After a summer of living at camp with no kitchen, it is sure a relief to be back in the garden unit kitchen! Before heading to Milwaukee for the school year, I stopped at my sister's house to pick some fresh fruit from her small orchard. I gathered perfectly ripe peaches and apples from her trees- all the ingredients for delicious peach jam with homemade pectin. I decided to try my hand at making pectin from scratch using the tart apples instead of using the packaged Sure-Jell that most jam recipes call for. Homemade pectin is very simple to make and can be canned to use for future jam making.
For the pectin-
5 tart apples (chopped with cores and peels intact)
2 lemons (chopped finely with peels intact)
water (enough to cover the apples)
Cook down until apples are very soft and has the same consistency of chunky applesauce. Strain the mixture using a colander. The juice remaining is pectin. So simple! If there is excess it can be canned by processing the jars in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.
For the peach jam:
2 cups of pectin
6 cups of peaches (chopped and peeled)
5 1/2 cups of sugar
Boil this mixture on medium heat, stirring often. The jam is ready to be canned when it thickens and mounds of the spoon, roughly 20 minutes.
Prepare the jars and lids. Then pour the jam into the jars leaving 1/2 inch head space. The last step is to seal the jars in a hot water bath for ten minutes.