Golden Habanero Peach Jam, Oh My!

Peach goodness in a jar . . . .

Peach goodness in a jar . . . .

We bought two cases of peaches from a truck that delivers to the local fire hall once a year, and have been enjoying the juiciest, most delicious Colorado peaches imaginable.  I have now used one case of “seconds” for peach jam and worked on a couple of recipes to arrive at a new combination.  My first batch from a recipe I found online is wonderful, however with the addition of brown sugar, cinnamon and allspice, the jam is a dark amber color, closer to apple butter than peaches.  I wanted to capture the beautiful golden color of the peaches and decided I needed to chop the fruit finer to have lots of little peach bits suspended in the jam.

I used a potato masher on the first batch, and had to flip the jars for 24 hours to keep the larger bits of peach from rising to the top, leaving only juice jam in the lower half of the jar. This second batch was chopped much finer in my food processor and I revised the recipe with different spices and all-white sugar to arrive at the golden peach color I was seeking. I am pleased with the small peach bits suspended throughout the jar of jam.

I reduce the sugar in jam recipes by 30-40% and have found the flavor is more “fruity” and less sugary, which is the way we like it.  The addition of habanero peppers gives the jam a subtle flavor that warms the tongue with pleasant heat.  Braise 1-inch pork chops on grill, place in glass baking dish and pour 1 cup peach jam over chops.  Bake in 325 degree oven for 30 minutes – yum!

Golden Habanero Peach Jam

7 lbs. peaches peeled, chopped fine (about 8 cups)

3/4 cup bottled lemon juice

9 cups white sugar

5 habanero peppers stemmed, seeded, minced fine

1 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp ground cardamom

2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp tumeric

2 Tbs. vanilla

11 Tbs. low sugar/no sugar pectin powder

Put chopped peaches, lemon juice, sugar, peppers and spices in large non-reactive pot. Bring to rolling boil, spooning off foam.  Add pectin, stir vigorously and bring back to boil. Remove from heat, add vanilla and stir.  Spoon into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space, wipe rims and place lids. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath, remove and cool on a towel for 12 hours.  Enjoy!

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