Hubby visited a friend last night, who has recently moved to a lovely barn conversion with a walled fruit and veg garden many of us dream of. He returned with a carrier bag full of peaches.
Now I have to be honest at this point. I hate peach. I even find the smell of them pretty off putting. Let alone the floral scented taste. Hubby ate one instantly, declared it lovely but admitted he couldn’t eat them all. I unpacked the rest of the bag and finding most to be over ripe decided jam was needed and quickly.
This morning found me frantically searching the internet for a recipe that didn’t involve canning. It’s a skill I don’t have, would like to learn, but not today!
I found a honey apricot recipe that looked fairly simple so I started with that. Boil together honey, water and sugar. Add sliced fruit. Boil a bit longer. Put into jars. After lots of chopping and peeling I only had enough for one jar so I gave it a go but wouldn’t recommend it just yet.
I was however then left with a big pile of pieces that looked jam perfect.
I also found quite a good Peach and raspberry conserve recipe in this book. I didn’t have the pectin or jam sugar it insisted I need but I do have raspberries. In my garden!
I rushed out to pick some but not before measuring the fruit and adding an equal quantity of granulated sugar. The recipe said less sugar and to leave over night but I only needed a guide so I decided to ignore that!
2lb each of peach and sugar. I left it while Miss C made some flapjack and we had some lunch. Gave it a good stir and added 1/2 lb raspberries, which was all that were ready in the garden. I then heated it gently until the sugar dissolved while Miss C wandered in and out commenting on how good it smelt and I tried not to sniff at all.
It dissolved fairly quickly and I soon got it boiling but it did take a good 20 minutes, and quite a lot of scum, to get to the point I felt it was ready.
I put in a knob of butter to disperse the scrum and, having heated my jars in the oven, started to jar it up. I must admit at this point that I don’t have a jam funnel but this one, that came with the dishwasher to fill the salt dispenser, works a treat! I hate having two utensils in the cupboard when one will make do. I’m tight like that!
The book suggests conserve only keeps for 6 months but as I made it in a jam style I don’t think I have to worry about that.
If I’m honest I put the left overs in a small bowl in the fridge to try later. Later has arrived and even I can see a certain appeal to it. I think keeping it for any amount of time could be the real problem.
It’s very summery tasting. I might even enter a jar in next month’s village show, which is high praise indeed from someone who hates peaches!