Thursday, August 2, 2018

Peach Jam and Unusual Uses for Amaretto

It wasn't long ago that I was talking about my huge collection of mason jars and how much I missed canning.
I kind of did something about that.

It started with that Raspberry Peach Jam, followed soon after with a huge batch of Cherry Jam as soon as the price of cherries completed its summer price plummet.

Then we started traveling.  My husband volunteered me to bring a lot of the food on our trips (talk about some crazy packed coolers...) and I decided that the best way to transport things like Barbecue Sauce (for the massive amounts of meat my husband smoked, vacuum sealed, and froze to bring with us) and salsa (you know...for eating...) was to can it and save the cooler space.

I also made this.
Spiked Peach Jam with Ginger.

Spiked jam, you ask?
Yes, spiked jam.
I mean, this isn't spiked like the punch at a high school dance or anything- there's not that much liquor in the finished product.  Just enough to lend some flavor.  That being said, the amaretto isn't added until the end so no, it will not cook off.  Maybe don't put it on your toddler's PB&J.  :-)

I'm pretty sure you could eat this whole batch without catching anything more than a sugar rush.

Now, I just mentioned in my last post about Spinach, Nectarine, and Halloumi Salad that I've been entranced by the beautiful peaches and nectarines we've had lately.  When I saw this recipe that would give me the opportunity to flex my canning muscles, use those gorgeous stone fruit specimens, and use that bottle of amaretto for something other than Amaretto Cheesecake and the occasional nostalgic beverage I knew immediately that it had to be made.

I can't believe how delicious this jam is, honestly.  After letting the peaches sit overnight in the fridge with the sugar, lemon juice, and ginger I honest-to-goodness swooned when I took the cover off of the container and got a whiff of that peachy goodness.
The finished product?
Simply sublime.

So, my husband came home from work the night I made this and I giddily told him he simply must try some of this jam I'd made.

When I told him it had amaretto in it the man's face puckered in disgust.  But he tried it anyway,
And then he swooned.

"It tastes just. like. cobbler.  This is cobbler on a spoon!" - My Husband

I made a triple batch of this goodness, so I'm glad it turned out so well!  I've been gifting jams, jellies, and sauces to family across the country this summer- but I've definitely made sure to keep enough in the pantry to get our family through till all of that beautiful fruit makes another appearance in the produce section next summer.

This jam is delicious on toast.  It's amazing on peanut butter.  I can only imagine it would be fabulous warmed on vanilla ice cream.  I'm just going to go ahead and call this recipe a keeper.

4 1/2 C finely chopped, peeled peaches
4 Tbsp lemon juice
3 C white sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 (1.75 oz) package light pectin (such as Sure-Jell®)
1/2 C amaretto liqueur (or to taste)

1. Place peaches in a glass or plastic container with a lid and immediately mix with lemon juice to prevent browning. Stir in sugar and ginger. Cover and marinate in a cool place, 8 hours to overnight.

2. Inspect 5 half-pint jars for cracks and rings for rust, discarding any defective ones. Immerse in simmering water until jam is ready. Wash new, unused lids and rings in warm soapy water.
3. Transfer peaches and all accumulated liquid to a large pot. Stir in pectin and slowly bring mixture to a full rolling boil that does not stop bubbling when stirred. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
4. Remove from heat and stir in amaretto liqueur, adding more to taste.
5. Ladle peach jam into the prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run a clean knife or thin spatula around the insides of the jars to remove any air bubbles. Wipe rims with a moist paper towel to remove any spills. Top with lids and tightly screw on rings.
6. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil and lower jars 2 inches apart into the boiling water using a holder. Pour in more boiling water to cover jars by at least 1 inch. Bring to a rolling boil, cover, and process for 10 minutes.
7. Remove the jars from the stockpot and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart. Let rest for 24 hours without moving. Gently press the center of each lid with a finger to ensure the lid does not move up or down. Remove the rings for storage and store

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