When you think of late summer, what comes to mind? Peaches! Peaches are plentiful right now. The best way to capture the flavor of summer is to make your own jam. Freezer jam is the easiest to make since it does not need to be processed in a water bath canner. It is kept in the freezer until you want it! Imagine some peach jam on your dinner rolls at the Thanksgiving table! (I usually have to hide a jar in the back of the freezer just for that!)
If you don’t have your own peach tree, grab some at the farmer’s market. There is no cooking required when making freezer jam, so you won’t have to heat up the kitchen!
This recipe is lower in sugar than most other jam recipes. Instead of pectin (which can be expensive!) this is made with “E-Z Gel” (formerly known as Ultra Gel Instant Thickener.) Without all the unnecessary sugar, the flavor of the peaches really comes through. It is shocking how much sugar other jam recipes call for. One recipe I read called for “4 cups crushed fruit and 7 1/2 cups of sugar!” Yikes!
This recipe came from the Ultra Gel package (BTW, this recipe can be used with any fruit you choose such as strawberries, raspberries, apricots, etc.)
4 c. finely chopped or crushed peaches (*remove peel and pit)
2 c. sugar (or equivalent)
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 c. Ultra Gel Instant Thickener
Combine crushed fruit with sugar and lemon juice. Gradually add Ultra Gel, stirring constantly. Let stand 5 minutes to thicken. Stir until smooth. Put in freezer safe containers. Label them with the date and use within 6 months.
* Peaches are easily peeled if you pop them into boiling water for 40 seconds, then remove and place in cool water. The skins will slip right off!