Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ginger & White Peach Jam

It's white peach season! White peaches are divine — such a summertime treat. The flesh is pale, extra sweet and juicy, and just more peachy than normal peaches. My mom and I used to stalk Theiss Farm every summer for when these elusive little fruits made their seasonal appearance, and we were never disappointed. Sliced up fresh with some whipped cream, tumbled over ice cream, or enjoyed whole on the pit — doesn't matter. They're incredible.

Ginger and peaches just seemed like it would be a great combination. I bought way too many white peaches at Soulard Market a few days ago and thought I could make the extras into peach jam — of course with a twist.

Better act fast, though — white peach season is pretty short (I can usually only find them the month of June).

{Printable Recipe}
1 lb white peaches (about 4 large peaches)
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger + 1 tsp-sized knob whole ginger
2 tbsp vanilla sugar (or 2 tbsp sugar + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Zest of 1 orange

Important: The peaches have to be ripe. I kept mine in a paper bag for a day or two to ripen them.

First we have to peel the peaches. The easiest way to do this is to make a small X on the bottom of the peach with a paring knife. Just cut lightly so you don't gash the flesh of the peach — we just want to lightly score the skin.

Blanch the peaches for 1 minute in simmering water. Only 1 minute. You don't want to cook the peach, only just loosen the skin.

Drain the peaches and let them cool slightly. Peel off the skin. Using your hands, just squish the flesh off the peach pit into a small ceramic pot. 

I made vanilla sugar a few weeks ago when I made olive oil cake. This stores in the pantry forever, and adds a nice kick to pretty much any dessert.

Add the sugar, ginger, lemon juice and orange zest into the peach mash.

Let the peach mash bubble away at medium-low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn't burn. The natural pectin in the peaches will thicken the jam slightly, but not so much that it's gelatinous (I don't really love that about store-bought jams).

Serve with ice cream, cake, biscuits, fruit, crackers, whatever your heart desires.


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