The other day I bought some rather large peaches from a local store. I wanted to make peach freezer jam. If you’ve never tried freezer jam, I encourage you to do so and soon! Freezer jam is just the fruit, sugar (or other sweetener,) lemon juice, pectin, and calcium water! There is no cooking and it is just like having a fresh piece of fruit on your toast. Since that would be quite awkward, I prefer this method!
You will need the following:
About six pounds of peaches, give or take a peach!
Pomona’s Pectin (available online or in your local health-food store) This is the pectin I like the best. It works and it’s gluten free! It also comes with the calcium powder, which you will add to water to make the calcium solution.
Fresh squeezed lemon juice – 1/2 a cup
Sugar to taste (approximately 1 1/2 to 2 cups)
3 Tbsp. of pectin mixed with the sugar
1/2 cup calcium solution
One large pot
Two large bowls
One metal potato masher with the little squares
Approximately 7 – 12 clean glass canning jars depending on size,) rings, and lids (used ones are fine since we’re not expecting to can them) or other freezer-proof containers.
You will need to blanch the peaches. For this, you will boil water in a large pot and drop the peaches gently into it once the water is steaming (I did three to four at a time.) After about two minutes you will remove your peaches from the boiling water and place them in an ice bath to cool and stop the heating process. (Ok, so there is some cooking involved! It just doesn’t mean you’re going to boil the heck out of the jam itself!!! You’re going to preserve that fresh fruit flavor!)
Once the peaches are cooled you will peel them. Start by pinching the skin and then gently peeling it back. Child #1 and I had quite the good time skinning the peaches and making them into slimy, large orange globes!
Next, slice the peaches into a large bowl. When all the peaches are sliced, add 1/2 a cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 a cup of Pomona’s calcium mixture, and 1 1/2 to 2 cups of sugar, depending on taste, mixed with 3 Tbsp. pectin. Make sure to mix the pectin with the sugar when you pour it in, or you will end up with lumps and it won’t set correctly. If there’s anything worse than lumpy gravy, it’s lumpy jam!!!!
Use your old-fashioned potato masher to mash the peaches into a mash with a few large chunks left.
Finally, bottle your jam into freezer-proof containers with at least an inch left for expansion, remembering to mark them with the type of freezer jam and the date. Freeze to remember a warm day in the middle of summer in the middle of winter!!!