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Peach, Balsamic & Saffron Jam

Peach, saffron and balsamic jam that keeps well when frozen, and is perfect for those days when you want to be reminded of glorious summer.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Caramel Tinted Life

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo chopped and peeled peaches
  • 500 grams sugar with added pectin you could also use commercially available pectic
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • a few saffron strands
  • 3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar I used raspberry balsamic

Instructions

  • Start by keeping a saucer in the freezer to check for done-ness of the jam (this step is important if you are not using pectic to set the jam. You could avoid this if you are using pectin)
  • Transfer the peaches, sugar, lemon juice, saffron and balsamic to a heavy bottom pan, and cook on medium heat for around 10 minutes.
  • As the peaches are cooking, mash them up to the consistency you prefer, using a masher or a whisk. I like the consistency to be non-uniform and have a few lumps of fruit.
  • After around 10 minutes, the mixture should have thickened and is well on its way to being set.
  • If you are not using pectin to set the jam, check for done-ness of the jam with the saucer test: Test your jam by taking out the saucer. Spread a small spoonful of liquid jam on the saucer. Run your finger through the jam. If it forms a channel, the jam is set. If the jam feels runny, let it cook a little more.
  • Once done, let the jam cool. A little scum can form on the surface of the jam, which you can skim off easily with a spoon.
  • Divide the jam between the jars leaving at least 1/4 inch room at the top.
  • Tightly seal the jars and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours before freezing or refrigerating.
  • Freezer jam can keep up-to a year in the freezer.

Notes

Pectin is naturally occurring gel which is essential to the setting of jam and gives it that characteristic jelly-like consistency. Many fruits contain pectin, and some like apples, quince and most citrus fruit contain more pectin than others. These fruit do not need added pectin, and they set well with just sugar and a long cooking process. the amount of pectin you use can be reduced, depending on your preference - whether you like runny or firm jam.
Cutting down on the amount of sugar used in jam-making will both reduce the shelf-life and the consistency of the jam. The sugar is essential to the formation of pectin strands, and also helps preserve the jam. If you are using sugar with added pectin, follow the instructions as specified on the pack. I used fruit and sugar in a ratio of 2:1, but you would need to add more sugar if you are using no added pectin.