No fruit tastes as summery as ripe peaches, and late-season Georgia sweet peaches from Fresh Farms are the most luscious of all. The aroma of the ripening fruit is as intense and irresistible as the soft, sweet and tangy flavor. They’re also a treat for the eyes with their deep orange-yellow hue and vibrant patches of red. So when a case of sweet Georgia peaches found their way into my kitchen, I knew as soon as I smelled them I had to preserve these beauties to enjoy their deep summery flavor all winter long. When it comes to making jam, I like the classic recipes, and I love to cook them in a gorgeous Mauviel copper jam pan.
Boiling fruit in a heavy, unlined copper pan is the traditional French way to make jams, jellies, and preserves. Intended for making old-fashioned sugared jams, bare copper shortens cooking times preserving the vibrant colors and flavors of fresh fruit, and also enhances the gelling of natural pectins resulting in significantly enhanced texture and flavor. Mauviel’s hand-hammered jam pan is both beautiful and functional; the hammering hardens the copper creating a durable pot that will last for generations, while also adding a stunning look that guarantees it will be a treasured heirloom. Founded in western Normandy in the small village of Villedieu-les-Poêles (also known as the ‘city of copper’) Mauviel cookware is made by local craftsmen with eight centuries of experience and tradition. Mauviel has been crafting cookware since 1830 and is still family-owned.
My jam recipe is so simple that anyone can make it, even without an unlined copper pan. While jams are totally at home with butter on bread, croissants, and muffins, I think this peach jam pairs perfectly with ripe, creamy brie and hearty crackers.
makes two dozen half-pint jars
20 cups ripe peaches, coarsely chopped
14 cups raw sugar
6 T dry pectin
3 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 T butter
If cooking in unlined copper, combine all ingredients before pouring into the jam pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Continue to boil hard for 25-35 minutes or until mixture reaches 220’F. Remove from heat, rest 5 minutes then hot-fill sanitized jars using a ladle to within 1/4” of the top. Wipe rims and apply clean lids, tightening to finger-tip tightness. Lower jars into simmering water to cover by 2 inches; once boiling commences, boil hard for 10 minutes then remove from the water bath and allow to cool slowly. Do not re-tighten loose lid rings. Allow 24 hours to cool, then check for a proper seal by pressing center of the lid which should not give at all to moderate pressure. The jam will keep for 1 year in a cool, dry place.