Thursday, September 16, 2010
CanJam # 9 Local Peach Loco Jam
Every month it seems like the Canjam posting deadline comes faster! Maybe it's because I've been so busy canning everything else. I feel a bit like a squirrel this time of year- Winter is coming! Must save food!
September's pick for the CanJam was stone fruit which includes peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums and cherries. Colette and I did cherries in June, I've done plums and apricots in July and both peaches and nectarines in Aug - this crazy hot summer made everything ripen so early! But one of the most appealing things about the CanJam is that it's challenged us to work with new ingredients and recipes and we've both learned so much! So for Sept we decided that our goal was to try to create something entirely local. We didn't put a specific distance factor to it but homegrown was first choice where possible and locally farmed/grown was next.
We started with peaches- I wasn't able to pick any myself this year but at our local Farmer's Market I was able to get peaches from Two Century Farm who are near Grimsby, not far from where I spent last weekend. Two Century is so named because the land has been farmed by the same family since 1788! Beginning with John Smith who arrived from the US in 1787, right up to Duncan Smith the current owner, the Smith family has been farming that land for over 200 years. I wonder if they are related to Henry ( Smith) of Pelham and if they followed the black walnut trail as well?( see previous post).
We wanted a spicy jam so we used hot peppers that I grew on the roof- a mix of red and green jalapenos and one golden habanero. We charred the peppers over a flame to remove the skins and intensify the flavours; another time I'd love to try smoking them instead.
For sweetener we used the last of the maple syrup we made back in March using sap from Colette's maple tree see . And for pectin we used the apple pectin I made earlier this summer from green apples, thanks to Tigress for the directions! We made just a small batch as a tester and we're pretty pleased with the results!
Local Peach Loco Jam
7 cups peaches, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup of hot peppers, roasted and skins removed
1 1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup apple pectin
In a large sauce pan cook peach slices and hot peppers over med- low heat until soft. Use a potato masher or immersion blender to mash peaches until blended. Add maple syrup and cook mixture on low for 5 -10 minutes until well blended and starting to thicken. Turn heat to high and add lemon juice and pectin. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute. Pour in sterilized jars and process for 10 minutes in a hot water bath.
The jam is lovely and peachy with a nice afterburn. We omitted the lemon juice step ( no such thing as local lemons! ) so our jam didn't really set but it has a nice thick texture, with chunk of peaches so I actually like it better that way. And we can proudly say it's truly local!