The triple digit heat has finally abated, just in time to get back to canning summer’s harvest. We have two peach trees and most of the fruit from the Red Haven tree went into the freezer. But the last of the peaches went into this batch of old-fashioned preserves.
I much prefer preserves over jam. Some people will tell you that there is no taste difference but they are wrong! This old recipe does not use any pectin, unlike newer preserves recipes. To me, preserves have a fresher fruit taste compared to jam or jelly. I’ve been following this particular recipe so long I could make it in my sleep. But the whole family looks forward to receiving peach preserves at Christmas, and the grandchildren love it year round.
The difference between preserves and jam? In preserves the fruit is “preserved” with the sugar and thus holds its shape while cooking. Most preserves combine fruit and sugar, and then sit for a while. The cooking process is slow and it will do no good to check temperatures when making preserves. Jam is made from crushed or chopped fruit and is cooked quickly after the sugar melts. Both should be made in small batches. Don’t be tempted to double fruit spread recipes. You will most likely end up with an over cooked, burnt mess, or will have to re-make an undercooked mess. Sadly, this is the voice of experience once again.
This post has been moved to our other site, Seed to Pantry, where you will find lots more information about canning and preserving.