Well, almost free.
See, there's a local orchard nearby that does you-pick peaches for 60 cents per pound. I don't know about where you all are, but peaches in the supermarket are currently about double that (sometimes even triple that). So, on Monday after work we set out to pick peaches. And like last year, we had quickly picked WAY more than we needed. You would not *believe* how quickly three people can pick 80-100 pounds of peaches. But then, of course, you have to figure out what to DO with all the peaches...
One of my favorite things to do when we have an abundance of fruit is to make freezer jam. I love freezer jam for several reasons:
1- It's so easy that Lizzy can do almost the whole process by herself.
2- Freezer Jam takes less sugar than traditional canned jam.
3- Freezer Jam also retains more of the flavor of the fruit compared to canned jam.
4- There's nothing like the taste of fresh peaches in the middle of the winter.
5- It's fail proof. Even if your jam doesn't set, it makes a killer ice cream topping.
I know that making jam can be intimidating--I didn't do it for YEARS. And then when I finally tried, I was kicking myself for not doing it sooner. So please, if you've been wanting to give it a try, DO IT.
Here's what you need:
5 cups diced peaches (I used six peaches total)
3 Tbsp lemon juice
6 Tbsp Ball Real Fruit Instant Pectin
2 cups sugar
and six 8oz freezer safe jars.
First, wash, peel, and pit your peaches. Then, dice into small chunks.
Stir to combine. Then let this mixture sit for 10 minutes.
The peaches will tend to break down a bit as they're sitting in the sugar and lemon juice, but if after the 10 minutes you still prefer a smoother consistency to your jam, use a fork or potato masher to smush things up a bit. Do NOT use an immersion blender or food processor because they break down the natural pectin in fruit and make your jam less likely to set.
Then, using a wooden spoon, stir in your pectin one tablespoon at a time.
Once all the pectin has been added, stir for three minutes. Don't cheat!
Now, you're basically done. Just set the timer for 30 minutes to allow the jam to set up. Then, put the lids on the jars. After you've tasted the jam, of course!
This jam keeps for about 3 weeks in the fridge and up to a year in the freezer. YOU CAN DO IT!
Now, I'm on to making peach butter in the crock pot, a peach almond pie, and peach cobbler :)
PS- Don't try to double the batch! Pectin doesn't set well in large batches, so six jars is about the maximum you'd want to make at any given time.
PPS- This post wasn't sponsored by Ball. I'm just exclusively loyal to Ball products for jam and any other kind of preserving!