Monday, October 22, 2012


I know that it's nearing the end of October, but I live in California. One day last week it was almost 90 degrees. But this weekend, fall weather began creeping in. And this morning, as a chilly rain came down, I put on a scarf and a pair of boots and BOOM. Fall. Which I love. I love scarfs and boots and crisp apples and bright red leaves and Thanksgiving. Really, I do. But oh, summer. In my heart I love you best and I'm always, always sad to let you go.
This peach jam is one last taste of summer. I had about eight ripe peaches rolling around in the bottom bin of my refrigerator when I came home from the grocery store, weighted down with the seasonal apples and pears. And I thought I must do something with them; I couldn't throw them out and they were just too soft, just the type of softness where you cannot bring yourself to eat them. Jam, I thought. I didn't have enough to make it worth it to do honest canning, but I had just enough to make a quick jam. Thirty minutes late, lovely peach jam, a tiny bit of summer in two mason jars.

Delicious enough to eat straight up with a spoon.

Quick Peach Jam

Adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook
via Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean

eight large, ripe peaches
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
pinch sea salt

Cut the peaches into chunks, discard the pits and remove the skins. (You can leave the skin on for a more textured jam or if you're lazy, like me.)
In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, combine the peaches, lemon juice, vanilla, and sugar and stir. Once the mixture is warmed through and the juices start to release, add the salt and turn the heat up to medium-high. Continue to cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the fruit breaks down and resembles a puree, about 15 minutes. Taste for sweetness and add more sugar, if necessary. When the jam reads 190F to 200F on a candy thermometer, remove the jam from the heat and transfer to a bowl to stop the cooking process. Stir to release the steam and allow it to cool completely. Transfer to jars. Can be kept refrigerated for up to two weeks.

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