Every week I have been looking for peaches at a reasonable price, so when price hit $1.88 a pound it’s time to make Peach Riesling Jam. Purchasing 3 pounds of nectarines, a bag of sugar and bottle of Riesling Wine, ready to make some jam. Luckily I have some pectin and new canning lids left from last years production. Many of my gifts of jam to friends kindly gave me back my jars. Scraping last bit of jam out of every jar, and washed them clean hoping for some more.
This is the best jam recipe, it only takes a few ingredients, but does take some invested preparation time. This simple recipe makes about 2 to 3 jars, the smallest batch to make. Note don’t try to make more then 10 to 12 jars at a time. For some reason it starts to fail, when doubling recipe using two boxes of pectin for very large batch of jam. I buy bulk pectin, so my rule is never make larger then twelve jam jars, with a jar capacity of 8 ounces.
It’s important to blanch the peaches to remove skins, then plunging them into ice water bath, this is called shocking the peaches, to cool them down quickly. Next is to remove the skins and the pits. Followed by slicing the peaches and smashing them with a masher. This gets best results for a thick jam. I have tried using a food processor, or a blender resulting in a more chunky jam. Hand mashing, the old school way works the best, it’s more effort but produces the best jam.
Be sure to measure all smashed peaches accurately, and measure sugar correctly, if your ratio is off you end up with peach syrup, which is great on ice cream but too runny for English Muffins or Toast.
Mistakes that I learned the hard way, with many of failed batchs of Peach Riesling Jam, so what went wrong? Many batches of jam was done in too much of a hurry, added the wrong ingredients at wrong time, and rushing between each addition. So it’s important to remember first cook the smashed peaches, pectin and Riesling Wine in heavy duty pot. My favorite is a Staub cast iron 5 1/2 quart pot, that has a special black enamel exterior glaze, that’s non reactive. This cooks quickly and evenly with lots of head room to boil the jam mixture. Also stirring the jam mixture often helps prevent the jam from sticking to bottom of the pot.
Equally important is after the peach mixture cooks for 2 to 3 minutes is to add the sugar and stir constantly. The Peach Riesling Jam needs to come back to boil, this takes a little time, but when it comes to a boil it needs to cook for 1 minute. Now it’s time to remove the jam from the heat. Then skim off any of the foam that comes to top of the jam. I save this foam and place in a ramekin, To go on my toast the next day.
The most important task is preparing the jam jars, lids and rings. First wash them with good hot soapy water or use the dishwasher in high heat, sanitize cycle. Next a have big pot of boiling water ready, I use a 12 quart stock pot. Place the jars, lids and rings in the boiling water for 10 minutes. This sterilizes all canning containers, lids and rings. This is extremely important for long time storage of jam, that is shelf stable.
Filling each of the jam jars just full enough, leaving three quarters of a inch head room to create a good seal. Be sure after filling each jar to use clean paper towel soaked in vinegar water (1 cup water & 2 tbsp vinegar) This cleans any spills of jam on the rim of each jar. Be sure place a sanitized new lid on each filled jam jar and place ring and tighten ring down snugly. Place each of the filled jam jars sealed in a hot water bath, make sure that the jars are completely covered with water. Boil filled jars of jam for 10 minutes. Remove each jar with a canning jar lifter and place them on a wire rack to cool. If everything is done properly in few minute you should hear click, that’s the lid sealing tight. Now there is a air tight seal, allow jam to cool completely. Be sure to label and date each jar.
Enjoy the best tasting Peach Riesling Jam, everyone will be asking you for a jar. If you are willing to give up this tasty jam.