How to Make Peach Jam

Lovely, organic, 'wild' peaches from our orchards at Les Trois Chenes in Videix, Haute-Vienne, France
Lovely, organic, 'wild' peaches from our orchards at Les Trois Chenes in Videix, Haute-Vienne, France

Peach trees at Les Trois Chenes

Our trees are weighed down with white or yellow peaches
Our trees are weighed down with white or yellow peaches

A peach jam recipe from Limousin

Why make peach jam? Peach trees grow easily here in Limousin, South West France and every year we have a huge glut of peaches, so what to do with them? We eat as many as we can fresh from the tree, we make desserts, peach jam, peach chutney and the rest we freeze for winter.

We use the peach jam for our guests in Les Trois Chenes, our B&B in Videix, and the chutney we sometimes serve at dinner together with delicious baked peaches and peach crumble desserts.

It's so easy to grow a peach tree that you don't even need to try. Our peach trees grow as weeds from fallen peaches, from compost heaps with peach stones, from peach stones discarded by the animals or tossed to one side by humans who have picked them from the tree and eaten them in the garden. Needless to say, in a good year like this, we have peaches by the bath-load! My peach jam and peach chutney recipes come from my granny's old Hamlyn cook book.

For more recipes from Les Trois Chenes, have a look at my on-line recipe book.

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My grandmother's recipe book is still in print

Jams, Pickles and Chutneys (500 Recipes)
Jams, Pickles and Chutneys (500 Recipes)

This is a later publication of the book my grandmother gave me - mine was published in 1963 - it still has the same cover (but not the same price - mine was 2/6!

 
Chop your peaches according to your taste. As cook Rustique i like mine chunky!
Chop your peaches according to your taste. As cook Rustique i like mine chunky!

Peach jam ingredients

For every kilo of stoned peaches you will need

  • A kilo of sugar
  • A little water ie 6 tablespoons ( a bit more if under-ripe fruit is used)
  • Juice of one lemon

Chop the fruit

After stoning the fruit, chop it up. I chop mine roughly because, as a rustic cook I like chunks of fruit in my jam. It does tend to boil down though anyway, so you don't have to bother to dice it finely.


Jam making equipment and utensils

This is what I use:

  • Copper jam pan - it is also decorative when not in use
  • I have second cheaper jam pan for large quantities. Just as good
  • Wooden spoon with long handle
  • Large ladle
  • Perforated skimming tool (don't know the word for this!)
  • Old jam jars. You can use any other sort of jar but beware lingering odours such as ex-olive jars or, worse still, asparagus
  • Heatproof jug or special jam funnel
  • Jam covers, if you like, but I don't bother with these
  • Labels, but I only use labels for jam I am going to give away.

My Jam making equipment
My Jam making equipment | Source
Skimming off the jam with a perforated tool
Skimming off the jam with a perforated tool | Source

Put all the peaches into the preserving pan

Put the fruit into the pan and simmer gently until the fruit is soft. Then add the sugar, lemon juice and water, stir until the sugar has dissolved. Boil rapidly until set. How long? I never know. I'm not an expert cook, but what I do know is that all those books written by expert cooks who say "Boil for 5 minutes" are wrong! Usually, my best jam is the one I have forgotten about - but didn't forget to the point of burning! Lets say boil for ten minutes, then carry out regular checks, see below.

What you will find is that a scum will for on the top. Take a spoon, or the special flat, perforated spoon shown below, to carefully skim off the foam.

The wrinkle setting point test
The wrinkle setting point test | Source

Ho do you know when the jam has set?

You need to do a setting test.

After ten minutes or so, take out a spoon of liquid, put it on a plate and pop it into the fridge for a few minutes. Then, take it out of the fridge, give it a push and see if it has thickened. A wrinkled skin should form on the surface.

Carry out this check every five minutes or so.

Sterilize all your utensils and jar tops in boiling water

Source

Steralise your jars, tops and utensils

Pour a little water into the bottom of each jar and microwave until the water has boiled. If you don't have a microwave you can put the jars into the oven instead. For the tops and utensils, boil in a pan of water, but take care of plastic tops as these can sometimes distort. I boil or boil/steam for about 5 minutes.

Then pour the jam into jars using the funnel

Make sure you fill the jars almost to the top.
Make sure you fill the jars almost to the top.

Cover the jam quickly with the sterilised tops

I use old jars, thoroughly washed and sterilised in the microwave. I find this a messy procedure, as you can see in this photo.
I use old jars, thoroughly washed and sterilised in the microwave. I find this a messy procedure, as you can see in this photo.

How do you rate my jam recipe?

5 out of 5 stars from 3 ratings of Jam recipe

Fruity flavours all winter

That's all there is to it! You can enjoy the goodness and the flavour of peaches all winter.

Variations (untried):

Try adding a little alcohol! A bit of brandy or a fruit liqueur. Also I have started to save a jar of un-set jam to use as a fruit sauce. Please feel free to leave any tips you have for peach jam or jam-making in general in the comments box below.


Medlar Jam and Jelly

Have you tried that old Victorian favourite, the Medlar? Here is a wonderfully spicy jam (or, technically 'Cheese') recipe. How to make Medlar Jam or take a look at my Medlar jelly Recipe

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Our new, three bedroom holiday home has three en-suite bedrooms and spacious lawned garden with peach trees
Our new, three bedroom holiday home has three en-suite bedrooms and spacious lawned garden with peach trees
This is a real winter warmer and something a little different. Would make a great Christmas gift.
This is a real winter warmer and something a little different. Would make a great Christmas gift. | Source

Les Trois Chenes Bed and Breakfast near Rochechouart

A markerVideix -
87600 Videix, France
[get directions]

Les Trois Chenes Bed and Breakfast, holiday cottage and painting holidays, hidden deep in the heart of rural France. We are forty minutes from Limoges

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2 comments

Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 6 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

Arlecchino, Many thanks for your comments. The jam is fab and goes down well with the Bed and Breakfast guests. This was one of my first Hubs and I've improved my photography immensely, so I'm going through the Hubs and replacing the early poorer ones with better pictures. I think it's easy to guess which is which here.


Arlecchino profile image

Arlecchino 6 years ago from Top of the Cloud

Ohhh, my mouth is full of water. It looks so delicious. I like your pics a lot!

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