Sweet, sun-kissed peaches at the peak of their ripeness are transformed into a luscious and fragrant jam that captures the essence of summer. This easy-to-follow peach jam recipe is the perfect way to preserve the bounty of the season and enjoy the taste of ripe peaches year-round.
Why you’ll love making your own peach jam
My mom used to close summer with peach treats and peach jam. Peaches are usually one of the last fruits of the summer. And when we were little kids, we knew that when we were eating peach streusel squares, the summer was about to end and school begins. It’s a sweet & sour memory, because who wants the summer to end ?
Homemade peach jam allows me to capture the pure, natural essence of ripe peaches. Unlike store-bought varieties, you control the quality of ingredients, ensuring that only the freshest and most flavourful peaches go into the jam.
Homemade jam recipes are incredibly flexible. You can adjust the sweetness level, add spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, or even experiment with other fruits and flavour combinations. It’s a creative outlet in the kitchen. Peach jam can be offered as an edible gift, and it brings great deep satisfaction that comes from creating something from scratch. The pride and joy that come from creating your own delectable jam are truly unbeatable.
- Peaches: are the star of the show, providing the main flavour and natural sweetness to the jam. They also contribute to the jam’s texture, giving it a chunky or smooth consistency.
- Sugar: Sugar is a primary sweetening agent in peach jam. It not only enhances the natural sweetness of the peaches but also acts as a preservative by binding with water molecules, reducing the water activity and inhibiting microbial growth. Sugar plays a critical role in setting the jam. When heated, sugar melts and combines with pectin to form a gel-like structure, giving the jam its characteristic thickness and texture.
- Dr. Oetker Gelfix 3:1 Powder: is a specialized pectin product used for jam-making. Pectin is a natural gelling agent found in fruits. Gelfix 3:1 provides additional pectin to ensure the jam sets properly and has the desired consistency.
- Extra Sugar for Pectin Activation: The extra sugar you mix with the pectin powder is often used to activate the pectin. This step helps prevent clumping and ensures that the pectin disperses evenly throughout the jam, promoting even gelling.
How to make peach jam
- Sterilizing the jars. Sterilizing jars for jam is a crucial step in the jam-making process to ensure that your preserves stay safe to eat and have a longer shelf life. I prefer sterilizing easy in the dishwasher. Place the clean, empty jars in the dishwasher’s bottom rack, making sure they are secure and won’t tip over during the cycle. Ensure your dishwasher has a “Sanitize” or high-temperature setting. This setting will subject the jars, lids, and bands to high heat, effectively sterilizing them. Start the dishwasher on the chosen setting. The high-temperature water and steam will sanitize the jars, lids, and bands during the wash cycle. Once the dishwasher cycle is complete, carefully remove the sterilized jars, lids, and bands. Use oven mitts or a towel to handle the hot items.
- Prepare the Peaches: Wash the peaches thoroughly under running water. Remove the pits and chop the peeled peaches into small cubes.
- Mix Pectin with Sugar: In a separate bowl, combine the contents of the Dr. Oetker Gelfix 3:1 package with the 2 teaspoons of extra granulated sugar. Stir to ensure even distribution.
- Cook the Peaches: Place the chopped peaches in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the 1 & ½ cups of granulated sugar to the peaches. Stir to combine, ensuring the sugar coats the peaches evenly.
- Heat and Simmer: Place the pot over medium heat and bring the peach mixture to a gentle boil, stirring frequently to prevent sticking or burning. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer. Continue to stir occasionally as the peaches break down and the mixture thickens. This may take around 20–30 minutes.
- Add Pectin-Sugar Mixture: When the peaches have softened and the mixture has thickened to your desired consistency (usually when it coats the back of a spoon), sprinkle the pectin-sugar mixture evenly over the jam. Stir vigorously to fully incorporate the pectin-sugar mixture. Continue to simmer for an additional 2–3 minutes to ensure the pectin activates and the jam thickens further.
- Fill the jot jam mixture immediately: Close the heat and remove the pot from the stove. Immediately fill the sterilized jars with the Peach jam. Fill the jars with a large soup spoon, up to the 1/4 to 1/2 inch of headspace. Be careful with this step, as the Peach jam is very hot. Once the jars are filled with the Peach jam, wipe the rims with a clean, damp paper towel. Seal the jars with sterilized lids, tighten and turn the jars upside down for 5 minutes.
- Cool and check seals: Let cool the jars for 12 hours. As they cool, you may hear a “pop” sound, indicating that the lids have sealed. Check the seals by pressing down in the centre of each lid; if it doesn’t pop back, the jar is sealed. Turn the jars back to the straight position, open and enjoy!
Allow the jars to cool completely at room temperature. As they cool, you may hear the lids “pop,” indicating a proper seal. Store the sealed jars in a cool, dark, and dry place. Properly sealed jars can be stored for up to a year.
Choose Ripe, High-Quality Fruit: The quality of your fruit is paramount. Select ripe, flavourful fruit at the peak of its season. The natural sugars and pectin content are highest in ripe fruit, which will result in better flavour and a well-set jam.
Use the Right Amount of Pectin: Using Dr. Oetker Gelfix 3:1 pectin will help you to set this peach homemade jam like an expert. This commercial pectin is the best on the market to be used for any homemade jam.
Measure Ingredients Precisely: Accurate measurements are crucial for achieving the right balance of sugar, acid, and pectin. Use a kitchen scale to measure ingredients, especially sugar, which can greatly impact the jam’s texture and shelf life.
Cook to the Gel Point: Cooking your jam to the gel point is vital. To test for this, place a small spoonful of the hot jam on a chilled plate and let it cool for a minute. Push it with your finger; if it wrinkles and holds its shape, it’s ready. Overcooking can result in a stiff, overly thick jam, while undercooking can lead to a runny consistency.
Sterilize Jars and Lids Properly: Ensure your jars, lids, and bands are thoroughly sterilized before filling with jam. Sterilize them using methods like boiling, oven heating, or the dishwasher. Proper sterilization helps prevent spoilage and ensures a safe, long-lasting product.
Can I use unripe peaches for jam?
It’s best to use ripe, sweet peaches for jam because they provide better flavour and natural sweetness. Unripe peaches may lack the desired taste and sweetness.
Do I need to peel the peaches for jam?
While it’s not mandatory, many prefer to peel peaches for jam to achieve a smoother texture. You can blanch them in boiling water for a minute and then plunge them into ice water for easy peeling.
Can I reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe?
You can adjust the sugar level in your jam, but it may affect the jam’s shelf life, texture, and setting ability. Be cautious when reducing sugar, and consider using low-sugar pectin or alternative sweeteners.
What can I do if my jam is too runny?
If your jam doesn’t set properly and turns out too runny, you can try re-cooking it. Bring it back to a simmer and cook for a longer time to evaporate excess moisture and achieve the desired consistency.
Why did my jam turn out too thick or stiff?
Overcooking the jam can lead to a stiff or thick consistency. To prevent this, use a reliable thermometer to monitor the temperature and avoid overcooking. If it’s already too thick, you can add a bit of water or fruit juice to loosen it.
Can I double or triple the recipe?
You can scale up your recipe, but be cautious when increasing quantities, as it can affect the cooking time and consistency. It’s often safer to make multiple batches rather than significantly altering the recipe.
- RED CURRANT JAM
- PUFF PASTRY PEACH GALETTE
- PEACH CAKE STREUSEL SQUARES
- CHIA SEED PUDDING WITH ALMOND MILK
- HOMEMADE CZECH SWEET PASTRY FRGALE
- 1 kg fresh, ripe peaches
- 1 & ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 package Dr. Oetker Gelfix 3:1 powder
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar (extra sugar to mix with pectin powder)
- Sterilize the jars before cooking the jam, set aside.
- Clean the peaches under running water, dry them and slice in half. Remove the pit and cut the peaches in small cubes.
- In a separate bowl, combine the contents of the Dr. Oetker Gelfix 3:1 package with the 2 teaspoons of extra granulated sugar. Stir to ensure even distribution.
- Place the cubed peaches in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the1 & 1/2 cups of granulated sugar to the peaches. Stir to combine. Place the pot over medium heat and bring the peach mixture to a gentle boil, stirring frequently to prevent sticking or burning. Continue cooking for about 20–30 minutes, or until the peaches break down and the mixture thickens.
- When the peaches have softened and the mixture has thickened to your desired consistency (usually when it coats the back of a spoon), sprinkle the pectin-sugar mixture evenly over the jam. Stir vigorously to fully incorporate the pectin-sugar mixture. Continue to simmer for an additional 2–3 minutes to ensure the pectin activates and the jam thickens further.
- Close the heat and remove the pot from the stove. Immediately fill the sterilized jars with the Peach jam. Fill the jars with a large soup spoon, up to the 1/4 to 1/2 inch of headspace. Be careful with this step, as the Peach jam is very hot.
- Once the jars are filled with the Peach jam, wipe the rims with a clean, damp paper towel. Seal the jars with sterilized lids, tighten and turn the jars upside down for 5 minutes.
- Let cool the jars for 12 hours. Turn the jars back to the straight position, open and enjoy!
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