The Nomad is still in Peach Obsession week. I’ll spare repeating the diatribe detailing why peaches are euphoria in fruit form. Just take a read here from the last post.
Next on the list is Chipotle Peach Jam. Peaches are slowly cooked with chipotle pepper yielding a jam that is smokey, a bit spicy and sweet. Smear on toast, drizzle over a cheese plate, glaze grilled pork or a number of other possibilities. Takes peanut butter and jelly to a whole new level.
Chipotle Peach Jam Recipe
(makes two pints)
2 lb peaches, peeled, pitted and cubed (about 4 peaches)
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. lemon juice (about two lemons)
zest of two lemons
1/2 of one whole chipotle in adobo
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Peeling the peaches
The most prominent school of thought suggests that you make an X with a knife at the butt of the peach. Then boil for peaches for 1m or so, until the skin starts to peel back at the X. Drop peaches in an ice bath to stop cooking. Then simply peel the skin off.
I, however, am lazy. So I use a paring knife, or a peeler, and spare the peaches a steaming bath and just peel them raw. The raw peels are a tasty snack. Do whatever you feel is right for you.
Place a small plate in the freezer for jam consistency testing. Combine all ingredients into a large pot, deep preferably. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Once the peaches begin to soften, mash the peaches to break them up, leaving some chunks. Alternatively, if the peaches are very soft when raw (as ripe ones should be), squeeze with clean hands to break them up prior to cooking. I did the latter as I now have a total of 3 potato mashers in storage and refuse to buy another one on principle.
Jam will start to foam, but don’t mind it. After about 30m, the jam will be slightly darker and thick. At this point, drop a bit on the frozen plate. If the jam runs after 30s, then cook jam another 5m and test again. If it stays put with a jelly-like consistency, then it’s done. If the jam continues to harden and get stringy, it’s gone too far. Add a half cup of water at a time to loosen it up.
On to storing
Again, most schools of thought suggest you have to can your jam to prevent any bacterial growth. If you intend to keep the jam unrefrigerated, then yes, you should can according to the USDA guidelines or according to Martha Stewart.
But, again, I am lazy and do not want to invest in a heapin’ load of mason jars. This recipe is a relatively small batch, producing 2 pints of jam. Jam in the fridge lasts for months. I simply put it in tupperware or a sealed jar and fill to the top, allow to cool then cover and refrigerate to set. I found these mason jar-like tupperware containers made by Ziploc recently at the market which are perfect, especially if you intend to give them out as gifts.