Summer is the season of tending to the garden during the cool, early morning, long afternoons on the beach, warm evenings on the front porch. Summer is also most definitely the time to start preserving the harvest, whether from our own backyard or from the farm we discovered on our weekend drive.
- 2 1/2 pounds fresh peaches (approximately 5 large peaches)
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 6 tablespoons Ball Classic Pectin
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from approximately 3 limes)
- (2) 4-inch rosemary sprigs
- 5 cups granulated sugar
- Peel the peaches with a vegetable peeler. Remove the pits, and coarsely chop the flesh. Mash with a potato masher until evenly crushed. Measure 4 cups crushed peaches into a 6-quart stainless steel or enameled Dutch oven.
- Stir in the lime zest, pectin, lime juice, and rosemary sprigs.
- Over high heat, bring the peach mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. You'll be stirring constantly, so you'll know when you can't keep the boil down by stirring. Once the peach mixture can't be stirred down while boiling, boil for 1 minute.
- Add the sugar, stirring well to dissolve. Return the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, remove and discard the rosemary. Skim any foam on the top of the jam if necessary.
- Ladle the hot jam into a hot jar, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles. Wipe the jar rim clean, then center the lid on the jar. Apply the band, and adjust until it is secure, but not tightly sealed. Place the jar in boiling-water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
- Process the jars for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude if necessary. Turn off heat, remove lid, and let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove the jars and cool.
To aid in removal of the rosemary at the end of the cooking time, you can bundle the sprigs in cheesecloth and tie with butcher's twine.