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30 August 2009 @ 09:44 pm
Still no cooking icon...  
You'd really think I'd have one by now. 

Oh, well.

So, I stopped by the local Farmer's Market yesterday, and came away with about two dozen Veteran peaches (a yellow variety common here in Oregon.)

Why two dozen?  Well, you see.  They tasted so amazing - they felt firm on the outside, but when you bit into one they were so sweet and juicy, you'd have to eat them standing over the sink.  I overbought because I fell in love, and had this nebulous idea about eating some, and maybe making jam from the rest.  And I wasn't entirely sure how many I'd need for jam.

Four, as it turns out.

Yes, that's right, four, out of the two dozen peaches I bought.  Of course, that's for a small batch of jam - three 8 oz. jars.  So far, I've made two batches of jam and one 13x9 inch pan of cobbler, and I still have seven peaches left.  Oh, yes, and I've eaten one.  As good as they taste, I'm about peached out.  I do believe I'll make one more batch of jam, and then eat the other three, and be done.  But that's a task for tomorrow.  I've spent most of my day in the kitchen, and frankly I'm exhausted. 

But, I have found a ridiculously simple and fantastic tasting recipe for peach jam.  It's from a cookbook called 'The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving".  Well, it's a slight variation on the recipe.

Simple Peach Jam

3 C chopped fresh peaches (in my case, 4 peaches.)
2 T lemon juice (I used 1 T of lime)
2 C sugar

Nope, you don't even have to skin the peaches!  Just pit them and chop them into chunks, like so:

Then put this mixture in a reasonably sized pot on the stove, so you don't have to worry about anything boiling over.  The recipe says to heat it in the microwave, but I don't think the microwave lets enough moisture steam off to thicken it properly.  Use the stove, bring to boil, then simmer until it reaches the thickness you desire, stirring frequently.  I used a slotted spoon, and waiting until it was the thickness of a really thick syrup. 

It isn't quite there yet in this picture.  Still some more simmering to go!  Then, once it reaches the approximate thickness I want, I take a standard potato masher and spend about a minute mashing the mix to break up the remaining chunks of peaches.  Cause I like fruits bits in my jam, but I want them small enough to be spreadable. 

Then you add the last ingredient the recipe calls for:
2 T of either thawed frozen orange juice concentrate, or orange liquor.  Weird, huh?  Well, we're not a juice concentrate house, but we had orange liquor in the cupboard!  Not sure what that says about us, but there it is.  I added the liquor, stirred and let cook another minute or so, just cause.  

Then I put the mix in an 8 cup measuring cup, and poured it into individual jars, which I then placed lids on and did the usual canning thing to seal them.  They all took, so now I have jam!

Things I liked about this recipe: 

Not a lot of prep - I didn't have to blanch and peel the dang things.  Just chop and throw in a pot.

No added pectin, and about half the sugar of the recipe on the pectin insert still kicking around my recipe drawer - that one took 4 peaches, too, but wanted 4 1/4 C of sugar! 

Easy, easy, easy. Very easy recipe, in case you hadn't realized yet.  Also, the small batch size is convenient if you don't want to be eating peach jam for the next year.  If you do, however...well, it's easy to make more! (As I did.)

And of course, the most important bit - this is some mighty fine tasting jam!  I may have eaten a few spoonfuls today.  *clears throat*  Yes, just the jam.  On a spoon.  No pretense of bread.

And one last pic, I snapped one of the finished cobbler.  It's my Dad-in-law's favorite thing ever, so most of this is actually going home with him tonight:

My Mom has the best cobbler recipe ever!  It's the one she uses at the restaurant, where she's a pastry chef.  But I think she brought the recipe with her to the job.  (Marionberry cobbler is a regular feature on their menu.  Growing up, it was blackberry cobbler.  I still remember Dad and I sneaking bowls with vanilla ice cream one particular evening, when I was in high school. :)  In any case, it's the recipe I use no matter what fruit I'm using.  The only added feature because of the peaches, was a sprinkling of cinnamon on top.  Perhaps I'll post the cobbler recipe sometime as well, when I'm not totally exhausted from actually cooking it - and cleaning up after my mess.



Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Stephstephdub on August 31st, 2009 05:02 am (UTC)
SO hungry now. Everything looks awesome, especially the cobbler! YUM!
rhienellethrhienelleth on August 31st, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It was quite yummy. :) Although the jam is still my favorite.
SLAP BET COMMISSIONER: movies // clueless // chergoddesspharo on August 31st, 2009 10:25 am (UTC)
That jam looks delicious!
rhienellethrhienelleth on August 31st, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC)
I had some on toast this morning for breakfast - it was, indeed. :)
Patron Saint of Pessimismwoodrunner on August 31st, 2009 12:04 pm (UTC)

We didn't get good peaches up our way this year. Or, if we did, I missed the batch that was sweet and juicy and...


rhienellethrhienelleth on August 31st, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC)
I was just lucky to stumble across these. I'm normally more of e nectarine person, but they were giving out samples, and...well, that was it!
indie: slow foodindiefic on August 31st, 2009 01:12 pm (UTC)
I'll definitely try out the jam recipe ... if I can find any peaches worth the work :( I'd love the cobbler recipe.
rhienellethrhienelleth on August 31st, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)
Sure! I'll see about writing it up tonight.

Note on the jam - I mistakenly wrote '4 cups peaches' for some reason, when it's actually 3 (now corrected), and this is fairly important as the recipe says something like "make sure and stick to the amounts listed!"
soundingsea: personal - canningsoundingsea on August 31st, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
Yum; that jam recipe sounds awesome! And I have peaches! But no orange liquor; maybe cognac will do.
(Anonymous) on September 1st, 2009 12:55 am (UTC)
From Paula:
I really need the cobbler recipe because; a) I love cobbler and b) I have a shit-ton (new measurement) of asian pears which I need to make into things. So far I am going to dry most because asian pears dried are WONDERFUL. I am also going to make pear liqueur because I can.