This classic peach jam is everything you want from a summer preserve. It’s sweet, spreadable, and tastes intensely of fresh, ripe peaches.
Peaches have become one of those fruits that is nearly always available, but they are only transcendent during during peak summer (here in Philadelphia, that means August and September). The ones you buy in January that have been shipped in from another hemisphere can’t possible 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!
This blog post includes my basic peach jam recipe, spiked with a little cinnamon and nutmeg. However, you can easily strip those flavor boosters out and replace them with the scrapings from a vanilla bean, a splash of bourbon, ginger, lavender, rosemary or thyme.
This was the first peach jam recipe I ever posted on this site, but in the decades since this one first went live, I’ve added a baker’s dozen more sweet peach preserve recipes. Here they are.
Peach cardamom jam
Spicy peach preserves
Low sugar spiced peach jam
Peach vanilla drizzle
Slow cooker peach vanilla butter
Sweet cherry and yellow peach preserves
Brown sugar peach jam with salt and bourbon
Honey sweetened peach jam
Honey sweetened gingery peach butter
Honey sweetened peach vanilla jam
Date sweetened peach drizzle
- 5 pounds peaches, peeled and chopped (about 10 cups)
- 6 cups sugar
- 4 tablespoons powdered pectin
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 2 lemons zested and juiced
- Prepare a boiling water bath canner and enough jars to hold 6 pints of jam.
- Pour the peaches into a large, non-reactive pot.
- Whisk the pectin, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the sugar to combine and add that to the fruit.
- Stir so that the peaches begin to release their juice and the sugar begins to dissolve.
- 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.
- 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).
- Remove the pot from the heat and 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. 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.
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).
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?
It could be that it needed to be cooked a little longer. There are so many variables to jam set.
Would it be alright if I omitted the lemon zest, and used bottled lemon juice? If so, how much juice should I use?
Sure! Try 2 tablespoons!
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?)
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.
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.
It’s better to wait until they’re somewhat ripe. Don’t let them get too, too ripe, though.
Can I use white peaches for this recipe? Thanks!
No. White peaches are lower in acid that yellow ones, and so make a jam that is potentially unsafe.
I’m trying your recipe tomorrow. It sounds delicious! Thanks!
How much by weight equals 10 cups. Is the ten cups before or after taking the peels and seeds off.
Bruce, it’s ten cups after peeling and chopping. You’ll need 4-5 pounds to get to that volume.
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.
I love your website. I did your wild blueberry jam and peach jam. Both turned out great. Easy to follow. I never thought that cinnamon in jam can make such a difference. I am not a fan of nutmeg so I omitted it. Eating this jam is like having a piece of apple pie. Best recipe ever. It’s a keeper. Thank you????????????
I posted a positive comment but no longer see it
I just hadn’t had a chance to approve comments yet. It should be visible now.
I have mostly half pint jars. How long would you process and how much headspace? thank you!! I got 25 lbs of peaches this week, ready to go for jam! (and cobbler, and other things)
Processing time and headspace remain the same when you size down to half pint jars.
Thank you! It is delicious.
Hello – this only
Made 6 half pints for me? Maybe I reduced too much?
This is a relatively old recipe so I can’t speak to the yield from memory at the moment. However, your yield is surprisingly low. It may end up being very thick.
I have made many of your recipes and always love them. I recently made the Blueberry Maple Jam. Yum! Here I am home this morning ready to make your Peach Jam, and dang, it needs Pectin. I have a container from 2016. Lol. Since a lot of jam recipes have no Pectin, what would happen if I leave it out? Should I suck up and go buy some? Thank you for your thoughts.
You could potentially leave the pectin out and just cook a bit longer. Just prepare yourself for the possibility of runny jam.
I have a copy of your Food in Jars with Copyright in 2011. The Peach Jam recipe in that book (page 30) calls for liquid pectin as opposed to the powdered pectin in this recipe. Why the difference here?
In the last 7-8 years, I’ve moved away from liquid pectin. Sure Jell and Certo changes their formulas and it just didn’t work as well. I find that powdered pectin is more consistent these days. And since I can change and update recipes on this site, I did so.
If I were to let this macerate and sit in the fridge over night before canning… would I leave the pectin out until right before I was ready to can it? Like mix the peaches, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and let it sit over night. Or put the pectin in and let it sit overnight as well?
When macerating before cooking, I combine only the fruit and sugar. Leave the spices and pectin out so they don’t lose their potency.