The other week I was chatting with a friend and told her I was heading up to Princeton to buy peaches off the back of a truck before going to the fancy grocery store for the glass bottled milk. She commented that my life was very strange at times, which is true. The peaches were super hard rocks and needed to sit out for a few days before I could do anything with them. Today I pulled out all my canning stuff and started making Peach Hot Sauce, and different types of Jams. In an attempt to cook more at once I tossed a bunch of peaches in my instant pot to see what happened. InstantPot Peach Jam happened today.
What I love about this InstantPot Peach Jam is that the flavor is so peachy and not overly sweet. So many times I’ve bought peach jam that was so sweet it felt like I was eating raw sugar, this is not the case.
General Notes about Peaches and Canning Peaches:
Peaches are stone fruit. Which means they have a large, hard pit on the inside that needs to be removed in order to can. If your peaches are slightly soft but still firm, you can slice the peach as you would an avocado, twist off the fruit, and pop out the pit. When the fruit is softer, its easier to just keep slicing off chunks of peach to get to the pit.
An easy way to peel peaches is to slice them in half and blanch them. Blanching peaches involves carefully dropping peaches into hot boiling water for about a minute then dropping them into ice water. The hot water cooks the skin and the ice water shocks it loose. Peach skin is thin so you can use a peeler, but if you’re facing down 25 pounds of peaches, then you will want to handle them as easily as possible.
The Peach below, was PERFECT in every way when I pulled it out of the box. The skin felt amazing and it was firm but gave just a little. When I cut into it the pit was fuzzy and molding. This peach went straight into the trash. (And then I removed it to take a picture). Do not cook with peaches that are going bad.
Peach jams need bottled lemon juice to bring the acidity below 4.8. The USDA suggests adding bottled lemon juice to peaches because they are low acid foods. They technically are only talking about Yellow Peaches. There are no approved recipes for white peaches because the acid levels are so low and adding lemon juice does not bring it to safe levels. I am only going to use yellow peaches for recipes because they’re safer.
Notes about this recipe:
I used the Instant Pot because I felt like I needed more space in my kitchen and it was an easy way to cook down the peaches. This can done perfectly on the stove or in a crock pot.
You can add additional flavors into the crockpot to change this recipe. Peaches LOVE Bourbon and Vanilla. Try batches of with these flavors. For Vanilla, I suggest either squeezing out the seeds of 2 vanilla beans while heating the peaches or adding 2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste to this recipe after you take it off the heat. For Bourbon, I suggest 1/2 cup WHILE on heat, this cooks out the alcohol and leaves the flavor.
I have been playing around with different jars lately. The Jars I used are called Hex-Jars with Lug Lids. These Lids have a dimple that sucks down with suction just like the two ring mason jars lids. I am testing out different jars at this moment for bigger plans. If you are unfamiliar with canning, please stick to the standard mason jar lids and check out my Introduction to Canning tutorial. Processing Hex-Jars is a similar process to water bath canning but the lids require a little bit more care to get a full close.
Instant Pot Peach Jam
- Instant Pot
- Water Bath Canning Supplies
- Mason Jars
- 5 Pounds Peaches
- 2 oz Bottled Lemon Juice
- 2.5 Cups Sugar
- 2.5 TBS Pectin
- 2 Vanilla Beans Optional
- 1/2 Cup Bourbon Optional
- Peel and Core peaches and put them in the bowl of Instant Pot, add lemon juice.
- Set Instant Pot on Pressure/Manual for 15 minutes. Set up a water bath canner with jars to heat up on the back burner to warm up.
- Changes setting to saute and add sugar and pectin. If adding bourbon, mix it in here. Then mix in Sugar and Peaches together and cook down the peaches until they start getting Jammy.
- Remove from heat. If adding Vanilla Paste, add here and mix. Ladle into prepared jars. Once jars are sealed, put in hot water, and process for 10 minutes- Add additional time for higher altitudes. Start timer when water is boiling.
- Remove jars from water bath and place on a towel or cooling wrack.
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