Probably the best way to preserve peaches every summer is this small batch homemade peach jam recipe without pectin, less sugar and just 3 simple ingredients.
Because this is a small batch recipe (it makes a little more than 2 pounds of jam) you will spend less time in the kitchen preparing and cooking the fresh peaches.
However, the main advantage of this recipe is that the smaller quantities of ingredients mean that the cooking time is reduced, something that preserves the fresh taste of peaches at the most.
Once you taste it, you'll feel like you're tasting summer.
I like to make this jam at the end of peach season, when all the grocery stores are full of plump, ripe peaches. Knowing that in a few weeks this delicious fruit is going to vanish, I try to hold on to it in every possible way that I can.
So, I always make this easy no-bake cheesecake with sauteed peaches and this jam. Having a few jars of fresh peach jam in my cupboards, is a great way to enjoy their fresh flavor anytime of the year.
This recipe also comes with an easy canning method, something you can read about at the end of this article.
You only need 3 ingredients to make this peach jam without pectin: peaches, sugar and lemon juice.
Fresh peaches: Choose the most aromatic, juicy, ripe peaches you can find. They should feel heavy for their size and not have any brown spots or bumps on their surface. If they taste blunt, please don't use them.
Sugar: White granulated is best. You can also use caster sugar.
Lemon juice: Use freshly squeezed lemon juice. It will balance the sweetness and help the jam to thicken.
Jam with less sugar
To make this easy recipe, all you have to remember is that you’ll need 1 cup of sugar for every two cups of pureed peaches.
This translates to a jam made with 71% fresh fruit and 29% sugar. So it's safe to say that this fresh peach jam has less sugar compared to your average store-bought jam.
Instructions - steps
Making this peach jam from scratch is easier than you think. The thing you should keep in mind is that the cooking time must be short in order to preserve the fresh flavor and the bright color of the peaches.
That's why you should choose a very wide pot in order for the water from the juices to evaporate quickly.
Step1: Prepare the peaches.
Peel them carefully using a sharp knife, cut them in half and remove the pits. Optionally, for a brighter color, remove the red part of the flesh that is close to the pit.
Step 2: Process the peaches in a food processor.
This breaks them down into pulp, something that extracts all of their juices (making macerating unnecessary) and helps the jam to cook faster.
A high speed blender with a tamper will also do. You can also use a potato masher to mash the fruit, but a food processor is easier and will give better results.
Step 3: Add the peach puree to the pot (without adding the sugar) and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and let it boil for 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the sugar and the lemon juice and cook until the jam thickens.
Why the sugar isn't added at the beginning.
When you add sugar to a liquid, you increase it's boiling point. This means than when you add the sugar to a fruit puree, it will boil at a higher temperature. This higher temperature kills the fresh flavor of the fruit, giving it a cooked flavor.
So, cooking the fruit puree for a few minutes without the sugar, helps the water to evaporate faster, something that reduces the cooking time of the jam, thus keeping as much freshness as possible.
How to know when the jam is done.
If you have a kitchen thermometer, then your life is very easy! When the jam reaches 220°F/104°C it’s ready.
Otherwise, you can put a small plate in the freezer and make a test by dropping a teaspoon of jam onto the plate and spread it to cool completely. If it’s not runny, then it’s ready.
This no pectin jam recipe with less sugar will work with any kind of peaches as well as other stone fruit like:
Optionally, you can add half a teaspoon of vanilla extract to add flowery notes to the jam. You can also add 1-2 rose geranium leaves or some lemon zest to the pot when the fruit is cooking.
I personally don't add anything else, because I find that all the additions overpower the delicate, fresh peach flavor.
Easy canning method
This is an easy canning process you can follow, not only for jam but also other foods like this homemade pizza sauce.
The food that is going into the jars needs to be boiling hot when transferred into the jars. It doesn't require a water bath, but relies on the high temperature of the jam which kills all the microorganisms that can spoil the food. Here's how to do it:
- Transfer the jars and the lids in a big pot, fill it with water and boil for 2-3 minutes.
- Using tongs, take the jars and the lids out of the pot, drain them and let them rest on a clean towel.
- When your jam is ready and still hot, fill the jars (not all the way to the top!) and secure the lids (use thick gloves or a towel during handling because everything will be hot).
- Invert the jars upside down and let them cool at room temperature.
- Re-invert and check the top of each lid by pressing the middle with your finger. If there is no give, then the jar is properly sealed.
If you are not sure whether the jars are properly sealed or not, this article for how to determine if a jar of canned food is sealed is very useful.
As with many other food, store the jars of peach jam in a cool, dark place. Their shelf life is at least 6 months.
Once opened, store in the fridge and consume within a month.
Recipes to serve with this peach jam
My most favorite way of eating this homemade jam is with white cake. But not any cake! If you try it with this easy white chocolate vanilla bundt cake then you’ll know what I mean. It’s pure bliss!!!
Of course, it’s also great as breakfast with english muffins and fresh butter, or even with a thick slice of bread and some homemade Labneh (yogurt cream cheese). It also pairs great with the following recipes:
Use a very wide and deep pot. A pot with tall sides will protect you in case of any spills
Use a long wooden spatula or a whisk and stir the jam very frequently to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
For a light-colored jam, remove the red flesh of the fruit that’s near the stone.
I don't suggest using brown sugar or other alternatives like coconut sugar or even sweeteners because the result will be totally different. Using brown or coconut sugar will change the taste of the peach jam. Using sweeteners like stevia will probably make your jam runny and will not let it thicken.
If you wash and rub the peaches well, so that the fuzz is removed, you can use them without peeling them. This will make the color of the jam darker. I don't like leaving the skin on, because sometimes it can have a negative impact on the texture of the jam.
Any kind and size of canning jars will do. For this recipe, the total capacity should be 4 cups (1000ml).
This easy small batch peach jam has no pectin added. Because peaches are not as rich in natural pectin as other fruit (like apples) it is naturally thinner. Some of the ways to make it thicker are:
1. Cooking it longer. This can affect the taste and the color, so do it with caution.
2. Add the peel of one or two apples. The skin of the apples is rich in natural fruit pectin something that will help the jam to thicken.
3. Replace some of the white sugar with jam sugar which has pectin added in it.
n jam, all the fruit is crushed or pureed and cooked with sugar so the end result is a homogeneous mixture. In preserves, the fruit is usually chopped or cut into chunks and gets cooked with sugar. The sugar draws out the juices from the fruit and creates a thick syrup.
Easy peach jam recipe (no pectin, less sugar)
- 4 cups fresh peaches, pureed - 1 kg
- 2 cups white sugar - 400 grams
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Prepare the peaches: Peel them carefully using a sharp knife, cut them in half and remove the pits. Optionally, for a brighter color, remove the red part of the flesh that is close to the pit. Cut them into chunks, transfer them to a food processor and process until smooth(you can do this in batches).
- Cook: Pour the peach puree in a wide and deep pot (without adding the sugar) and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and let it boil for3-4 minutes stirring occasionally.Add the sugar and one tablespoon of the lemon juice and cook until it thickens, stirring frequently (this will take about 15 minutes). The jam will be ready when it reaches 220°F/104°C or when it’s thick enough when dropped onto a cold plate. Add the rest of the lemon juice, stir, and remove the pot from the heat.
- Canning: Transfer the hot jam into pasteurized jars, making sure not to fill them all the way to the rim.Using thick gloves or a towel, secure the lids, invert the jars upside-down, and let them cool. When the jars cool, flip them straight and press the center of each lid with your finger. If the lid doesn't give, then it's sealed.When opened, store in the fridge for up to a month.
- You’ll need approximately a little more than 3 pounds (or 4-5 large) of ripe, juicy peaches.
- For a light-colored jam, remove the red flesh of the fruit that’s near the stone.
- This jam has less amount of sugar, so it will not be very thick, but it will rather have a gorgeous, spreadable consistency. Also, as it sits in the fridge it will set up a bit more
- The total capacity of the jars should be about 4 cups.
- For the easy canning method, refer to the section of this post.
- Serving size: 1 Tablespoon
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