Saturday, April 7, 2012

Bourbon Peach Jam

Jam! What is more reminiscent of summer! I started to make jams and jellys when I was about 15 years old. I thought it would be a great gift to give to friends, my parents and grandparents. My mom was supportive of this effort and while she had some experience, she was not the pro. I began with strawberry jam, then peach. All things went well. But as I have said before I am a self-proclaimed lover of all things cherry. We were at the farmers market and I saw a huge basket of Bing cherries. I thought they would be the best thing for my new jam obsession. We got them and took them home and that weekend I set out to make some fabulous cherry jam. I was so excited so I decided to triple the recipe!!! Big mistake! What I ended up with was amazing cherry flavored syrup. The jam never set up. My mom's first response was to call Grandma Ethel. Grandma quickly told me to never change a jam or jelly recipe. You can make multiple batches but these recipes do not double or triple with great success. I hold that lesson and memory in my head today. This was by far not my last kitchen failure but definitely my first and I will remember it for a long time.

As an adult I still like to make jams, jellys and preserves. When I saw this adult version of the classic peach jelly I knew that it was for me.... and my friends, as gifts of course.

Bourbon Peach Jam

7 cups sugar
4 cups finely chopped, peeled ripe peaches ( about 3 lbs fresh)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 of a 6 oz package ( 1 foil pouch) liquid fruit pectin
1/2 cup Jack Daniels or bourbon of choice

In a 6-8 quart heavy pot, combine sugar, peaches, lemon juice and bourbon. Bring to a boil. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves. Quickly stir in pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Quickly skim off foam with a metal spoon.
Ladle hot jam into hot, sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids. (For your safety, if you do not know the steps for canning please refer to the Ball Canning page.)
Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling.)
Remove jars from canner and cool on wire rack. To distribute fruit cool for about 20 minutes, then gently turn and tilt the jars without inverting them. Repeat as needed. Makes about 7 half-pints.

Lastly, listen for that joyous "POP" that tells you that the jar is sealed and you are a "canning Pro."

Recipe taken from Better Homes and Gardens: Special Interest Publication Canning

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