Peach Preserves

Raspberry-Peach Preserves
Raspberries naturally contain a lot of pectin, which is the ingredient in jams & jellies that really make them ‘gel’. Lemon rinds and under-ripe fruit also contain pectin. The combination of fragrant peaches & sweet, juicy raspberries deserves a blue ribbon, if you ask us. 

Equipment
Measuring cups & spoons
Large mixing bowl
2-quart pot
Large stock pot
Tongs
Slotted spoon & ladle
Six 8-ounce jelly jars

Ingredients
4 cups sliced peaches, slightly under-ripe
2 cups raspberries
1 tablespoon fresh gingerroot, grated
1 lemon, sliced in half
4 cups cane sugar

Directions
Put the peaches, raspberries and gingerroot in the 2-quart pot. Squeeze the lemon’s juice on top and cook down the fruit over medium heat until the fruit starts to break down. Once the fruit is cooked down, add the sugar and lemon rinds. Cook this mixture on medium-low heat for ten minutes. Next, bring the mixture to a boil and cook for fifteen minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the pot from the stove. Remove lemon rinds. Skim any foam from the top. While the jam is cooking, bring water to a boil in the stock pot and sterilize the jelly jars and lids. Place the hot jars on a towel. Carefully ladle the jam into the jars, leaving a quarter-inch of head room in each jar. Remove air bubbles, wipe jars and adjust lids. Process the jars for fifteen minutes in a hot water bath.

Variations
Blueberry-Peach Preserves: Substitute blueberries for raspberries. This jam is perfect on pancakes.
Pepper-Peach Preserves: Finely chop two medium hot peppers and add to the recipe. Varieties like ‘Caribe’ or ‘Ancho’ will give the jam a reasonable amount of heat, but you can always go hotter.
Rosemary-Mixed Berry Preserves: Omit peaches and substitute 2 cups blackberries and 2 cups blueberries. Toss a couple sprigs of fresh mint into the fruit during cooking time. Remove with lemon rinds.