Peach Jam

I don’t know why, but starting about a month ago, I became obsessed with the idea of making jam. I don’t know where it came from – maybe seeing all the beautiful fruit at the farmers’ market? Or the beautiful display of canning products at the Broadway Panhandler?

Whatever it was, I finally decided to make jam last week! Having no prior experience making jam, I decided to order a jam kit online as well as a large stock pot, given that our largest pot isn’t even big enough to make a serving of pasta.

After venturing to the farmers’ market to buy perhaps some of the last peaches of the seasons, I started the jam-making process. It was actually a lot easier than I anticipated, it just takes a solid chunk of time where you really have to pay attention. At first, I was awfully confused with the whole boiling water bath for the jars, but I realized that with the help of the special rack that came with my pot, it was all actually quite easy.  I jumped around from recipe to recipe and had a hard time deciding between using pectin or just sugar. I finally decided on no-sugar pectin because it was the only kind they had at the supermarket and added about 2 cups of sugar. It didn’t come out quite how I wanted it – it was bit more of a fruit compote than jam – but it was still yummy and I’ve been having it on my toast most mornings.

I am 100% certain that this was just my first adventure in my new obession with jamming.

PEACH JAM

(Adapted from the pectin box and PickyourOwn)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 10 – 12 fresh peaches
  • 2 tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 box no-sugar added pectin
  • 1-4 cups sugar, depending on how sweet you want it

DIRECTIONS

1) Crush 1 cup chopped peaches in the bottom of a large saucepan. Add remaining peaches, and set pan over medium-low heat. Bring to a low boil, and cook for about 20 minutes or until peaches become liquid.

2) Add sugar, and bring to a boil once again over medium heat. Gradually stir in dry pectin, and boil for 1 minute.

3) Remove from heat after 1 minute, and transfer to sterilized jars. Process in hot water bath canner for 10 minutes. Let cool, and place on shelf.

Here is a great tutorial (towards the bottom) on processing jam in a hot water bath with a nifty little video that helped me a bunch!

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Peach Crisp

Today was my first day of school! I can’t believe summer is already over, although given the weather today, it still feels like the middle of June. The week leading up to school, I had kind of lost interest in going back to school, but last night and this morning I was very giddy with the prospect of seeing my friends again and remembering how to do homework 😉

Last night, we decided to have our old roommates over for a back to school dinner. It was so much fun to see them all again. I hadn’t seen any of them since we moved out in May. It was so different being in our apartment rather than being in the dorm all together. It seemed like just yesterday we were all living in the same apartment, yet now we are all spread across Manhattan – we’re in the East Village, some in Union Square, the Upper East Side and even Gramercy Park. I’m hoping that we continue to have dinner parties thoughout the year as we always have such delicious food.

I decided to make peach crisp, because I knew it’s the end of peach season and I knew it was quick to make since I didn’t have much time, having arrived back from Washington D.C. an hour before dinnertime. I called up my dad to give me the recipe, as he is a Master Crisp Maker, although I added a few spices on my own and an egg following my roommate’s recommendation. We were out of all-purpose flour, so I had to use bread flour. I don’t think it really made a huge difference, although the crisp a day later seemed a little more gelatinous than usual – possibly because of the bread flour? I’m not really sure. I got some vanilla ice cream to accompany it and  we ate it right out of the oven. This is such an easy recipe that could be adapted to most any fruits that are in season.

PEACH  CRISP

(Adapted from my dad)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 pounds fresh peaches
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of ground ginger
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar (powdered sugar or granulated white sugar would work as well)
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1 egg

DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

2) In a large mixing bowl, toss sliced peaches with the first 5 ingredients to coat. Pour over a 9 X 13 baking dish.

3) In a medium size mixing bowl, mix together remaining ingredients, using a dough blender, two forks, or even your hands to make a crumble dough. Add more oats or flour if the dough is still too wet.

4) Cover the peach mixture with the flour and oats mixture. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is golden and crispy.

5) Best enjoyed right out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream 🙂