I have many fond memories of my mom taking us to orchards in the late summer to pick peaches. Boxes and boxes of peaches! We could get peaches for much cheaper if we picked them ourselves. We would can a lot of our harvest but sometimes the fruit that was left on the trees was small or damaged in some way, which made it perfect for jam!
This three ingredient peach jam recipe is jam at its most simple. Equal parts sugar and peaches with a little bit of lemon juice. No pectin, no gelatin, and no worries! You can either process your jam or keep it in your refrigerator. You can even store it in a Tupperware and throw it in your freezer until you’re ready to use it. And all you will need is three simple ingredients and a candy thermometer.
The first thing you want to do is peel your peaches. I highly recommend that you blanch your peaches before you begin peeling them. To do this, fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. You want enough water to completely cover your peaches. Carefully, drop the beaches into the boiling water and let them sit for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then, use a spoon or tongs to move the peaches into an ice bath. Let them sit for 1 minute and then begin peeling (careful, they might be hot!). You will find peaches are much easier to peel once they have been blanched!
After you have peeled your peaches the next step is to chop them up. I like my jam to have chunks of fruit, but you can cut yours to whatever size you prefer. Just don’t plan on the fruit breaking down and getting much smaller during the cooking process. For this jam, whatever size you chop your peaches is the size of the chunks of fruit you will get in your finished product.
One of the best parts about this three ingredient peach jam is that that there are only three ingredients (go figure). Now we just dump all of our ingredients (sugar, peaches, and lemon juice) into a saucepan. Clip your candy thermometer to the side and make sure it it is not touching the bottom of the pan, this will give you an inaccurate reading. You want the tip of your candy thermometer to be suspended in you jam not hovering above it or touching the bottom of your pan.
Heat the saucepan on medium to medium-high heat until the sugar has dissolved. Carefully watch the temperature. As a general rule, you want your jam to reach 220° F. This is when enough liquid has evaporated and the sugar is hot enough that your jam will set up. Here is an important note: this temperature will change slightly based on the elevation where you live. I recently moved from a place at 4,500 feet above sea level to a place that is very close to sea level. I cooked a batch of jam to 220° F and it ended up runny. I should have cooked it to 222° F because of the difference in elevation.
If you are planning on using glass jars for your jam, place your clean jars in hot water as your jam is cooking. If you put really hot jam into cold glass jars they can crack and even shatter (which is not fun). A lot of people like throwing their jars into the dishwasher with the heated dry setting on and using the jars as soon as the dishwasher cycle is done, but that’s planning a little too far ahead for me. Once your jars are nice and hot, carefully pour your jam into the jars leaving around ¼ inch of space at the top. If you are using a plastic container, let your jam cool in the saucepan before pouring it into your new container.
If you are not going to process your jam make sure you keep it in the refrigerator or freezer until you are ready to use it. This three ingredient peach jam is amazing on fresh bread or hot biscuits.
Three Ingredient Peach Jam
- Candy Thermometer
- 2 Cups Fresh peaches (peeled and chopped)
- 2 Cups Sugar
- 2 tsp Lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
- Peel and chop your peaches. I strongly recommend blanching your peaches before you peel them. You will find it is much easier! If you prefer smooth jam, chop your peaches finely. If you prefer chunky jam, chop it more coarsely.
- Add the chopped peaches, sugar, and lemon juice to a saucepan. Clip your candy thermometer to the edge of your saucepan and make sure the tip is suspended in your peach mixture (not touching the bottom of the pan or in the air).
- Heat the mixture over medium to medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the temperature of your jam has reached 220°. This temperature is a general rule but it can change depending on your elevation.
- If you are using glass jars, heat them in hot water before you pour your hot jam into the jars. This will prevent the jars from cracking or shattering when you add the hot jam. If you are using plastic containers, wait until your jam has cooled before pouring it into your container.
- You can either process your jam or keep it in the fridge for around a month. You can also keep the jam in the freezer until you are ready to use it.