Peach Melba Jam

peach melba jam SQ

It was Auguste Escoffier who devised the now-famous dessert, Pêche Melba, in the early 1900s. It consisted of fresh peeled peaches, slightly sugared, with raspberry purée, served over vanilla ice cream in a swan carved of ice. The dish has become a classic, though usually the icy swan bowl is omitted in home kitchens.

Since I love raspberries and adore peaches, it was only natural for me to combine them in a jam. The combination makes a rosy jam that’s fantastic on scones or toast.

Purists might insist on straining the seeds out of the raspberries, but I left them in. They don’t bother me, and I rather like the rustic touch.

prep the fruit

Pit the peaches but don’t bother peeling them. Chop them into bits approximately the size of the raspberries. Put both the peaches and the raspberries in a non-reactive pot (I use this 4-qt one) with the lemon juice and sugar. Combine gently, and let stand, covered, at least two hours, or as long as overnight.

meanwhile prepare jars and other equipment

Use any pot that will hold the jars and enough water to cover them by 1-2 inches. Put empty clean jars in the pot, add water to at least an inch over the tops of the jars, and bring the water to a boil. Remove jars, and let them drain upside down on a folded towel. Don’t drain the water from the pot; you’ll use it shortly.

Wash the lids in warm water and set aside (see new procedures for jar lids!) Keep the bands handy. Have an extra small jar, or custard cup, clean and ready for any excess jam. Put a couple of small saucers in the freezer to chill so they’ll be ready for testing the jam.

add a bit of butter and cook

After the fruit macerates with the sugar and lemon juice for hours, there will be plenty of juice in the pan. Cook the jam: add a tiny pat of butter (it reduces foaming), and bring the fruit mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat somewhat and simmer it  until the chunks of fruit are translucent and thoroughly cooked. Blitz the preserves with an immersion blender – this will create a smooth thick texture, and will help the jam cook faster.

cook until you can make a clean streak

Return the preserves to the heat, and continue cooking, stirring often, until it bubbles and looks quite thick. I like to test for doneness by putting a spoonful on a saucer, and chilling it in the refrigerator for 2 minutes. After that time, if I can drag my finger through the jam, and leave a clear track that doesn’t fill in again, it’s ready.  In my kitchen, this took about 10 minutes more.

seal in boiling waterbath

When the jam is ready, remove the pot from the heat. Ladle jam into prepared jars, wipe rims, and apply lids and bands. Anything that won’t fit in your four jars can go into the clean custard cup and chill it in the fridge.

Wipe the jar rims, apply lids and bands, then process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Cool jars, label, and store in a dark cool place.

peach melba jam SQ

Peach Melba Jam

Course: Jams and Jellies
Cuisine: American
Keyword: jam, raspberry, raspberries, peach
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Standing time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes
A blend of peaches and raspberries in jam.
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb peaches 500 g
  • 1 lb raspberries 500 g
  • scant 3 cups granulated sugar 600 g
  • juice of 1 lemon about 3 Tbsp, 45 ml
  • ¼ tsp unsalted butter (optional)

Instructions

  • Pit the peaches but don’t bother peeling them. Chop them into bits approximately the size of the raspberries. Put both the peaches and the raspberries in a non-reactive pot (I use this 4-qt one) with the lemon juice and sugar. Combine gently, and let stand, covered, at least two hours, or as long as overnight.
  • Meanwhile, prepare jars and any other equipment. Make sure your jars are sparkling clean. Wash the lids in warm water and set aside. Keep the bands handy. Have an extra small jar, or custard cup, clean and ready for any excess jam. Put a couple of small saucers in the freezer to chill so they’ll be ready for testing the jam.

COOKING TIME

  • After the fruit macerates with the sugar and lemon juice for hours, there will be plenty of juice in the pan. Cook the jam: add a tiny pat of butter (it reduces foaming), and bring the fruit mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat somewhat and simmer it  until the chunks of fruit are translucent and thoroughly cooked. Blitz the preserves with an immersion blender – this will create a smooth thick texture, and will help the jam cook faster.
  • Return the preserves to the heat, and continue cooking, stirring often, until it bubbles and looks quite thick. I like to test for doneness by putting a spoonful on a saucer, and chilling it in the refrigerator for 2 minutes. After that time, if I can drag my finger through the jam, and leave a clear track that doesn’t fill in again, it’s ready.  In my kitchen, this took about 10 minutes more.
  • When the jam is ready, remove the pot from the heat. Ladle jam into prepared jars, wipe rims, and apply lids and bands. Anything that won’t fit in your four jars can go into the clean custard cup and chill it in the fridge.
  • Wipe the jar rims, apply lids and bands, then process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Cool jars, label, and store in a dark cool place.

2 Comments

  1. I made this jam a few weeks ago and just opened a jar this morning. It is gorgeous, both in color and taste. Thank you for posting!

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Welcome

I’m Maurita Plouff, and I write about cooking and preserving the local harvest in Southeast Michigan. Any recipe you find here is something I have cooked myself, and enjoyed, and think you might like too. I invite you to try the recipes, and leave comments.

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