I blame it on my Grandma ha ha! She brought a jar of strawberry jalapeño jam to my Brother-in-laws birthday party & I was hooked!! That jalapeño heat gets me every time. I came home & knew that I had to make some pepper jelly, but my strawberry plants haven’t produced enough for a batch of jam yet. That’s when it happened! As I was wandering around in my kitchen rummaging up a snack, my eyes locked on the last few peaches that were part of a entire box that my father brought me. AAAHHAA! Peachy Pepper Jam!!!
I LOVE peaches! I just recently told my husband that all that I wanted was to have enough peaches to eat them till I was absolutely sick of them!! Like magic, my father answered my prayers with a giant box of sinfully ripe peaches! These lil’ babies were bursting with flavor & soooooooo juicy that you literally had to hover over the sink while eating them. I ate enough to kill a horse, peeled & froze some for pies & whatnot, but I still had about 9 ladies sitting on the counter in their twilight hours. Absolutely perfect for some Peachy Pepper Jam!! I’ll let you in on a little secret though, I found out that it’s impossible to get sick of eating peaches;)
I made my jam while my husband was a work & when he got home, he nearly fell over when he tasted it. He immediately broke out the cream cheese & crackers & consumed half the jar!! Just imagine this Peachy Pepper Jam on a roasted pork loin? Or smothered on brie before being baked with puff pastry? Oh the possibilities make me hungry!!! I took a jar out camping to share with friends & they were instantly fans & wanting the recipe! Pile it on a piece of toast for a snack or smother some on your bbq chicken! This is a crowd pleaser & an incredibly addictive concoction!
This recipe is very easy to make. I encourage you to seal & can your finished product so that you can keep them in the pantry for future use. This way you can drag out a jar whenever you are craving it or need a quick impressive appetizer for guests.
•3 lbs (about 7-8) very ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
(you should have about 8 cups of fruit)
•1 TBSP dried red pepper flakes
•1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
•5 cups sugar
•1 lime freshly squeezed
•½ tsp. Freshly grated ginger
•3 TBSP (half a 1.75oz packet) powdered pectin
•3 jalapeño peppers
Quick Note: If you plan on canning your jam, bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare your canning jars. This makes it nice & easy to quickly seal your jars after preparing the jam;)
1.) My peaches were so ripe that the peel came right off! Lucky me, as that usually isn’t the case lol! Otherwise, to peel a peach, blanch quickly in boiling water (about 20-30 seconds), then immediately place in a bowl of cold water. This ensures that the skins slide off easily using just your hands. Once peeled, remove the pits and slice them into a large pot for the stove (do not use cast iron or aluminum, as the acidity of the jam can react with the metal).
2.) Add red pepper flakes, apple cider vinegar, sugar, lime juice, grated ginger & pectin to the pot of peaches. Mix until fully combined and let sit (without the heat on) while you prepare your jalapeños.
3.) To prep your jalapeños, remove the stems, and cut the peppers in half lengthwise. If you want a spicy jam, leave all of the seeds and veins in the peppers. For a milder jam, remove some or all of the seeds and veins by scooping them out with a spoon.
Important Tip: WEAR GLOVES when working with peppers! The oils are extremely hot & do not wash off your hands easily. It may burn or sting your skin if you are sensitive.
4.) I use a food processor to finely chop my peppers so I have as little contact with those fierce little guys as possible.You can easily chop them by hand as well, it just takes a bit longer & may make your eyes tear up!
5.) Add the chopped peppers to the pot with the rest of the ingredients, and turn your stove onto high heat. While the mixture begins to cook, gently break up the peaches with a potato masher or fork. (If you want a smooth pureed jam, use an immersion blender BEFORE cooking on the stove) I like some chunks in my jam so I don’t mash to much;)
6.) Bring the jam mixture to a full boil, and let cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the bottom from scorching.
7.) To test your jam’s consistency, you can spoon a small amount onto a cooled saucer. This will give you an idea of how thick the jam will be once it’s cooled. If the jam sets up to your liking after cooling down on the saucer, it’s done. If it’s too thin, cook a few minutes longer and test again. While checking the consistency, take a moment to taste your jam. Keep in mind that the jam will taste notably spicier while it’s fresh than it will in 24 hours. If you’re worried that it is still going to be too spicy, or if it isn’t sweet enough, you can add an additional ½ cup of sugar and cook until sugar is completely dissolved. If you are a bit crazy & want more spice, you can easily add more red pepper flakes or seeds from another jalapeño (don’t worry, I’m crazy about spice too).
8.) Carefully ladle the hot jam into your clean jars leaving about ½ inch of room at the top of each jar (this is called head space). I use a jar funnel for this step & it makes for a clean pour without losing any of your delicious jam to the countertop! Next, wipe the rims with a damp towel to ensure a clean seal, and screw on the lids & bands.
9.) IF CANNING YOUR JAM: Return the jars to the boiling pot of water, lowering them in carefully with canning tongs. Making sure the water is deep enough to cover the jars completely. Cover the pot with a lid and let the jars process in the water bath for 6-8 minutes. Remove the jars and set them carefully onto a kitchen towel or cutting board. Let them sit at room temperature, undisturbed, until completely cool. I usually let them just chill on the counter for 24 hours. This way I can admire my work lol!
While cooling, your jars should make a “pop” or “ting” sound and the bump in the center of the lids should no longer flex when pushed down. This lets you know that your canning has been a success and your jars are properly sealed!! If any jars don’t seal completely, place them in the fridge and use within a couple months. Sealed jars can be kept in a cool dark place for up to a year.
Make sure to keep this recipe! You will want to make it over & over again & once your friends & family taste it, you will be making double batches next time;)