How to Make Freezer Peach Preserves

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FOOD  |  9.15.15  |  by Terra Wellington

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One of the glorious things about seasonal food is that you can get it delicious and cheap.  We love looking for seasonal produce sales and then look for ways to maximize the affordable food in our weekly meals and also with food storage.  Ball sent us its new 37th Blue Book Guide to Preserving along with just-right, BPA-free freezer containers in hopes that we’d write up a piece on food preservation.  And since love experimenting in the kitchen, we set out to try one of the many options.  We chose how to make freezer peach preserves – yum! yum!  It’s actually super easy, especially if you’re doing a small batch and want to be done in less than an hour.  Time saver.

Here’s how to make freezer peach jam 

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Ball jars and pectin

Here’s the 8-ounce, BPA-free plastic freezer containers (jars) that we used, along with Ball’s Classic Pectin.

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You chop up 2 1/4 cups of peaches, which is about 3 large peaches.  You can use a food processor to get finer peach bits.  But we just went for the chunky version.  Mix in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (okay, we cheated with a lime).

Chopped peaches

Then, you add 4 1/2 cups of sugar and let it sit for 10 minutes in the bowl.  We know, that’s a lot of sugar.   And actually, if we had to do this over we would experiment with low and no-sugar peach spread recipes, because in the end this recipe was WAY too sweet for our liking.  However, one thing you do have to be careful with when it comes to jellies and jams is the recipe — it’s a chemical reaction with the type of fruit you choose, sugar, pectin, and other preparation factors (like heat) to make it gel properly in the end.  We’ll get more adventurous next time around!

While the fruit sat, we prepared the pectin.  We took 3 tablespoons of Ball RealFruit Classic Pectin with 3/4 cup water.  The recipe says —

Combine pectin and water in a small saucepan.  Bring mixture to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, stirring constantly.  Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add pectin mixture to fruit mixture and stir 3 minutes.

peach jam

And there you go!  Peach jam.  You ladle the jam into your plastic freezer jars, leaving a 1/2-inch space between the jam and the top of the jar — this is to protect your jam in the freezing process because it will likely expand.  Let your jam sit uncovered for about 30 minutes to set.  And then you can freeze.  Or use immediately, refrigerating for up to 3 weeks.

In all, it took us about 30 minutes to make the jam.  1 hour total if you consider the setting time.  We think that’s pretty cool!  And even though it was a lot of sugar, at least it wasn’t high fructose corn syrup — most supermarket jams and jellies are using HFCS, and we like HFCS-free foods.

For the future, there is a Ball RealFruit Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin that we would like to try, with a couple different recipes we’ve found on the Web.

Happy jams and jellies!

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2015-09-14T23:31:05+00:00