Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pepper, Peach & Rosemary Jam

I should probably apologize in advance for being a rule breaker.
When I see a recipe, I blatantly blaze my own path with their inspiration.
I mean really, if 1/2 tsp of pepper is good, isn't 1-2 tsp of pepper better?
I think it is...
Peaches, Pepper, Rosemary? Oh yeah, count me in...

I was inspired by another blog post on a site I like called Punk Domestics. I met this guy in at a Meyer Cookware event in San Francisco, and he was a wealth of information of all things "preserving"... but let's just say that "punk" wasn't the first thing I thought about him.  The dude was smart, and I check his site often, but punk didn't make the cut with me. I'm not yet into making my own charcuterie, but maybe someday...  
I couldn't tell if this recipe was a fellow blogger*** recipe, or his own, but the site gave credit to Martha Stewart.  Of course, I changed the recipe... because I felt like it... and because I can! Martha won't mind.

I'm loving the idea of serving this jam to my writer "foodie" friends on Thursday with some goat cheese and crackers.  Geez, I'd better get going on homemade crackers... I can't use Triscuits with these ladies. 
Well, I could... but maybe it's me that doesn't want Triscuits with this.

This recipe only makes 5 - 1 cup portions... I might double it next time! I canned two pints (2 cups each) and put the rest in a fridge jar.

***P.S. On further research, I see that this is another blogger named Karen... awesome job Karen!
***P.S.S. I gave my husband the cracker I photographed while he was talking on the phone to his buddy, he said "wow" while he was eating it.  Nice, huh? He doesn't even like jam...
***P.S.S.S... it's 6am and I'm getting ready to post this recipe, and I just ate some of this jam on plain greek yogurt.  I sure hope the rest of my day is just as marvelous.

makes 5 half-pints
3 pounds peaches, yellow or white, (do what you like!)
1/3 cup lemon juice (I used 1 1/2 lemons, juiced)
2 tsp. lemon zest
3 cups sugar
4 large sprigs rosemary
1-2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

Peel and pit the peaches. (Very ripe peaches are very easy to peel with a knife.  If your peaches do not peel easily, they are probably not ripe enough.  If you must make the jam without allowing them to ripen further, you can boil them for one minute, then plunge into cold water to loosen the skin.)

Slice the peaches into 1/2 inch slices/chunks.  Place peaches in a large pot, add lemon juice, sugar, rosemary, and pepper.  Cover and let stand for 4 hours in the same pot that you intend to cook the jam in.  Stir every hour to incorporate the sugar.
(I didn't do this, I let them all sit together about 30 minutes... I am so impatient.)

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cook for 15 minutes, until mixture is syrupy.  Lightly mash the mixture to break down peach slices, leave about 1/3 of wedges intact. 

Discard rosemary sprigs, discard the big pieces but let a couple of green pieces in for color and interest.

Ladle jam into hot sterile jars.  Leave a 1/2 inch head-space. Top with a new lid and band. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes for half-pint jars.  "Google" Home Canning Basics for more information about the canning process if you've never done it.

This makes an awesome appetizer with a glass of wine and a little goat cheese on a cracker!

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