Small Batch Peach Jam
Originally published August 26, 2020. Updated on 6/24/2021
Sometimes, I am in the mood for jam. Not often, mind you, as I don’t regularly eat bread anymore... but sometimes.
Last year, it was as we were picking cherries in a local orchard. The craving hit, we got home, and I banged out a single jar of beautiful cherry jam with calamansi juice. Ooooh, it was good!
The thing is, the timing of “I’m craving jam” doesn’t always coincide with “I have the spoons to dedicate to a full day of canning”.
Luckily, small batch jams are a thing. In this case, I came up with a Small Batch Peach Jam.
Oh, it hit the spot... and only took about an hour to make! This made one jam jar worth of jam, which should last 3 weeks in the fridge - the perfect size for us. And really... more fruits are coming in season - pears and apples - so only having a small amount frees us up to add MORE “small amounts” of different jams, as we go!
Anyway, let’s talk about making this Small Batch Peach Jam, specifically:
Before we get going with the recipe, I’d like to discuss the (very few) ingredients:
Use fresh freestone peaches, as ripe as you can get them. You want them ripe enough that they’re a royal pain to use a vegetable peeler on.
If they’re REALLY ripe, sometimes you can just pick the skins off, with no preparation.
Otherwise, you can blanch them.
Blanching Peaches for Peeling
- Cut a small “X” in the peach skin, for each peach you’re looking to blanch.
- Carefully drop them in a pot of boiling water for 15 seconds, or until you can see the skin peeling back from the cut marks.
- Remove from the boiling water, dump them in a big bowl of ice and water for 30 seconds.
- Use your fingers to peel the skin off the peaches.
To be honest, I usually just use the vegetable peeler and curse while I make a mess. Your mileage may vary 🙂
Either way, I really do recommend removing the skins for this jam, as leaving the skins on gives it a weird texture and doesn’t look as nice.
Use plain white granulated sugar for this - other varieties of sugar will overpower the peach flavour, IMHO. Also, I don’t like the way it looks when you use brown sugar - just not as appetizing.
I like honey with peaches, and I like the flavour that a little bit of honey brings to this jam. It’s subtle, but nice. If you don’t want to use honey, just replace it with the same amount of sugar.
LOL just kidding. I made this recipe for the times when I just want a bit of jam, and don’t want the hassle of making jam. Making jam can be a big ordeal, to be honest, and I wanted this nice and simple.
Some fruit has a lot of pectin, so you can just rely on the pectin and added acid to react with the sugar and gel up normally.
Peaches don’t have a ton of pectin, however, so this is less about it gelling up like a jam, and more about cooking it down to a thick syrup-solid.
It’s almost like making a caramel, but you’re not actually caramelizing/ browning the sugars. A bit different from normal jam making, but it does produce actual jam... without fussing with trying to measure out a small amount of pectin from a container meant to be used all at once.
The lemon juice is necessary for flavour and texture.
While I specifically designed this recipe to NOT need canning ... if you want to do a bigger batch, you’ll want to actually can the jam.
Here’s what you’ll want to do, to take this from a refrigerator jam, to a properly canned jam:
1. Buy new jar lids - just the flat pieces. You shouldn’t reuse those for actual canning, but you CAN reuse jars and the rings.
2. Actually sterilize / sanitize your jam jars, lids, rings, funnel, and ladle. You can do this with heat - in a dishwasher - or you can use a chemical sanitizer, like Star-San . This is something you should have on hand if you’re into brewing Homemade wine.
3. Once you’ve got everything sanitized / sterilized, wash your hands well, and be careful not to touch anything in areas that will touch the food - the underside of the jar lids, the inside or rims of the jars, etc.
4. As you’re making the jam, get a large pot of water boiling. It should be wide enough to accommodate all the jam jars you’re going to use, and have enough water in it to cover the jars by about 1" when they’re in there.
FYI: This recipe makes 1 jar. If you triple the recipe, you’d need 3 jars... on paper. As each batch may have slightly more - depending on how big your peaches are - I recommend adding an extra jar. 4 jars for a triple batch, 5 for a quadruple batch, etc.
You may not end up using that extra one, but it’s a lot easier - and less annoying - to prepare that extra jar/lid/etc in the batch, than to find yourself short one, when you need it!
4. After you’ve made the jam - and it’s still boiling hot - carefully use your sanitized items to ladle the hot jam into the sterilized jars.
5. Use a wet paper towel to wipe any jam off the lip of the jars. You might want to make a second pass, to be sure. This is important for the seal, and for food safety.
6. Immediately affix the lids, tighten the rings, and carefully put them in the pot of boiling water. Allow them to boil for 10 minutes. (Add 5 minutes for altitudes above 1,000 feet; add 10 minutes for altitudes over 6,000 feet.)
7. Carefully use a jar lifter to remove your jars from the water. (Note: I like this set for canning. Everything you need, in one cheap package!)
8. Allow to cool overnight. I like to carefully remove the rings - without disturbing the lids - to allow it to dry out between the jar/ring. This prevents rusting.
9. The next day, check all lids for a proper seal: they should have sucked down into a vacuum seal as the jars cooled.
10. Store properly sealed jars for later use; refrigerate any that did not seal for use in the coming weeks.
Looking for More Peach Recipes?
I’ve got you covered! Here are few favourites, or type “peach” into the search field on my site to find even more!
Balsamic Peach Bruschetta
Blackberry Peach Popsicles
Boozy Raspberry-Peach Bread Pudding
Fresh Peach Daiquiri Recipe
Fresh Peach Salsa
Fuzzy Peach Candy Cocktail
Grilled Halloumi Salad
Grilled Peaches with Lime Honey
Homemade Peach Wine Recipe
One Pan Balsamic Chicken with Peaches
Peach Cobbler Muffins
Peachy Southern Comfort Cheesecake
Rosemary Peach Balsamic Scones
Small Batch Mango Peach Jam
Southern Comfort Peaches N Cream Popsicles
Southern Comfort Peach Pie
Spicy Southern Comfort Glazed Chicken with Grilled Peaches
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Small Batch Peach Jam
- 3 large Fresh peaches
- ¾ cup Granulated sugar
- ¼ cup Honey
- 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
- Peel and pit the peaches, chop into small pieces.
- Add peaches, sugar, honey, and lemon juice to a medium pot, bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently.
- Once mixture is boiling, turn heat down to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
- As the peaches soften, mash them a bit with a potato masher. I like a bit of texture - not pureed, and not TOO chunky.
- At the 30 minute mark, start testing for thickness. Run a spoon through the mixture - if it leaves a visible “wake” for a second or two, it’s thick enough. Don’t overcook it!
- Once your jam is thick enough - it can take 45 minutes or more, heads up - remove from the heat.
- Use a clean funnel, and ladle the hot jam into a clean jam jar.
- Use a wet paper towel to wipe the top edge of the jar, and affix a clean jam lid and ring.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to the fridge.
- Use within 3 weeks