Sweet and Spicy
Peach Jalapeño Jam
I’m still trying to figure out this whole self-employed freelance writer gig. Working from home has its advantages, like being able to come to work every day in pajama bottoms or workout clothes (my feet have thanked me immensely for the fact that I haven’t worn heels in about three weeks).
But working from home has its disadvantages; like that there are distractions everywhere. Not just the normal distractions like checking my news feed on Facebook or getting sucked into Pinterest. I’m talking about dirty dishes in the sink, folded laundry that needs to be put away. . . or the fact that my cat is sitting behind me right now meowing for some attention.
God has been good. Writing assignments have been coming in. Not only from publications I already wrote for, but a couple of completely new outlets popped up. I have been busy. So busy in fact, that I have had very little time to devote to this blog. So here I sit with a cup of coffee, up before the sun – and the son. The Husband has left for work and the house is quiet. It’s nice.
While much of our garden has succumbed to the heat of early August, our jalapeno plants just keep producing . . . and producing . . . and producing. I have pickled more Mason jars of jalapeños than we will probably be able to eat in a year. There is a Ziploc bag stuffed full in the freezer. I have made pepper jelly. I was looking for something new.
The idea for this jam hit me at the farmer’s market. This time of year, the market always has two tables lined with baskets of peaches sitting right by the entrance and the sweet smell hits you as soon as you get out of your car. I love that smell. I bought more than we could eat, knowing that several were going to be earmarked for jam.
I wanted a sweet jam with a surprise at the end. Spicy enough that you know there are peppers in there, but not so numbingly spicy that sweat begins to form on your brow and upper lip after the first bite. I used three peppers and it gave it a nice kick. However, if you want numbingly spicy, throw a couple more jalapenos into the mix. I love pairing this with cream cheese on a bagel or English muffin. But I also can’t wait to try this on pork tenderloin.
I hear the springs in Little Tot’s mattress started to squeak. Which means he’s ready to take on the world and my time here is up.
Peach Jalapeno Jam
- 4 cups peeled, sliced peaches
- 3-6 jalapeño peppers, seeded
- ¼ cup bottled lemon juice
- ⅔ cup water
- 4 tablespoons powdered low or no-sugar needed pectin
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 3-4 cleaned and sanitized pint mason jars, or 7-8 half pint jars, with lids and bands
- Place peach slices and peppers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until peaches reach your desired consistency (depends on if you like big chunks or little chunks of peaches in your jam).
- Combine mixture with lemon juice, water, and pectin in a large medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a hard rolling boil.
- Stir in sugar. Return to a boil and continue to boil for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until jam reaches desired consistency. (I like to spoon a little out into a cold glass bowl to see if it is thick enough).
- Remove pan from heat. Skim foam if desired.
- Ladle hot jam into hot jars leaving ¼ inch headspace*.
- Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean, damp rag. Center the lid on jar. Carefully screw on the band until fit is fingertip tight.
- Process jars using the water bath method for 10 minutes. Remove jars and allow to cool. Once the jars cool, the vacuum seal will form and you will hear the lids “ping” once the seal is complete. Check the lids after 24 hours to make sure the lids do not flex up and down when the center is pressed. Store any jars that do no seal in the refrigerator.