Monday, September 05, 2011

Peach Pie Preserves

Labor Day always serves as that unofficial end to summer. (And here in Dallas, it was heralded by a much-needed cold front. It's possible to sit outside without spontaneously combusting.)

Supposedly we're supposed to stop wearing white.

And drinking gin and tonic's. (So much for that one...rules are meant to be broken, right?)

But, relistically, it means that sooner rather than later I won't be able to go to the farmers market for my weekly fix of locally farm-grown tomatoes, peaches, okra and cucunbers. And THAT means I will spend the next couple of week's continuing ot coapture that bounty by canning, pickling, and making preserves.

In honor, I'll post some of my favorite recipes for the next week. And will kick it off with one of the best. I gussied up these peach preserves with a few pie spices and, remembering a recipe my mother used to make, added a little aged rum.

Peach Pie Preserves
Makes about six-8 ounce jars (but I always double recipes like this...if you're making the mess, might as well end up with more for your efforts.)

(Note: This recipes presumes you know how to prepare your jars and process things safely. If not, you can teach yourself easily with a variety of online sources. I also have a thoroughly thumbed-through and slightly dirty copy of Ball's Complete Book of Home Preserving that serves as my Bible on these kinds of things. Get yourself a copy. This recipe is adapted from one in the book.)

4 cups chopped pitted peeled peaches
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 cup aged rum
1 package regular powdered fruit pectin
5 cups granulated sugar

In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, comine peaches, lemon juice, cinammon, nutmeg and rum. Whisk in pectin until dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam. (Save that foam in the fridge and use's perfectly delicious on toast etc...just not quite as pretty.)

Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim and center lid on jar. Screw band down to finger-tip tight.

Process in a hot water canner for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid, wait five minutes and then remove jars. Cool and store.

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