PEACH JAM

Serving: 8 half-pint jars

By: Chef John Besh

Louisiana peaches are a sweet treat. To enjoy them year-round, my boys and I make this jam and slather it on French toast or roll it up inside a warm crêpe. Using liquid or powdered pectin is an effective shortcut.

NOTE: To sterilize the jars, bottles, and lids for preserves, place them on a rack in a large canning pot, fill with water to the tops of the jars and bring the water to a boil for 5 minutes. Then, use tongs to carefully remove the jars and bottles. Drain them upside down on a clean kitchen towel until ready to fill.

3 cups peeled, pitted, and chopped peaches
1⁄2 cup fresh lemon juice
6 cups sugar
6 ounces liquid pectin, or 1.75 ounces powdered pectin

Put the peaches, 11⁄2 cups water, lemon juice, and 5-3⁄4 cups of the sugar into a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Mix the remaining 1⁄4 cup sugar with the pectin and stir into the hot jam. Boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat.

Ladle the peaches and juices into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1⁄4 inch of headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars clean, then place sterilized lids on top and screw on the rings.

Use tongs to put the filled jars into a canning pot, and cover with water at least 1 inch over the jar tops. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Use tongs to carefully remove the jars from the water, and place on a kitchen towel. Allow the jars to cool completely before you move them.