SUMMER PEACH JAM
It doesn’t get much better than a summer peach—unless you’re talking summer peach jam. Why not make it now when peaches are in season are delicious, and freeze it to relive summer later this year? Here’s what you’ll need to make about 1-1/2 cups:
2 large peaches
1/4 cup sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cut a small X in the bottom of each peach. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Blanch the peaches in the boiling water just until the skin begins to peel back at the X, 5 to 15 seconds. Transfer to the ice beach to cool; drain. Peel the peaches, using a soft-skin peeler. Slice the peaches in half from top to bottom and twist to separate the fruit from the pit. Puree the peaches and measure out 1 cup puree for the jam.
Combine the peach puree, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and boil for 8 minutes, until it thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Macerated strawberries (tender berries soaked in sugar to release their juice) are so versatile. Ladle them over shortcake or cornbread, make a simple but delicious sundae, or fold them into your homemade ice cream. Bonus: the sugar in the delicate strawberry sauce will prevent the juice from freezing in the ice cream. What you’ll need to make about 1-1/2 cups:
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
Just toss the strawberries with the sugar in a large bowl, and let sit for three hours in your refrigerator.
Use in-season blackberries to make a sweet-tart deep purple jam that’s flavorful as it is eye-popping. What you’ll need to make about 1-1/4 cups:
2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
1 cup sugar
Combine the berries and sugar in a 1-quart saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat, and stir to dissolve the sugar. Continue boiling, stirring occasionally for 8 minutes. Let cool slightly, then force through a sieve if you want to remove the seeds.
Refrigerate until cool, at least 2 hours. The jam can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.