I went a little bit canning crazy this weekend (and I realize that “lots of canning” by my little house standards is very different from a real gardener or homesteader’s “lots of canning”). This is all new territory for me – I’ve made jams and pickles and spreads before, but never attempted preserving them. I was intimidated by the idea, because I thought it would be one of those messy, time-intensive chores that’s not worth it in the end (I’ve never
said that before). Of course I was wrong; actually canning everything I made this weekend only added a little extra time and now I don’t have to worry about finding space for everything I made in the fridge, or eating it before it spoils.Peaches have been on sale for a very good price at our local grocery store, and I bought a bunch last week, just planning to eat them. Jeth had to work this weekend which meant I had some extra time alone at the house – and time alone usually means cooking (or watching reruns or Project Runway, but this time I chose the high road). Those peaches didn’t stand a chance.This recipe for habanero spiced peach jam is super simple and quick. It’s sweet and tangy with a warm heat that sneaks up right
at the end. We like it on crackers with cream cheese, but it’s also delicious eaten straight off a spoon. This recipe is made with low/no sugar needed pectin, because I can’t figure out why anyone would want to cover the flavor of fruit with an equal amount of sugar, to save my life. Maybe I’m crazy, though. This recipe calls for such a small amount of sugar that you could leave it out completely if you want.Peach Habanero Jam
– Makes two 8-oz jars
2 cups peeled, finely chopped ripe peaches (3-4 peaches)
2/3 C. cool water or unsweetened juice
Half of a finely chopped de-seeded habanero, or to taste (with half a habanero, it isn’t wickedly spicy, just very warm).
1/8 t. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 T. Ball low/no sugar needed pectin (this is half of a 1.75 ounce package, I believe, but I bought mine in bulk)
2 T. sugar
Mash the diced peaches with a potato masher until they release some juice and are a little pulpy. Add the cool water/juice, chopped habanero, and cinnamon. Slowly stir in the pectin and heat the mixture over medium-high heat to a boil. Mix in the sugar and return the mixture to a hard boil for one minute. Remove from the heat, pour into warm sterilized jars, and process in a hot water bath for at least 5 minutes (or more if you are at a high altitude). Since it’s just me and Jeth, this batch is small, but the proportions should work for a larger batch. The recommendation is not to make more than 10 8-ounce cans of jam per batch (per the Ball website), or you run into issues with the pectin setting.