Can it!

Posted on September 8, 2012

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Who in their right mind thinks ooh, it’s Wednesday, I know, I’ll try making jelly for the first time EVER, then try canning something for the first time in about 20 years…

The answer is probably no one in their right mind would think this. I did, however, and allowed myself to stop at Whole Foods on my way home from work.

I don’t usually allow myself into Whole Foods, because (and this trip is a great example) its like a museum, only I’m really into it’s pieces. I went in for 2-1/2 lbs of peaches. I spent $39.27. Yup. 2-1/2 lbs of fresh peaches, two kinds of cheese, smoked paprika, Himalayan pink salt and 5lbs of flour later… The cashier was nice enough to ask me what the hell I was making, I uttered “peach, jalepeño jelly… If I don’t fuckit up!” hetold me he thought I’d do fine, was it really my first time? Oh, I’d do just fine… Well, cheers, Jaihin, I hope you are right!

I bought this cookbook the other day, and made tasty empanadas from it already, and when looking around I found the recipe id been looking for on her website. Low and behold, the sauce to put the Swedish meatballs in!

Peach Jalepeño Jam
Adapted from homesicktexan

What you need:

2 1/2 pounds peaches, washed
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 jalapeños, seeds and stems removed, diced

4 half-pint sized jars with lids and bands
Large pot to seal jars in
Clean baking sheet to sanitize jars, ecc on

Step one: take peaches, cut an x on each end, blanch the peaches for about a minute, remove from boiling water into ice water bath. Rub skins from peaches. Cut into 1/4″ slices, removing pit.

Step two: in a non-reactive* 2 qt(ish) sized saucepan let the peaches macerate** with the sugar for at least 1-2 hours. By the time they’ve sat for this long, you’ll have enough time to sanitize your half pint, or pint jars.

Sanitizing Options:
1. Dishwasher, on sanitize cycle (no soap)
2. Boiling water style “bath”?
3. In the oven (which I plan to do next time- even with a 5 burner stove, since I chose to make this at dinner time still not enough space for all the water I was attempting to boil)

Step three: Once this has set up, and you’ve cleared away your dinner dishes, you can start cooking it. The Texan says to put a plate in the freezer to test the consistency of jam later on, while some might argue about the validity of this method, it worked fine for me.

Step four: stir in the lemon juice and diced jalapeño. Place saucepot on burner, on high . Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to low, stirring occasionally. If there is foam, she says not to freak out, skim it or leave it – your call. Keep stirring and an eye on this for 40 minutes, then test on plate.

Plate test: place a spoonful on plate, after a minute tilt plate, if jam does not run, it’s ready. If it does run, put plate back in freezer and test again in about 5 minutes. Continue to test/cook/test until it doesn’t run. I only tested once.

Storage options:
1) store in fridge: in hand sealed (non processed/sealed) jars will last up to two months, says the Texan. It is suggested to leave a bit (3/4″?) of headspace in these jars, and allow to cool to room temp before refrigeration.

2) can them: put covered jars in a canning pot or stockpot, cover with water, bring to a boil and then cook on high for 10 minutes. You are supposed to be able to hear the tinkofthe lids sealing, Remove with tongs and then allow to cool. If processed this way, make sure the lids have never been used before. These jars will not require refrigeration until after opening.

*non-reactive means something that is non-stick, stainless, an example of reactive is cast iron. I had to google this…
**macerate I also googled this, cause, I’m not too bright… It means “to soften by soaking or steeping”

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