Peach Preserves & Jam Making Tips

Making jam can be such a fun way to preserve all those amazing flavourful summer fruits. Our family loves to make a trip out to the local farms and either pick or purchase flats of delicious organically grown berries and stone fruits. Peaches are one of my favourite stone fruits grown close by in the Okanagan, BC. They’re just wonderful to preserve and are a great addition to a charcuterie board or your morning toast. When preparing to make jam, getting all your supplies organized and arranged in advance is the best way to set yourself up for success. 

Below we’re providing you with tips for successful jam making and a delicous Peach Jam recipe. It bursts with flavour, you’ll want to spread this jam on more than just your morning toast. If you’re looking for a fresh summer dessert, why not try our Raspberry Cornmeal Shortcakes; switching out the raspberries for fresh peaches and dollop of this Peach Jam. Screams summer!

Glass jars
New lids and bands
Jam making kit
Jar lifter
Jam funnel
Large pot
Water bath kit 

Tips For Successful Jam Making 

  1. 1. Undamaged fruit at its peak of freshness will work the best. 
  2. 2. Use granulated sugar for high pectin fruits such as citrus, cranberries, apples, grapes, and quince. 
  3. 3. Use preserving sugar for medium to lower pectin fruit like peaches, strawberries, blueberries, apricots, blueberries, and plums. 
  4. 4. Adding a squeeze of lemon juice helps to set jam well.
  5. 5. Ensure all of your equipment and jars are extremely clean. 
  6. 6. Smaller batches are easier to manage for novice jam makers. Larger batches take longer to  set, which could run the risk of too much fruit being broken down. 
  7. 7. Check jam’s consistency by placing a plate in the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove the plate from the freezer and place a small amount of cooked jam on the plate. Put it in the fridge for 5 minutes.
  8. 8. Remove and check if the jam is thick when you run your finger through it.
  9. 9. Skim the jam with a ladle when it has reached its setting point to remove any “scum” that rises to the surface.
  10. 10. Allow the jam to “set” or cool for 10 minutes before placing it into the clean sterilized jars. This helps prevent the fruit from rising to the top. 
  11. 11. Clean and sterilize jars in extremely hot and soapy water. Rinse well. 
  12. 12. As the jam cooks, boil the jars in a large pot for 5 minutes. Drain and remove them from the water. 13. Place on a baking sheet off to the side. Repeat with the lids, using the jar lifter tool from the jam making kit to pull out the lids and the wax-sealed toppers.

Photography: Kristy Ryan

Country Peach Preserves
Makes 6 Cups
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time: 30-45 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

You can skip the process of blanching peaches if you’d like as the recipe will turn out either way. Makes 6 cups

4 lbs peaches
3 ¾ cups (925 mL) preserving sugar
1 tablespoon (15 mL) lemon juice 

  1. 1. Peel and cut the peaches into 2 inches (5 cm) cubes. This should result in about 8 cups (2 L) worth. Put them in a large pot.
  2. 2. Mix in the sugar and let it stand for 30 to 45 minutes.

3. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add lemon juice and continue to boil for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring often to ensure it does not burn on the bottom. Boil until the jam starts to thicken, do the freezer “set “ test from the tips for successful jam making.

4. Skim any impurities from the top of the pot.

5. Using the funnel from the jam making kit, ladle the jam into the sterilized jars, leaving a ¼ inch (5 mm) space from the top.

6. Remove the lids from the boiling water, placing them directly on top of the jar and screwing the metal band until it’s secure but not as tightly as possible.

7. Process the jars in a water bath for 10 minutes. Remove them from the water and let cool. Ensure all the lid centers have popped down. Tighten the metal band.

8. Store in a cool dark place. Refrigerate after opening.

MH Tip: If any jars did not seal properly, store them in the fridge and use it up within two weeks. Add a little extra flourish by finishing the jars with the covers from