This peach pepper jam is sweet, spicy, and a delicious party appetizer with cream cheese. Plus it’s a great way to use up some of your summer garden bounty!
We’ve hit the point in the summer where we’re completely swimming in garden produce. It will seem like we’ve begun to make a dent in the basket of cherry tomatoes that lives on the kitchen island. And then each day’s harvest refills it and more.
In my search to use and preserve as much of my garden bounty as possible, I came across the idea for a sweet and spicy peach pepper jam from the people at Pomona’s Universal Pectin, and immediately my imagination was hooked. It uses up not one but two kinds of peppers. And it gave me an excuse to go peach picking at a nearby orchard.
I’m imagining this peach pepper jam poured over a brick of cream cheese as a party appetizer. Or brushed on grilled chicken for an al fresco dinner. Or the jar adorned with a nice label and gifted to friends and family.
It’s also a great contribution to one of my goals this year: master water bath canning, as a part of preserving the harvest. I’ve already made a strawberry rhubarb jam and next on the docket is many pints of pizza sauce from all the paste tomatoes I’ve been stuffing in the freezer over the last month or so.
As far as jam-making goes, this was a pretty simple process. Blanch, peel, and then puree the peaches in a blender. Simmer the diced peppers in vinegar before adding the peaches and sugar/pectin mixture. Allow to boil, then ladle into sterilized jars and process.
In little more than an hour, I had some of my Christmas gifts figured out!
What does peach pepper jam taste like?
In a word, delicious. It’s sweet and summery, with just a hint of kick. The chile peppers give it such a complex flavor – so much more interesting and satisfying than a regular sweet jam.
How do I use peach pepper jam?
I love it best on toast with some cream cheese – or, poured over a brick of cream cheese and served as a party appetizer with crostini. It’s also really excellent in a marinade or sauce for chicken or shrimp. Try thinning it with some water and brushed on chicken/shrimp skewers as you grill!
It also makes a great hostess or holiday gift!
How do I blanch a peach?
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While waiting for the water to heat, use a paring knife to score an X in the bottom of each peach.
It doesn’t need to be deep, just enough to break the skin. Drop your peaches into the water, only a few at a time so it doesn’t stop boiling.
After about a minute (give it longer if your peaches are underripe), remove them from the boiling water and plunge into a bowl of ice water until cool.
After that, the skins should just slip off! Remove the skins, halve to remove the pit, and your peaches are ready to puree for the recipe.
Can I make any tweaks to this recipe?
When it comes to canning, you need to be careful to follow the recipe. Mess with it too much, and you run the risk of making you and your loved ones very, very sick. You can’t change the amounts of anything (except dried spices in recipes that call for them).
But, as long you keep the quantities of the ingredients the same, you can change the varieties of peppers called for in this recipe.
Don’t want it spicy at all? Replace the jalapenos with more bell peppers. Like it really hot and spicy? Go for all jalapenos – or even hotter varieties.
What sort of peppers do I use?
Again, here’s your one shot to be creative with this recipe. If you can handle spicy, I bet the fruitiness of habaneros would go great here.
But really, any variety is good as long as you keep the amount the same. If you want just a hint of kick, I’d suggest sticking with the recipe as written – a mix of jalapenos and a red bell pepper.
Can I can this recipe?
Yep! To can this recipe, you’ll need a water bath canner and associated parts. The recipe should yield 12 four ounce jars.
What sort of pectin do I use?
I love Pomona’s Universal Pectin, and that’s what this recipe uses. Pomona’s uses calcium water in addition to pectin (it comes in the package when you buy it). The combo of the two means you can use way less sugar than with other pectins.
Do I have to can this peach pepper jam recipe?
You don’t – you can easily store it in the refrigerator instead. In that case, feel free to experiment with the ingredients more. Don’t add the pectin or calcium water, and feel free to scale the sugar to taste.
So, how do I make peach pepper jam?
- 3 ¼ lbs peaches (4 cups onces pureed)
- ½ cup finely chopped bell pepper
- ½ cup finely chopped jalapeno
- ¾ cup apple cider vinegar (use a standard, store-bought version with 5% acidity)
- 6 tsp calcium water (calcium powder included in the Pomona's Pectin package)
- 1 ¼ cups white sugar
- 4 ½ tsp Pomona's Pectin
For full instructions, head on over to Pomona’s website: Peach-Jalapeno Jam.
Unless you water bath can this recipe (following proper sterilization procedures), you'll need to store the jam in the refrigerator. For long-term storage, keep in the freezer.