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Retro Peach Preserves
This retro peach preserves recipe adds a vegan twist to the much-loved vintage recipe since agar-agar powder, which is gluten-free, is used for firm texture. Homemade peach preserves with its impressive color is the perfect way to keep a bit of summer in a jar and enjoy the taste and sweet aroma of summer peaches all year long; the smell and taste of peach preserves brings back memories of lazy summer days. It is ideal for breakfast time or snacks!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Wash the fruit. Peel, pit and chop the peaches into chunks. Chop into chunks only 1 peach leaving the skin on; this will add color and texture to your preserves.
  2. Add the brown sugar in a large saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar, over medium-low heat until the sugar is starting to melt. Now place the peaches, mix well and cover with a lid.
  3. Have your jars and lids prepared before beginning by sterilizing and washing them in hot soapy water and rinsing well (see the Jars sterilization and filling process in Recipe Notes).
  4. Open the lid and stir well with a wooden spoon every 5' for about 15'. In the meantime, juice the lemon. After 15' it has reached a full rolling boil. When it first starts to boil, stir well again. Cover with a lid and boil for 5'. If you use sugar thermometer, test for the setting point; for preserves, jam, and marmalade the setting point is 105°C (220°F).
  5. Pour the lemon juice. Spoon a small amount of preserves liquid in a bowl, add the agar-agar and stir until the powder is fully dissolved. Pour the mixture into the saucepan and cook while stirring. Allow to simmer for 2'-3' while stirring. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
  6. As the peach preserves cools and sets, it will have a firm but creamy consistency; I add just a little bit of agar-agar powder because I want the preserves not to become a firm gel, I prefer a semi-jellied texture with lots of pieces of fruit. Spoon a little preserves onto a plate, leave for a few secs, then push with your finger or with a spoon, if it wrinkles and doesn’t flood to fill the gap, it is ready.
  7. Ladle the preserves into hot jars (see the Jars sterilization and filling process in Recipe Notes).
Recipe Notes

Zero Waste

Peaches are one of the highlights of summer eating. Homemade peach preserves is the perfect way to enjoy the taste and sweet aroma of summer peaches all year long. Select the most fragrant peaches so that the preserves is packed with summer peaches scent.  Do not throw away the bruised, overripe, not-so-great, ugly, undersized peaches. Keep the good part of a peach and cut away the bruised portion or watery part of the fruit; just carve out the very inedible parts of the fruit. The spoiled, brown, and bruised parts of fruit should be discarded; they can dramatically alter the taste and flavor of the preserves. Make this peach preserves using a mixture of the best parts of ripe, overripe, bruised, not-so-great, ugly, undersized peaches. This way you reduce food waste! You can also add to this preserves the good parts of your bruised, overripe, not-so-great, ugly, undersized nectarines and apricots, after cutting away the watery patches and bruised portions.

Jars sterilization and filling process

You should make sure that your jars are clean to maintain the freshness of the peach preserves. Sterilize your jars by washing them (and their lids) thoroughly in hot soapy water. Rinse them well. Heat oven to 100°C (212°F). Place the jars and their lids on a baking sheet and put them in the oven for 20'. Using a funnel, ladle the peach preserves into the hot jars, filling to just below the rim. It is important that the preserves is still hot when filling the jars. Cover with a lid. Immediately flip the jar upside down. Leave to cool completely. When cool it creates a suction that pulls the lid down. When you open the lid, you can hear a pop. The jam can be stored for up to 1 year (it will be long gone before that!) in a cool dry place. Refrigerate after opening.

Agar-agar

Agar-agar is derived from red seaweed. It is a vegan and vegetarian substitute for gelatin, that helps thicken foods.

Note

This is a simple and easy recipe for beginners. Bear in mind that you need to allow the sugar to dissolve over a medium-low heat by just scooping the melting sugar over the sugar that hasn't melted yet. Do not boil the melted sugar because you do not want to caramelize the brown sugar, you aim to just turn sugar into liquid. Be careful because the sugar will begin to caramelize quickly once it melts. When the sugar starts turning into liquid, turn the heat down to slow the process down and then, add the fruit.


Retro Peach Preserves

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