I had an entirely different post planned for today (it was AWESOME…but now you’re going to have to come back tomorrow to find out what it was! lol)…but I completely forgot that my friend Bonnie was going up north to buy peaches this weekend and dropped them off this morning. So I found myself with 1/2 a bushel of BEAUTIFUL fresh-picked peaches in a box on my kitchen counter! Nothing to do but make JAM!
I have made Peach NO-COOK Freezer Jam the last couple of years that we enjoy all winter long! I have made the cooked kind a few times in the past but personally, I like the freezer better (it has a much fresher look and taste to it that I like) AND it’s SO MUCH easier to make! No cooking required. Don’t get me wrong…making jam is still a fairly involved (and somewhat exhausting) proposition…especially when you’re making a lot of it! But I have a trick that makes the hardest part (all that PEELING!) as easy as peach PIE! :-)
I first learned about this trick while helping my Mom can tomatoes from her garden. It wasn’t until last year (and after laboriously peeling dozens and dozens of peaches the “hard” way) that I realized the same technique could be used for peaches!
I call it POT SHOCKING! (The technical term is “blanching”….but that’s not as fun!) :-)
First throw the peaches in a big pot of BOILING WATER….count to THIRTY…then remove and immediately dump into a big bowl of ICE WATER. How’s THAT for shocking?! Peaches don’t know what hit them because after about 3 minutes in the ice water their skin practically FALLS off all by itself. NO exaggeration! It’s actually kind of fun….because it’s soooooooooooooo easy. Within a few minutes you have a beautiful bowl of perfectly peeled peaches.
The rest of the process is pretty straight-forward. The most important thing to remember is to FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS on the particular brand of pectin you are using. This year I actually tried a new product…a LIQUID pectin from Sure Jell. And it may be too soon to tell, but I think this MAY be my Best Batch Ever! I’m pretty happy about how the whole thing turned out.
Problem….I still have a LOT of peaches left! lol. I think I’m going to have a POT SHOCKING party tomorrow, peel and slice the rest of the peaches and freeze them for future smoothies or what not. I’ve been looking into the best way to do that…and so far I’m thinking this is the best method. Do you know of a better one? I’d love to hear about it!