe peaches? Just picked some from a neighbors tree and they are hard and not very ripe.
    Is my alternative to help ripen them a bit. Can I core them and put them in a closet for a day or 2?

  56. Just made this and I love it! Spent days pouring over recipes for my peaches since I never made peach jam before (always make salsa though). Used the spices so it smelled like applesauce and is very sweet! Thanks for all the great recipes for us to try!

  57. […] a sweltering hot afternoon turning lovely peaches I had found at Edgewater Produce into a delicious Peach Jam from a recipe at Food in Jars.  This peach jam, with cinnamon, is reminiscent of the Food in Jars […]

  58. I LOVE peach preserves. I am going to try this recipe next. My last batch of peach preserves did not jell, so I am having to re-do the whole batch. I will definitely use your test tips from now on when I make preserves.
    Thanks

  59. Thank you for another awesome recipe, Marisa! I had some apricots I had to use up, so I did 4 c apricots and 6 c peaches, and it’s delicious. Your recipes always make me feel like I’m accomplishing something wonderful – love seeing those jars of homemade jam stack up in my cupboards! Perfect for our family…and, if they last, Christmas gifts in a few months!

  60. Delicious! Tastes just like a perfectly spiced peach pie. I found II had to cook it a lot longer to get it to set up (my peaches had a lot of liquid).

  61. Hi,
    Love your recipes — thank you for sharing them.
    I made your peach jam yesterday afternoon and it seems to be a little runnier than other jams. Is this normal? My peach chunks are a little larger than the fruit chunks usually are; I’m wondering if this might be part of the reason?
    thanks!
    j

  62. I’d like to cut this recipe in half.. pretty straightforward. But would I still need boil hard for 5 minutes after adding the pectin, or could I do less (say 3?)
    Thanks!

    • You would need however long a hard boil it takes to get it nice and thick. Cooking times are always just a suggestion, not an absolute. Having not made that recipe in a smaller proportion, I can’t say for sure how long that will take.

  63. Marisa – I love your site and have recently purchased two of your books! I just purchased some farmer’s market peaches that are not quiet ripe. For peach jam, is it better to wait until the peaches are ripe and / or very ripe? I can’t seem to find the answer to this question.

    Thank you!
    Jennifer

  64. If I wanted to add bourbon instead of cinnamon and nutmeg (as you suggested), how much would I add for a batch this size? I’m sure it depends on how much flavour I want, but just an average estimate would be appreciated.

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