Late summer peaches and tart peaches combine to make a rosy-hued jelly.
I have been a Canbassador for Washington state stone fruits for a few years now. Which means every summer I share a combination of old favorites and new creations, using sweet cherries and/or peaches from Washington’s agricultural Eden.
Since I love making fruit butters, jam, and preserves, many of the recipes are these kinds of soft spreads, like Brown Sugar Cherry Jam, Spiced Peach Butter, or Old-Fashioned Peach Preserves. But I also make a few jars of jelly every year.
Making Homemade Jelly without Pectin
Making jelly requires more work than making fruit butter or jam, and takes more time too. First the fruit has to be cooked, then the juice must be gathered, and the jars have to be sterilized. Plus…. commercial pectin gives me a stomachache so I have to develop a recipe that has enough pectin in the juice to set. That usually means adding some green apples to the fruit combination.
Choosing Fruit for Jelly
This is the first time I have used peaches for jelly. I considered making straight peach jelly, but remembered that my family absolutely loves my Peachy Plum Preserves, so thought it would be a good combination. I wasn’t disappointed – You can clearly taste both the sweet peach and the tart plum in this jelly. It would be equally good served with pork chops, mixed into homemade BBQ sauce, crowning a muffin, or lathered on bread with peanut butter.
What is a Canbassador?
As a Canbassador my job is to make all kinds of wonderful preserved peach and other stone fruit items and then write about them. Fresh stone fruit is one of the very best things about living here in the mid-Columbia, but luckily our sweet cherries, peaches, nectarines, and more are shipped all over the country – so you can get some too!
Sterilize Your Jars
You do have to sterilize your canning jars when making jelly. Any product processed at least 10 minutes only requires clean canning jars. Jelly is only processed 5 minutes, so the jars must be sterilized. Don’t be tempted to process the jelly for 10 minutes, it may break down and lose its gel!
Homemade Peach-Plum Jelly
Late summer peaches and tart peaches combine to make a
- 2 medium green apples
- 2 large peaches
- 2 medium tart plums
- 3 cups water
- 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
To prepare the juice: Wash apples. Do not peel or core. Cut
apples into wedges. Repeat with peaches and plums (removing the center stone).
Add fruit and water to a large pot. Cover and bring to a
boil. Reduce heat and simmer until fruit is soft. Let cool slightly.
Strain juice through a damp jelly bag or layers of
cheesecloth. Do not be tempted to squeeze the bag of fruit, as this will make
the juice (and jelly) cloudy.
To make the jelly: Measure the juice. You should have about
three cups of juice.
Pour juice into a large pot. Add sugar.
Stir to dissolve sugar.
Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
Cook and stir until jelly has set; usually at 8 degrees
above boiling water temperature or about 220 degrees.
Remove pot from heat. Skim foam if necessary.
Ladle jelly into sterilized jars leaving ¼ inch head space.
Top with two-piece caps and process in a a water bath canner
for 5 minutes.
Full disclosure: This recipe was made with cherries I received from the Washington State Fruit Commission.