Recipe first, chit chat later.
Riesling Peach Jam
3 1/2 cups prepared peaches (peeled and finely chopped)
1/2 cup Riesling wine
1/2 a squeezed orange
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 box Sure-Jell pectin (regular)
5 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon butter (to reduce foaming, optional)
If you've never canned before, you'll need to do a little research before you start. Here's an article, but there are lots of resources online. The key to any canning is having everything prepped and ready to go before you start. For those of you who are canning old hats, here's what I did.
1. Peel, pit, and finely chop peaches. I used the food processor. Measure 3/12 cups in a large measuring bowl, add 1/2 cup Riesling wine, and the juice from 1/2 squeezed orange. Stir together and make sure you have 4 cups total of the fruit/wine/juice mixture. Discard any mixture over the 4 cup mark.
2. Transfer to a 6-8 qt saucepot. Stir in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of butter, and pectin. Stir well. On high heat and stirring constantly, bring to a full roiling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when it's stirred).
3. Stir in sugar and return to full roiling boil. Stir constantly. Boil exactly 1 minute. Remove from heat.
4. Ladle immediately into prepared jars, fill to 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads, and cover with 2 piece lids. Screw bands to fingertip tight. Transfer jars to a canner, making sure jars are covered by 1-2 inches of water. Make sure the water comes to a gentle boil and then process the jars for 10 minutes. Remove the jars and place them on a towel to cool, undisturbed for 24 hours. (You may hear popping sounds as the jars seal.) After the jars cool, press the centers to check the seals. If the center flexes, that jar hasn't sealed and you should put it in the fridge to eat immediately.
5. Tighten any loose bands, label your jars, and give to friends and family! (Or not. If you want to eat them all yourself, I'm not judging.)
So I've been wanting to make a strawberry balsamic jam forever, and I finally got the balsamic I wanted to make it with. But the same week I was set to make the strawberry jam, a friend of mine had a butt load of peaches all come down at once (one of the tree branches broke), so she showed up with a huge box of peaches. Honestly, I didn't know what I was going to do with them all. Sure, I could make regular old peach jam, but I was already experimenting with the strawberries... why not try something different for the peaches, too?
I googled around but most of the recipes I found were either restaurant jams, i.e. small batch, non-canned varieties that were meant to be eaten immediately, or the recipes just didn't thrill me. Like sometimes jam recipes get too fancy, you know? Recipes meant for cocktails or roasted meats. I wanted a dose of booze and a little something-something, but I still wanted to put the jam on a sandwich.
I decided to make my own blend, but I used the standard Sure-Jell peach jam recipe as my basis. (Props to Sure-Jell!)
Honestly, I was all excited about my strawberry balsamic and didn't have much expectations for the peach. Turned out that was a wrong move. The strawberry balsamic came out... good, but it's really just a rich strawberry. It almost tastes a little commercial. Like maybe older commercial jams used vinegar as their acid instead of lemon?
However, the Riesling Peach jam turned out fantastic! It's definitely going to be a keeper. So good and unexpected! The hint of cinnamon, especially, seems to enhance the Riesling with the peach. I always give out jam for Christmas but I'm probably going to make a second batch. I think this one is going to be in demand. Enjoy!