Peanut butter and jelly is one of the greats when it comes to American cuisine. Peanut butter and HOMEMADE JAM (PB&HJ) is one of the greats when it comes to food available in the Milky Way. I was an exceptionally spoiled child and my mother made my lunch for me every day until I graduated from high school (yes, it’s difficult being this unloved, thanks for asking). PB&HJ served as a staple in my brown paper bag, in addition to Goldfish pretzels and M&Ms (if you haven’t tried that combo as a snack, prepare to have your mind blown). I had friends that were obsessed with UnCrustables, but to me, there was nothing more gourmet than having fresh peach jam on my sandwich in the middle of January.
To this day, I refuse to buy store-bought jams and jellies. Making jam is something that people think is incredibly complicated, but it’s actually pretty simple and it tastes about 5000% better because you’re using fresh ingredients. The hardest part of the entire process is skinning and/or chopping your fruit. After that, it’s as easy as following specific instructions. I’ve made both strawberry and peach jams using the recipe and method from Sure-Jell that my mom has been using for ages.
My original plan for this post was to create a video so I could show you just how easy it is to make your own homemade peach jam. I got my tripod out, set up my light kit, laid out all of my ingredients, and then I tried to turn on my camera and…low battery. Turns out I left my Canon charger at home in Ohio. So, after a lot of whining, I packed up all of my equipment and got to work on the jam sans camera. Here’s what you’ll need to make homemade peach jam:
- 3 cups of chopped peaches (About 10-12 peaches)
- 4 1/2 cups of sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3/4 cup water
- One box of Sure-Jell pectin
Before you say anything, yes, that is a lot of sugar, and no, you can’t cut down the amount or substitute another type of sweetener. Well, you can, but your jam won’t set and then you’ll have peach syrup…which actually doesn’t sound like the worst idea for pancakes. If you’re looking for a more natural but just as delicious jam to make, I’ve got a no-sugar-added, pectin-free blueberry chia jam that will knock your socks off.
In addition to the bomb.com PB&J sandwiches you can make, this peach jam pairs well with these peach muffins (or bread), these peach scones, on a plain piece of toast or topped on a biscuit. The possibilities are endless, and you only need 30 minutes.
Pectin is the ingredient in jams that allows it to “set” and gives the jam its consistency. I’ve never used another product besides Sure-Jell, so I can’t recommend another type of pectin with certainty that it will work. Sure-Jell can be found in any regular grocery store, either in the baking aisle or in the canning aisle.
This homemade peach jam can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 year, so you can enjoy it long after warm summer nights are replaced by snow storms.
- 3 cups chopped peaches (About 12 peaches)
- 4 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (1 lemon)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 box Sure-Jell pectin (other pectin products not interchangeable with Sure-Jell for this recipe)
- Wash peaches, remove pit & skin, and chop into slices.
- Place peaches into food processor or blender. Pulse food processor in short bursts until peaches form a very chunky puree. Do NOT overblend into a full puree. Putting peaches into food processor helps cut down the time you spend chopping and dicing peaches.
- Measure exactly 3 cups of peaches from blender and pour into a large mixing bowl.
- Add exactly 4.5 cups of sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice to large mixing bowl and stir until peaches and sugar are well-combined. Let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In a small saucepan, pour 3/4 cups water. Add 1 box of Sure-Jell pectin and mix together (may be lumpy to start).
- Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Mixture will come to a boil quickly so have a stopwatch handy to time your minute.
- Remove pan from heat and pour pectin into fruit and sugar mixture.
- Stir mixture for 3 minutes. Sugar will begin to dissolve and mixture will not be grainy at end of 3 mixtures.
- Immediately pour into jam jars and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours to set. Recipe makes 6 cups of jam. Jam can be stored in the fridge for 3 weeks or can be frozen for up to 1 year.
- Have you made jam before?
- What’s your favorite flavor of jam?
- What was your go-to lunch in grade school or high school?
Let me know in the comments below!