Blushing Peach Jam – Revised by the Next Generation

Back in the 1970’s my mother-in-law, Rena, introduced the family to a jam she made with her own home-grown peaches and red raspberries. Rena was well known as a superb cook, but this new jam took her to the level of gourmet. Everyone who tasted it, raved about it.

meRena, my mother, and I have been making this special jam ever since. But now that my mom and Rena are no longer with us, I’m the only one left – until this year. I’m happy to announce that Blushing Peach Jam has moved to the next generation. My eldest daughter Candice, has been infected with the “jam bug.”

Candice has been wanting to make the traditional jams but she also wanted to update them. She didn’t want so much sugar. She did quite a bit of research. [She especially likes Jam On by Laena McCarthy.] She learned that, by switching to a different pectin product, she could cut the amount of sugar way back.

Candice chose Blushing Peach as her first jam for sentimental and traditional reasons. I’m so glad she did. If she can make the family favorite into a healthier product, the rest of the jams will follow.

The original recipe for Blushing Peach Jam (first published in the Farm Journal Freezing and Canning Cookbook in 1972) called for the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups peaches
  • 2 cups red raspberries
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 7 cups of sugar
  • 1 bottle liquid pectin
  • a few drops of almond extract

In the twentieth century I honestly didn’t think too much about all that sugar. That jam was not a staple. It was a special treat. But now, with so much emphasis on healthy eating, I look at that 7 cups of sugar and think, “Whoa, I can’t believe we thought that was normal!”  And now, here is

blushing-peachCandice’s Revised Blushing Peach Jam

  • 2 cups peaches, peeled and pit removed, and crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups red raspberries (all she had – you could use 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 box *Pomona pectin (see below)
  • A few drops of almond extract

Directions:

  1. Mix together the fruit and lemon juice in a heavy pot. Add the sugar and mix well.
  2. Heat over medium-high heat until the jam comes to a full rolling boil. Stir constantly. Boil one minute.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the pectin. Continue stirring. Remove the foamy skim.
  4. Ladle the mixture into clean, sterilized jars. Wipe off the rims and cover with sterilized lids and rings.
  5. Lower the jars into a pot of boiling water. Boil for five minutes. Turn the heat off and rest for a minute or so. Remove from the water bath and set onto a rack or clean towels. As the jars seal you’ll hear that pleasant pop that tells you they are successfully sealed. Let the jam cool completely. As it cools it will become thick. Any unsealed jars should be stored in the refrigerator and used first.

processingI’m glad the generation younger than me is focused on the health factors in whatever they eat. For Candice, reducing 7 cups of sugar down to 2 1/3 cups was an amazing feat as it did not mar the flavor or the consistency of the final product. But, as it often happens in generatonal things, Candice’s daughter, Q, is already thinking that 2 1/3 cups of sugar is too much!! Isn’t it great? Stay tuned. I’m sure Q’s generation will come up with the revision to the revision.

the4berriesIn the meantime, Candice is so excited about making jam that she has already moved on to her next proect: Four Berry Jam using strawberries, red raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. That sounds like a great combination, doesn’t it?

*A word about Pomona Pectin: My daughter bought her box at a local grocery store. There are also online sources. I found the website for the Pomona Pectin Company very informative with additional recipes. It is here: Pomona Pectin

This post is linked to Weekend Cooking, a weekly feature at Beth Fish Reads.

WeekendCooking

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16 Responses to Blushing Peach Jam – Revised by the Next Generation

  1. JoAnn says:

    What a great post, Margot! I love how your family is carrying on a tradition AND adapting it to today’s ideas of healthful eating.

  2. Vicki says:

    So glad your daughter has joined your family tradition! I think my husband would love this jam!
    Here’s My Weekend Cooking

  3. Laurie C says:

    That sounds delicious! I love the combination of peaches and raspberries. Unfortunately, my husband is on a low-carb diet, so even the reduced-sugar version won’t work for us this summer, but maybe next year!

  4. I’m sure the traditional version of this is fabulous, but I would love to try the updated version since I don’t like things overly sweet. How wonderful that your family has a tradition like this that has been passed on to another generation.

  5. Kaye,the sister, Cogdill says:

    The title of BLUSHING PEACH JAM brought tears of remembrance to my eyes and how special to see that it is Candice who is keeping it going and in such a healthy way! The photos are priceless! bunches of love, kaye-the-sister

  6. Carole says:

    Good idea to cut back on the sugar – I do that as well as adding a little stevia right at the end.

  7. I love jam making, but I do worry about all the sugar. I am going to take a look at the Pomona pectin site. Thanks so much for this post!

  8. Wow! This is great. I love that she used a family recipe and made it fit today’s eating styles.

  9. How nice that your daughter is carrying on the family tradition! Her jam looks wonderful and healthier.

  10. It’s so nice to see a family tradition being passed down like that!

  11. Ti says:

    Homemade jam is the best, isn’t it?

  12. Beth F says:

    I discovered Pamona about 20 years ago, not long before I stopped canning. But I’ve always kept a box or two in my freezer, just in case the mood struck. It’s a great product. So fun to see the family tradition carried on into a new century.

  13. Tina says:

    I have not tried to put jam up yet. I am very interested in canning but I guess the water bath method would make a good start for me. The jam must be delicious and probably spoiled you from ever purchasing store bought.

  14. Cerrin says:

    I remember making this with you many times. I still make the full sugar version when I make jam.

  15. kelley says:

    yummo–sounds delicious

  16. I can smell it!! :) I wish!! I love how she updated it!! I do remember though as a kid how we loved Kool-Aid and I think that called for a 1 cup of sugar!!!

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