Peach and Passionfruit Jam
Peaches are such deliciously good eating this season and in plentiful supply now, so when I read a recipe for peach and passionfruit jam in the Country Women's Association (CWA) Preserves cookbook I acquired recently, I knew I had to make the jam.
We are reminded on the back cover of the book that 'the cooking skills of CWA members are legendary... and that preserves are a great way to make the most of seasonal bounty. All the recipes [in the book] use simple ingredients and are simple to make, yet have the indelible stamp of CWA sense and sensibility'. Indeed they do and you can always absolutely rely on a CWA recipe!
The recipe I have adapted here from the book is by CWA member, Ruby Blyth, from Flinders Island in Tasmania. My comments for your information appear in parentheses.
PASSIONFRUIT PEACH JAM*
1.25kg peaches, peeled and cut into pieces
1.25kg sugar (I may try to use a little less next time)
juice of 1/2 medium lemon (I used the whole lemon)
pulp from 12 passionfruit
(Use a good peeler or very sharp paring knife to peel the fruit, otherwise you will find yourself tearing chunks from the flesh). Arrange the peaches in a bowl in layers, with some of the sugar sprinkled between each layer. Leave overnight (I refrigerated it).
Next day, cook until soft (in a large, heavy based saucepan or preserving pan), then add the rest of the sugar (pre-warmed in the oven), the warmed lemon juice (I heated the lemon briefly in a microwave before cutting it in half, catch the seeds), and the passionfruit pulp. Boil quickly until it jells when tested.
(Notes: the fruit needed more than 20 minutes of cooking and, as I was using my mother's 50 year old Renaware pot, I had to watch that it didn't catch. Pop a small plate or saucer into the freezer and use it to test for jelling. I found that I needed to add more lemon juice for pectin content to help the jam to jell. In the meantime, sterilise your jars and lids by putting them onto a tray in a cold oven and then bring the temperature to 120 degrees C. The jars need to be in the oven for at least 30 minutes).
Pour into sterilised jars and seal. (To assist in pouring the jam into the jars, I transferred it to a large pyrex jug. Take care when you do this, as the hot jam will splatter). Store in a cool, dark place. Keeps for at least 12 months and up to 2 years. Makes 8-10 cups.
The verdict: although it took a little longer to jell than expected and I added the extra lemon juice, the jam did set nicely, and it looks and tastes beautiful. I will definitely be making some more in the very near future.
Are you making jams and preserves for Christmas gifts this year? What is your favourite jam? Are you a member of the CWA? Please share your thoughts and recipes.
*Recipe adapted from Country Women's Association (CWA) Preserves (Penguin).
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.