Mid-summer, a time of abundance, even in the scant growing season of New England. The CSA is in full swing. The home garden is producing. And my father-in-law can’t resist picking more fruit than he can possibly consume.
He’s an engineer, turned doctor, who should have been a farmer. He loves picking. Last week, when I drove down to Philly to drop off Cecilia, he sent me back with a 20 lb box of blueberries, a (slightly) smaller box of peaches, a bag of beets and some mangoes. Challenge accepted!
The peaches were already overripe and had to be dealt with quickly before they became compost fodder. I was also exhausted from all the driving and had an actual job to go to on Monday, so I needed some unfussy and fast.
Inspired by Desserts for Two simple strawberry jam recipe, I peeled and sliced the peaches, threw them in a saucepan with some sugar and let them cook.
I added some lemon zest and juice toward the end and called it a day.
It was too runny to be really called jam, but after a night in the fridge it firmed up a bit. Jam or not, it was still delicious on toast in the morning and some vanilla bean ice cream at night. And we saved the peaches from the composter. Job done.
- approx 5 lbs peaches (ripe to under-ripe is better but any will work)
- 1/2 c to 1 c of sugar (adjust to taste and peach ripeness)
- zest of one lemon
- 2 T. lemon juice
- Peel and slice/chop peaches
- Add peaches and sugar to saucepan over medium heat
- Mash up fruit a bit to release juices
- Cook fruit down to desired consistency
- Add lemon zest and lemon juice
- Let cool and store in fridge
- How long you cook it is up to you and the fruit
- Letting it cool overnight in the fridge will firm it up a bit