As Autumn fast approaches in Ontario, I feel that I am trying to grasp at the last strings of summer. Still wearing flip flops in 7 degree weather, still running in shorts and eating ice cream every last chance I get, I think pretty much qualifies me in the "grasping at straws" department.
The leaves here are finally turning their brilliant colours of red, gold and fiery oranges. The pumpkins have arrived and we are officially into apple picking season (stay tuned).
So in my last homage to summer, I went to the market a few weeks ago and bought the last of the slightly sad looking peaches in an effort to salvage their blushing pink and orange skins and sweet juicy flesh, (sorry for the "harlequin" descriptive).
As in my last post, I had recently tried canning for the first time and it was a resounding success. So I thought I would have another crack at it with my remaining jars. Martha Stewart has this amazing "Peach Rosemary Jam" recipe that I had seen a few years ago posted on her website.
My younger sister makes this amazing jam, and when I visited her in Halifax, there was always a stash in the fridge to be eaten on her organic whole grain bread or yummy croissants from the market.
Now she has moved ALL the way across the pond, so now I am left with no more of her jam. :(
So this recipe is for you Jess, and rest assured when you come home at Christmas I will be filling your suitcase with Peach AND Pear jam so that when you go back to jolly old England, I can come THERE and once again eat jam out of your fridge.
3 pounds of peaches, skinned*, pitted and roughly chopped
1/3 c. lemon juice, fresh
2 c. sugar
2 c. vanilla sugar
3 - 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
Toss all the ingredients in a large bowl and leave for 4 hours, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved.
Pour mixture into a large pot and bring to a boil, cook for about 15 minutes until mixture thickens.
Puree with hand held mixer or use a potato masher and crush fruit lightly.
Skim any foam that has formed on the top of the mixture.
Fill jars and leave about 1/3 inch at the top. Process for 10 minutes.
Let rest for 24 hours and then test seal. If sealed properly then store in a cool dry place for up to 1 year. If seal does not take store in fridge and eat within 1 month.
Makes: 6 1/2 c. jars
*I find the easiest way to skin peaches is to cross hatch them at the bottom and throw them in whole into a pot of simmering water for about 1 - 2 minutes.
Remove into a bowl of ice water, optional, or just leave them to cool for a few minutes and then peel.