Add a little sweet heat to your breakfast with a dollop or peach jalapeño jam on your morning toast or bagel.
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This time of year, the market always has two tables set up lined with baskets of. 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 love pairing peach jalapeño jam with cream cheese on a bagel or English muffin. But I also can’t wait to try this as a glaze on pork tenderloin.
Puree the Peaches and Peppers
We need four cups of peeled sliced peaches for this recipe. You can use frozen peaches, just make sure you let them thaw first. Canned peaches will also work, but look for peaches canned in water instead of syrup so you’re not adding a lot of additional sugar. Canned peaches will also need to be drained. If using fresh peaches, approximately eight small to medium peaches should net you the needed amount.
We also need to remove the seeds and the rib from three jalapeno peppers. This is where a lot of the heat lies in the pepper. Plus, no one wants seeds in their jam. Even though we are only dealing with a small amount, I still recommend using gloves when working with hot peppers. The oil will get on your fingers and can linger, even after you think you’ve thoroughly washed your hands. You don’t want to touch your eye, nose or, God forbid, something else on your body – with jalapeno on your fingers.
I found the three jalapeno peppers was just enough to give your mouth a warm sensation, but not enough to knock your socks off. I will admit I am a wimp when it comes to spicy food. If you want a little more heat, feel free to add a few more jalapenos to the jam.
Place peach slices and peppers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the puree reaches your desired consistency (depends on if you like big chunks or little chunks of peaches in your jam).
Make Peach Jalapeño Jam
Transfer the mixture to a large metal (not aluminum) saucepan. Add ¼ cup of bottled lemon juice, ⅔ cup of water and four tablespoons of powdered low or no-sugar pectin. Stir, then bring the mixture to a hard rolling boil over medium heat.
Why you need lemon juice: I get asked this all the time. First, you need to add some acid to the jam to prevent the formation of botulism, which is the bacteria that causes food poisoning. Second, it needs to be lemon juice from a bottle. The acidity from fresh lemons juice varies from fruit to fruit. Bottled lemon juice is the only way to ensure your are getting a consistent level of acid.
What is a hard rolling boil? This is a stage where the jam is boiling vigorously. You know you’ve reached that stage when you can stir the pan and the boiling does not stop. I’ve included a quick video below to demonstrate.
Once the pan comes to a boil, stir in four cups of white granulated sugar. Return the jam to a boil and continue to boil for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until jam reaches desired consistency. Remove the pan from heat. Skim off any foam from the surface.
The Spoon Test
I can be difficult to gauge the consistency of your jam while it’s still hot. It will be a bit runny, but will continue to thicken as it cools. Instead of playing a waiting game, I stick a metal spoon in the freezer for abut 10-15 minutes. Take the spoon out of the freezer, drip a few drops of warm jam on the spoon. The chill from the spoon quickly cools the jam. If the jam on the spoon is thicken enough to your liking, you’re good to go. If not, return the pan to the heat and boil for a few more minutes. Repeat until your jam reaches your desired consistency.
What if my Jam didn’t set?
First, give the jam at least 24 hours. After that, it should be set. If not, return the jam to a clean saucepan and stir in a little more pectin, no more than a tablespoon at a time. Bring the jam back to a boil. Allow the jam to boil for 2-3 minutes, then repeat the spoon test.
If the jam still hasn’t set after another 24 hours, check to make sure your pectin was not expired. It begins to lose it’s ability to gel the longer it sits on a shelf. Also, this recipe was tested using powdered pectin, not liquid. It does make a difference and can affect the consistency.
Second, did you use the amount of sugar called for in the recipe? I know four cups sounds like a lot, but the sugar does more than just sweeten the jam. It also contributes to the gelling process. If you cut back on the sugar, it will definitely impact the consistency
While the peach jalapeño jam is still hot, ladle it into clean jars leaving ¼-inch headspace. Headspace is the distance between the surface of the jam and the rim of the jar. Most canning kits have a handy little tool to help you measure. If you’re not canning the jam, it will need to be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within three months.
Jam that has been canned using the water bath canning method will last one year when stored in a cool, dry place. Check out my tutorial on water bath canning if you would like to know more. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp rag. Center a lid on each jar. Carefully screw on a band until the fit is fingertip tight.
Process jars in hot water for 10 minutes. Remove the jars and allow then 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 not seal in the refrigerator.
More Jam recipes you might like
Peach Jalapeño Jam
- 4 cups peeled sliced peaches
- 3 jalapeño peppers seeds and ribs, more if more heat is desired
- ¼ cup bottled lemon juice
- ⅔ cup water
- 4 tablespoons powdered low or no-sugar needed pectin
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 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). Transfer the puree to a large saucepan.
- Combine puree with lemon juice, water, and pectin. Bring mixture to a hard rolling boil over medium to medium-high heat.
- Stir in the sugar. Return to a boil and continue to boil for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until jam reaches desired consistency.
- Remove the pan from heat. Skim off any foam from the surface 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.