Updated: Nov 7, 2021
Full disclosure - I've never made peach jam. Necessity being the mother of invention - I had to figure out how to do it. Even though we had a nice peach harvest (despite all of the frost at the end of May), we had some fruit that didn't make the cut to sell to our awesome customers. It was still fantastic fruit (despite being misshapen or having a few bird pecks and such) - and had to be saved! So those peaches came back to my kitchen and into the jam pot. After a trying several different recipes and creating some batches that I was not happy with - I called all of the master jam makers around here for tips (THANK YOU!!! You know who you are ♡). I found the jam recipe that worked for me - and "tastes dang good" according to Farmer Darrell (high praise!).
It's just the recipe from the Sure-Jell box (they should know how to make the best jam, right?). This recipe calls for 4 cups of Creek Bed Country Farmacy Peaches which is equal to a half peck (5 lbs).
I took the peaches and cut a criss-cross with a pairing knife on the bottom. Then I threw them into a pot of boiling water for a minute - followed up by an ice bath. This makes it very easy to peel the skin from the peach and pit them.
After dicing up 4 cups, I put the peaches in the pot with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (from the bottle - I guess the acidity level is more reliable than fresh?), the package of Sure-Jell Pectin (the powdered kind) and a 1/2 tsp. of butter (to reduce foam). Bring this to a rolling boil (one that doesn't stop bubbling when you mix it).
Once boiling add 5 1/2 cups of sugar.
Mix it up well and bring it up to another rolling boil. Boil it for EXACTLY one minute and then spoon it into your sanitized jars a 1/4" from the top. I prefer the half-pint size Ball jars and lids because they just seem to set up the best for me. I can get 7 to 8 half-pint jars out of one batch.
(Do not attempt to double this recipe - it won't turn out...you've been told.)
Put the lids and rings on and turn "finger tight". Not too tight, you want to see air bubbles coming out when you put the jars in the water. You can tighten them fully later.
I can using the water bath method and like the water just above the lids. I process the jars for 10 minutes. Put a towel on your table and set the processed jars on it. Now wait for all of your lids to POP! This tells you they're sealing correctly. Your jam will set up fully in a couple of days. Just leave them be until then. After that, ENJOY! 🍑🍑🍑