Excerpted from Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin by Allison Carroll Duffy (Fair Winds Press, June 2013)Allison says: “Cherries and peaches are so naturally sweet that they’re especially suitable for an all-fruit jam. For the sweetest, most delicious jam, select peaches and cherries that are at peak ripeness, and be sure to choose a sweet cherry variety—Bing cherries are a good option. This jam is so intensely fruity that you’ll be hard-pressed not to eat it by the spoonful right out of the jar. It’s also delicious swirled into a bowl of yogurt.”
Customize It! If you’re looking for something new, why not substitute some different fruits? In place of or in combination with the cherry and peach in this recipe, use pear, apricot, mango, fig, or sweet plum—or use a combination of any of these fruits.
Servings 4 cups
- 1 pound fully ripe peaches
- 1 pound sweet cherries
- ¼ cup lemon juice bottled
- 4 teaspoons calcium water see step #1
- 1 cup unsweetened apple juice concentrate
- 3 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin mixed with concentrate (see step #6)
- Before you begin, prepare calcium water.To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well.Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.
- Wash your jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring canner to a rolling boil, and boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize them. (Add 1 extra minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.) Reduce heat and allow jars to remain in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan, heat to a low simmer, and hold until ready to use.
- Peel and remove pits from peaches, and then mash the peaches in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Rinse cherries, remove stems, slice in half and remove pits, and then chop the cherries—by hand with a chef’s knife or with a food processor.
- Combine the mashed peaches and the chopped cherries and mix well. Measure 3 cups of the fruit mixture (saving any extra for another use), and combine the measured quantity in a saucepan with lemon juice and calcium water. Mix well.
- In a separate pan, bring apple juice concentrate to a boil. Pour hot juice concentrate into a blender or food processor, and then add pectin powder. Vent the lid and blend for 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides with a rubber spatula as needed, until powder is thoroughly dissolved. Set aside.
- Bring cherry-peach mixture to a full boil over high heat, and then slowly add the pectin–juice concentrate mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir jam for 1 minute as the jam comes back up to a boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.
- Can Your Jam: Remove jars from canner and ladle jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, put on lids and screw bands, and tighten to fingertip tight. Lower filled jars into canner, ensuring jars are not touching each other and are covered with at least 1 to 2 inches of water. Place lid on canner, return to a rolling boil, and process for 10 minutes. (Add 1 extra minute of processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level). Turn off heat and allow canner to sit untouched for 5 minutes, then remove jars and allow to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Confirm that jars have sealed, then store properly.