Peach Jam for Cold Morning - Orange?

2ajsmamaSeptember 8, 2012

Do you really need the orange in the recipe? Is it just to make it set better or is it required for the acidity (only 2 habaneros in the recipe for 3 lbs of peaches)?

Wondering since I don't have any orange, and I like a softer set, could I skip the 1/2 orange or maybe sub a lemon (not sure how that would taste) or some lemon juice?

(Jam for Cold Mornings)

3 lbs. ripe peaches, peeled and quartered

1/2 medium sized orange, quartered and seeded

2 habaneros, seeds and all

4 cups sugar

1/4tsp almond extract

3/4 cup honey

Combine peaches, sugar and honey in a dutch oven, stir well. Cover and let stand 45 minutes. In food processor chop oranges and habaneros until finally chopped, scraping down sides a couple of times. Place orange, habaneros and an equal amount of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Bring peach mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium high and cook, uncovered, 15 minutes, stirring often. Add orange mixture. Bring to a boil, cook, uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 221F, stirring often. Remove from heat, stir in almond extract. Skim off foam with metal spoon.

Quickly pour hot mixture into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace, wipe jar rims. Cover with lids and Process in boiling water bath 10 minutes.

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ajsmama - That recipes sounds great. Have no idea about substituting as I am just learning. Where is the above recipe from, and what size jars do you use? Ugh, I don't have a candy thermometer.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 8:57AM
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I don't remember the origin of the recipe - found it on this forum. Maybe Carol or Dave or someone who's been around longer than I remembers?

I'd do it in standard half-pint jars. No need for thermometer, use the frozen plate test (put a saucer in the freezer, when the jam starts to thicken and you think it's close to gel point, won't be foaming as much, bubbles will be smaller and slower to break, pull it off the stove and dribble a little of the liquid on the frozen plate, then tilt it, if it doesn't move much - depends on your taste how thick you want it - then it's done.)

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 9:03AM
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I'm pretty sure the orange was used because it complements the fruitiness of the Habaneros so well. There's no reason why you couldn't use lemon, but it won't taste the same (obviously :-)

Linked below is an old discussion about this recipe with a lot of tips in it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Peach Jam for Cold Mornings Discussion

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 9:17AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Since all the approved pepper jams and jellies always call for some additional acid common sense would seem to indicate that one cannot assume the acidity of the fruit compensates for the lack of acidity in the peppers.

So apparently the orange juice plays a safety role as well as a set and a flavor role. Sure you can sub other acids - even vinegar if you wanted to for some reason - but the issue becomes "how much"?

Does 1/2 a lemon sub equally for 1/2 an orange? Who knows. They sure aren't the same size.

Sure it would do the set part but it would change the flavor substantially and may or may not be sufficient acid. The easy and safe solution is to buy an orange or make some other recipe that doesn't call for ingredients one doesn't have.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 12:06PM
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Well, the recipe sounded good, I've been wanting to try it (or some kind of peach-chili jam, I didn't remember/realize that this recipe included 1/2 an orange) for a couple of years, but have 6C of peaches macerating now for the Peach Vanilla Almond preserves we like so much (I only have 4 jars left made earlier this year). Decided to use the rest of the peaches (about 2lbs) in a peach-tomato salsa instead of making a small (2/3) batch of the PJ4CM.

Making a 20+ mile round trip to the store for 1/2 an orange (1/3 of an orange? Or maybe another lb of peaches - since I don't have 3 lbs of peaches left? They'd probably make me buy a whole orange LOL) during a tornado watch is not an option. I'm not really fond of oranges anyway.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 1:16PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I've made that recipe. This is a no-commercial-pectin recipe. Peaches are very low in pectin and without the orange (or other citrus) it would not set beyond a syrupy texture without a lot of cooking (resulting in a caramelized taste).

The honey is also a complicating factor as honey at high levels interferes with set (and adds moisture). The honey here is within functional levels and I had no problems with set on this preserve, but I don't know how well it would work if I started fiddling with the proportions.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 1:37PM
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Geez, this recipe has been around for at least six years but now, all of a sudden, because ajsmama doesn't want to drive 20+ miles through nasty weather to buy one stupid orange and was wondering if she could use a lemon or leave it out, it's unsafe?

"So apparently the orange juice plays a safety role as well..." "...may or may not be sufficient acid. The easy and safe solution is to buy an orange..."

No wonder a very respected member said this rather recently on another Gardenweb forum:
"...That's one of the reasons I no longer post at Harvest, I just got tired of hearing that someone was going to die about a dozen times a thread."

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 3:02PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

So any recipe that has been around for at least six years is automatically safe?

No, you do not mean that. It is obvious that you don't. Just as it is obvious that I did not say the recipe as it is written is unsafe. It isn't.

But fiddling with recipes that contain low-acid ingredients and that require the addition of extra acid is unknown territory. And fiddling with recipes simply because one lacks what is a required ingredient in the recipe is another step deeper into unknown territory. Fiddling with it just because you don't like it? How far down that road do you want to go?

You want to hike in that territory? Fine. Your choice. You want others to give you a thumbs up as you venture off down that road or worse yet, follow you? No thanks.

The weather, the distance to the store, the day of the week, and the phase of the moon, etc. are irrelevant. The point is if you don't have the ingredients for a potentially borderline recipe, you don't make the recipe. And if you don't like the ingredients in the recipe ie: oranges then you don't make recipes that call for those ingredients.

Or should we all make scalloped potatoes for supper then we don't have any potatoes and we don't like cheese?

And if anyone EVER, even once, read here that "they were going to die a dozen times a thread" then it is very likely they suffered from the inability to read. That or they wanted to can Aunt Tilly's Mayo-Based Potato Salad and Grandma's Tuna Noodle Casserole with Bacon and Cracker Crumb Topping and do it in a BWB just like they did.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 5:32PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I am aware that on another forum there have been objections to what is perceived by some as an excessive emphasis on safety. However, I can't see any good that would be achieved by delving into that subject. It is a matter of balance, and as Aristotle said, to hit the right mark in the right way and at the right time is very difficult. Personally, while I understand the complaint, given the number of novices who frequent this forum, I think an error on the side of caution is better than the alternative. I don't give much credence to those sorts of comments.

Maybe we can just focus on the original question. If ajsmama doesn't mind a softer set she can leave out the orange. There's lots of sugar and high-acid fruit and I don't see that two habaneros is going to change things appreciably. Besides, they're cooked in a heavy sugar solution, which resolves any potential issue.

On the other hand, if she wants citrus (it does add a pleasing complexity to this preserve) I think lemon has the potential for an intriguing alternative flavor.

If you try it, let us know how you like it.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 6:15PM
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Thanks Carol. I did notice a Peach Lime jam in Small Batch (variation on a microwave strawberry jam), thought that sounded good. So 2C of sliced peaches, 1.5C of sugar, and I used the full 2 Tbsp of lime juice (instead of the 1 recommended for peaches) since I was adding a very small Hinkelhatz pepper. I didn't can this, just put it in the fridge. I probably could have canned it, the amount of pepper was minuscule (maybe 1/8 tsp) after cutting off stem end and taking out the seeds. I also cooked it on the stove, probably could have cooked it longer and mashed the peaches rather than slicing them, it is still rather runny. But just tried some on cream cheese and crackers - yum!

I would like to add another (small Hinkelhatz) pepper, or use a hotter (habanero) type, could add more lime juice since taste(s) is very subtle. Maybe next summer when we have peaches again I'd try a couple of limes and use the PJ4CM method, but I still think I'd like to cut the sugar to app. 3/4C per C of peaches, and skip the honey and almond extract. I'm not brave enough to leave the pepper seeds in either ;-)

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 12:16PM
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I just made this. Or I should say I made a variation of it - adapted to use powdered pectin. Used 1 cayenne pepper.

OMG. This is amazing. The orange adds a nice subtle dimension to the peach and with just one pepper, it has a bit of a "glow" in the aftertaste. I think I have just found my new favorite jam. I better quickly write down my variations so I can't duplicate it next year.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 1:54PM
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