I love all fruit, but peaches hold a special place in my heart. There is that wonderful moment, at the end of August, when the local peaches from the Niagara region hit their peak, and there is nothing more perfect. They are sweet and perfumed and soft and juicy and like a bit of heaven in every bite. While at the farmer’s market two weeks ago, my mum and I bought 4 large baskets for jarring and jamming, and I’m glad we did, because when we went back the next week for more, there weren’t any. We’d got the last of them for the season.
I got straight to work peeling and jarring the first 3 baskets, hot-packing them in a medium simple syrup (3¼ cups sugar : 5 cups water). I peeled and chopped the peaches for the jam, and mixed them with half the sugar and some ginger and put them in the fridge to macerate …and then the wedding crazy began. When I realized that I wasn’t going to get around to finishing the job for awhile, I threw the mixture in the freezer. This may not work for all fruits, but it thankfully it worked great for the peaches. The flavour and texture weren’t negatively affected by the freezing and I bought myself a few weeks. I’ll definitely be doing that again when life gets too busy for me to use up the fruit I’ve bought!
Peach Jam with Lime Zest & Ginger Root
(This recipe is loosely based upon this one by Tigress in a Jam)
3¾ pounds peaches
4¾ cups sugar
juice of 4 limes
zest of 2 limes
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger root
2 packets liquid pectin
Yields just over 6 pints (24 of the small 125 ml jars)
If you end up making the jam, please come back and tell me what you think!