Wanting to kick my jams up a notch this summer, I picked up a copy of Better Homes and Gardens Canning magazine at the supermarket checkout. Choosing it over the latest issue of Glamour or People definitely forced me to face my decline in sex appeal, but having lugged around my pregnant belly for 8 months, I was pretty used to feeling far from sexy. When I flipped open the magazine, I was so glad to have chosen jams over beauty creams and celebrity gossip: the recipes in the magazine were surprisingly exciting, many involving combining booze and fruit to make jams: Peach Bellini Jam, Blood Orange and Beaujolais Marmelade, and Cider ‘n Spice Jelly.
Adding liquor to jam sounded just radical enough to be delicious, so I jumped right in with a batch of Bourbon Peach Jam. I wasn’t disappointed. The alcohol boiled away and left behind a rich spice texture that really added to the golden peaches. We’ve already devoured two of the eight jars I canned. To have enough renegade boozy jams to get us through winter and give to friends and family, looks like we might need to restock our liquor cabinet before the summer ends.
This special edition BHG publication doesn’t seem to be available anywhere online, so you’ll have to face possible supermarket shame and pick it up in front of neighbors and friends. If you run to your neighborhood Borders in the last few days before it closes, you may be able to pick it up for 50% off the $9.99 sticker price.
Recipe: Bourbon Peach Jam (adapted from Better House and Gardens)
Summary: Combining Bourbon and other liquors with fruit to make jams seems like nothing short of revolutionary, but the alcohol boils away, leaving behind a delicious exotic spiciness.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 40 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8
- 4 cups of peeled and finely chopped peaches (about 5 peaches)
- 5 1/2 cups of sugar
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 1/3 cup of Bourbon
- 1 package of pectin (I used Ball Sure Jell)
- Peel and chop the peaches.
- Wash your jars and lids in warm, soapy water. Place them on a clean towel on the counter. Set a large pot of water to boil.
- In a separate soup pot, pour the cut peaches, lemon juice, lemon zest, Bourbon, and pectin. Bring to a roiling boil (the type of boil that does not stop when you stir the pot).
- As soon as the peaches are really boiling, pour the sugar in one fell swoop. Bring back to a roiling boil. Remove any foam on top and turn off the heat.
- Pour the hot jam into clean jars one at a time, using a funnel, leaving about 1/2 inch of space at the top. Wipe the tops of any spilled jam and close the lid.
- Once all your jars are filled, place in the boiling water carefully, making sure to have at least 1 inch of water above each jar. Process each jar for 10 minutes in the boiling water. Remove and leave on the counter overnight. Once out of the water, the jars should pop as they seal and the little raised bump in the middle of each lid inverts. You should not be able to press that little raised middle down to make your own pop. If the jars do not seal properly, just place the jam in the fridge and use in the next few weeks. It will still be delicious.
Microformatting by hRecipe.