I made a return day trip this week with family to Jaemor Farms in Alto, Georgia. Our timing was perfect as there were several varieties of freestone peaches available. I really indulged this time and my freezer is bursting with peaches, plums and blackberries!
Freestone peaches are the ones in which the peach flesh comes away neatly from the pit (whereas the cling varieties, while also delicious, stick to the pit and are best for eating out of hand).
When freezing peaches, I usually peel, pit and slice them. Then I toss them in gallon ziptop freezer bags with a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and a tablespoon of granulated sugar. This way they are recipe ready for pies, cobblers or for making jam.
I photographed the varieties I purchased and made a low sugar peach jam with the ones I sliced. The combination of different varieties in one jam gives it depth of flavor without having to add too much sugar. This recipe is a good option for those who need to watch their sugar intake.
The following recipe will make about 1 quart of low sugar peach jam. Each tablespoon of jam contains approximately 10 calories, 2.5 grams sugar and 1.5 grams carbohydrates. This is a nice improvement over a national brand that contains 50 calories, 13 grams of sugar and 12 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon. When you make it yourself you know firsthand how much actual fruit is in it, and the flavor won’t fail you!
Low Sugar Peach Jam
5-7 medium peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons potato starch
Bring the peaches, lemon juice and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
If you want a fine textured jam, use a potato masher or pastry cutter to mash the fruit.
Mix the sugar and potato starch together, breaking up any clumps of starch. Add sugar and potato starch to the saucepan with the fruit all at once. Stir to dissolve. Raise the heat and bring the fruit to a boil again. Boil rapidly while stirring for just one to two minutes. Turn off heat and spoon immediately into sterilized jars.
Place sterilized lid on jars and tighten just until fingertip tight. Let cool completely before storing in the refrigerator or freezer. Jam will keep for one to three weeks in the refrigerator or up to one year in the freezer.
While this is a jam, the low sugar content makes it very light. It would also be perfect for spooning over ice cream, or as a filling for pie, cupcakes, jam thumbprint cookies or granola bars.