I feel a bit like I had already canned stone fruit nearly every way possible by the time this can jam came around. I was at a bit of a loss as to how to make something new and interesting for our monthly challenge. In fact, I must confess that I’m actually looking forward to the seasonal slow down that’s now coming. Not that I’m tired of canning exactly, but I am ready to be turned loose from this urgency to capture as much summer goodness as possible before it takes its final bow.
This particular batch of jam was born from the fact that I had a couple of pounds of peaches that were ripening faster than I could eat them, as well as a handful of plums that were going soft. A generous hunk of ginger was hanging out in the fruit bowl. And thus, a jam was born.
My fruit ratio was approximately 3/4 peaches to 1/4 plums, but you can vary those amounts to accept whatever proportions you have on hand. The ginger was blended with a bit of water and then squeezed through cheesecloth in order to make a potent, gingery brew.
The result is sweet and spicy (not for those who shy away from a strong ginger flavor). I liked it upon initial taste, but I’ve found that my overrun jar in the fridge has mellowed into something I’m really digging.
- 5 cups peaches, peeled and mashed
- 2 cups plums, mashed
- 3 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup ginger juice*
- In a large, non-reactive pot, combine all ingredients. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for approximately 20 minutes (please remember that jam cooking times vary widely depending on width of your pot, kitchen humidity and sugar levels in the fruit) until the jam is thick and passes the plate test. Using a thermometer and taking the cooking jam to as close to 220 degrees is also another good technique.
- When jam is sufficiently cooked, fill prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and screw on rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
- When processing time is up, remove jars from canner and let them cool on a towel-lined countertop. When jars are cool enough to handle, remove rings and test seals by grasping the outside edge of lid and lifting the jar carefully off the countertop. The lid should stay firmly in place on the jar.
- Store jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.
*Chop approximately 4 ounces of ginger. Combine with 1/4 water in a small food processor blender. Pulse until broken down. Strain through a piece of cheesecloth and squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible.