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Video:How to Make Peach Jam

with Richard Ruben

Peaches have a long growing season that will give you plenty of time to make jars and jars of delicious jam. See how to make the best peach jam you've ever eaten.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Make Peach Jam

Richard Ruben here. Chef instructor at The institute of Culinary Education, here in New York City, here with About.com.

Best Time to Preserve Peaches

You just ate the best peach ever. Save it. Let's put em up. Peaches are just one of those foods, though, if you're going to put up, really get them locally. That's going to start some time in July and all the way through September. There's a huge window of opportunity. Grab it.

Preserving Supplies

You need a basic starter kit. A good pair of utilitarian tongs. Another ;pair of tongs are jar tongs. They have this rubberized edge. So I can lift my jars out of the hot water. I highly recommend getting a wide mouth funnel. This is going to fit nicely in the jar. And of course, the jars. But, it's most important, once we sterilize everything you never touch the rim of the jar or the lid of the jar with your hands. These are your hands.

Sterilize Supplies

Everything needs to be sterilized. I sterilize everything by dropping everything in boiling water for about 6 minutes. The first thing I sterilize are my tongs. Because my tongs are going to be lifting everything out of the water. The other thing I sterilize, I take a baking tray and a rack. And I put these in a 450 degree oven for about ten minutes because everything that comes out of this sterilizing water sits on this rack.

Remove Skin of Peaches

So we're going to put up some peaches. So, the first thing I want to do is remove the skin on the Peaches. I'm going to take a pairing knife and just place an “X” on the bottom of the peach. I now take my peaches and I need to place them in boiling water fully submerged for anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds. This is going to allow me to subsequently peel the skin off.

So, I've been about 60 seconds on the peaches and I'm ready to take them out. You want to just carefully lift them out of the boiling water, and you can see they're just already ready to be peeled. Let it sit for a few minutes so it cools down.

Cut Up Peaches

So, I've gotten the skin off the peach and basically at this point, we're just going to cut around the pit of the peach. Kind of get all that meat. Now, for about every three pounds of peaches, you want to consider four cups of sugar in my preserving conversation.

Combine Peaches With Sugar

Our peaches are going to go into a sauce pan with the sugar. And we're going to let it simmer away. Now, we're going to thicken the peaches with some pectin today. Pectin is a naturally occurring thickening agent - found in blueberries and apples, so, if I ever make a blueberry jam I don't tend to use Pectin because the blueberries naturally setup.

But, we don't have to use pectin either. You can just cook it down a little more and let it naturally thicken. It will never be as jellied as when you use pectin. But it's perfectly ok.

Add Peaches to Jars

Always remember when you're canning to leave what they call head room. And that's the space between the bottom of the jar and where the jam finishes. I need about a half inch there. In order, so when I go put it in the boiling water, for its processing, the gas doesn't make it explode. Now, let's get the lid on.

Sit in Boiling Water for 10 Minutes

My new hands will lift up the lid and place it on the jar. Take the ring and seal it tight. Give it a nice twist and we're ready to put it in. Peaches will take about 10 minutes sitting in boiling water. Then we'll take it out, and we're going to listen to that ping of success. Basically, it's the vacuum being created sucking down the top.

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