Ripe, fresh peaches are such a wonderful gift of summer—and homemade peach jam is one of the very best ways to savor that wonderful peach flavor all year long!
Canning peach jam is incredibly easy—it’s a perfect recipe for a beginning canner! You can be done, start to finish, with a batch of peach jam in less than an hour, and the resulting jam is just perfect slathered on toast, drizzled on top of ice cream, or—ahem—eaten by the spoonful! Let’s get canning.
How do you choose the best peaches for peach jam?
The best peaches for canning are the best peaches for eating! Grab yourself fresh, in-season peaches that are ripe, tender, juicy, and sweet. Those peaches will make for the most flavorful jam. Just make sure to grab only yellow peaches. White-fleshed peaches are too low in acid to can safely in a waterbath canner.
Frozen peaches also work great for jam! When summertime gets a bit too busy to can jam, I freeze fruit and instead can my jams when life slows down (and the kitchen isn’t so hot) during the fall and winter.
How do you make peach jam?
Peach jam is a very simple preserve to make—we promise you can do it! Here are the steps:
- Peel, pit, and roughly chop peaches.
- Add peaches to a heavy-bottom pan (we like a cast-iron enameled Dutch oven). Mash the peaches in a pan with a potato masher.
- Stir in pectin, lemon juice, and, in this recipe, bourbon and finely minced crystallized ginger! The bourbon and ginger add an interesting flavor profile that is delicious.
- Bring mixture to a full, rolling boil that can’t be stirred down.
- Add in granulated sugar, stirring to combine. Boil hard for 1 minute, then remove from heat. Skim off any foam.
- Voila, you made jam! Now follow our instructions in the recipe below to safely preserve the jam for shelf-stable storage.
Can I make peach jam with low- or no-sugar? Or with sweeteners like honey or maple syrup?
When canning, it’s important to follow a well-tested recipe for food safety reasons—our recipe below comes directly from the makers of Ball® home canning products, so you can trust it’ll be safe for you and your family.
If you are interested in making lower sugar peach jam, we recommend you check out these well-tested recipes: Peach Low Sugar Jam (which has a honey option) or Peach No Sugar Jam—both are recipes that you can feel confident in canning.
Can you make peach jam without a canner?
Don’t let not having a specific boiling water bath canner pot stop you from canning! Any large stock pot works for canning just as long as a canning rack or trivet can fit in the bottom, the pot has a lid, and the pot is deep enough that jars can be covered by at least an inch of water.
Do you have to peel peaches before making peach jam?
You don’t have to from a food safety standpoint—it’s perfectly safe to make peach jam with the peels still on—but we highly recommend you take them off. The texture of peach peels can change dramatically during the canning process and can leave you with unpleasant chunks of tough or slimy peel in your jam.
What’s the best way to peel peaches?
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice. Using a sharp knife, cut an “X” into the bottom of each peach.
- Plunge the ripe peaches into the boiling water for 20-30 seconds.
- Remove with slotted spoon, and immediately plunge into the bowl of ice water to stop cooking.
- The peel should already start to slip off of the chilled peaches, but just use your fingers to remove it the rest of the way.
If the peels aren’t slipping off your peaches easily, it can either be because you didn’t blanch them quite long enough or your peaches aren’t ripe enough.
What are the best jars for canning peach jam?
We’re all about the jelly jars when it comes to canning jams! These 8 ounce jars are the perfect size for jam—either eating it yourself or gifting to friends and family. In these photos, we’re using Ball® Smooth Sided 8 Ounce Regular Mouth Jars.
Okay, now I have a bunch of fresh peach jam! What should I do with it?
A pantry full of jams and jellies is a wonderful toolkit for fun meals, treats, and dishes! Here’s some of our favorite ways to use jam:
- Obviously on toast, bagels, English muffins, biscuits, and other bakery goodies—you can’t miss with this classic use!
- Inside Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies—these holiday classics are delicious all year ’round!
- Warmed and poured over ice cream—you haven’t lived until you’ve had warm peach jam drizzled over perfectly cool and creamy vanilla ice cream on a hot summer day!
- As condiments on a cheese board—A quick way to elevate a cheese tray? Adorable pots of homemade jam!