Summer in a Jar

I feel as though I’m in produce overload right now. Everything seems to be ripening at the same time! Our CSA has blessed us with more cucumbers than two people can eat, so I HAVE to make pickles soon, and I’m getting at least three pounds off our green beans every three days. Oh, and the tomatoes started ripening – I picked 10 of them yesterday. We won’t even talk about the squash that just keeps coming.

And then we have the peaches and blueberries that we ordered. I put 15 lbs. of blueberries in the freeze and made a pie and a blueberry version of this cake, Still need to make muffins… maybe tonight after work. And I did can two batches of peaches – you know, so I can make things like peach pie and ice cream on dreary winter days. After all, it’s no secret that I love peaches. (So much so, that I asked for peach trees for my birthday this year! Here’s hoping they survive our Wisconsin winter!) And then I made jam as well.

What I love most about this recipe is the fact that it goes in freezer, which means it saves me a TON of time. I don’t have to bring a giant kettle of water up to a boil and spend hours processing jars. Simply peel and crush your peaches, cook for a few minutes and ladle into freezer-safe containers. Bam! You’ve captured summer in a jar, and left yourself some time to enjoy the little bit of summer that remains. (Or you can move on to the giant pile of green beans in the fridge.) 😀


Peach Freezer Jam

5 cups of crushed peaches, peeled and pitted*
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup low-sugar powdered pectin (I used the Ball variety, as the store was out of the Sure-Jel in the pink box.)
1/3 cup lemon juice

Wash, rinse and dry seven 8-ounce freezer-safe containers. (I use glass jam jars, and since I only had five 8-ounce jars, I filled one pint jar as well.) Set aside.

In a large pot, combine the fruit and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar and pectin. Pour into the hot fruit and stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture has come back up to a boil that you can’t stir down. Allow mixture to boil for 1 minute, stirring as needed to keep it from sticking. Remove from heat.

Ladle jam into prepared containers, being sure to leave at least 1/2″ headspace, and allow to cool to room temperature before freezing. Store in the freezer.

From Everyday Food Magazine, September 2011

*I slipped my peaches into a boiling water bath for a minute or so to remove the skins, then roughly chopped them. I crushed some of the peaches with my hands before they started cooking and then used a potato masher to mush them down further. As you can see, I left my jam rather chunky, but that’s just a personal preference. 

Click here for a printable version.


3 thoughts on “Summer in a Jar

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