July 12, 2010
My stone fruit trees are going absolutely bonkers in my garden. This spring I added two “Mid-Pride” peach trees to the garden. Mid-pride peaches have yellow meat and are bred to do well in our coastal climate. I have been waiting in anticipation to enjoy their luscious yield — am I such a garden geek that I get so excited about fruit? (Don’t answer that.) Now, of course, all the fruit bears at one time! We have been plowing through them, but still we accumulated quite a stash. This morning I noticed a bunch in a basket on the counter that has seen better days. I don’t know about you, but dimpled and soggy fruit just doesn’t do it for me. So, lesson number one in planting a garden … learn to be creative!
I didn’t have time to make a pie between picking up and dropping off the kids at two different camps — nor did I really want to eat one — I mean, come on, it is bathing suit season. And I know I would be the one to eat the entire thing myself. But I digress … back to the real issue at hand: old stone fruit. I decided to make jam* on a whim and it was so easy and lip smacking good. It only has a teensy-weensy bit of sugar and used up the whole basket of fruit. During my peach and apricot creation, my sister Desiree was visiting. We spooned the preserves over homemade buttermilk ice cream and topped it with mashed Maracona almonds, it was absolutely delicious — sweet, tart, crunchy and salty, yum.
*I didn’t can the jam in the technical sense but poured it into small clean glass jars to be stored in the refrigerator. Since they are small and I am known to share with friends, they will be used up pretty quickly, thus saving myself some time and, quite honestly, anxiety from the canning process.
Note: The buttermilk ice cream was left over from the 4th of July and was really delicious.
Homemade Peach and Apricot Jam
If you have more fruit, then simply double the amounts. This recipe makes 24 ounces of preserves.
4 cups very ripe stone fruit (I used peaches and apricots), cut into quarters, skin on
¼ cup sugar
Juice of half a lemon
Combine the ingredients in a pot on the stove and cook on medium high heat and bring to a boil. Stirring occasionally, continue to let the fruit cook and release their juices for about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to low or simmer, mash with a potato masher, and continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes.