Saturday, September 8, 2012

Habanero Peach Jam

If you're a lover of the sweet & spicy combo, you're going to love this jam. It's really more of a sauce, and has the sticky sweet flavor of Jersey yellow peaches and the slow burning kick of fresh habanero. This stuff is seriously good.


Depending on your level of spice liking, you can adjust the peppers up or down. Matt likes things wickedly spicy and I like a medium zing, so just a few of these red hot babies were perfect for us.

The flavor of this jam/sauce reminds me of a Thai chili sauce, so it's really versatile. So far we've brushed it on grilled salmon, poured it over cream cheese to eat as a dip with crackers, mixed it into rice with veggies, and combined it with mango and tomatoes for a new twist on salsa.

Peaches are still in season, so there's still plenty of time to make this. I made a bunch a few weeks ago, but then last weekend when I was in full peach jam makin' mode, I kept half the peaches out to make another batch of this since all our friends and family keep requesting their own jars. By the way, if you're in the market for a decent no-sugar peach jam, this old Ball recipe is a great one.

I make most of my jams without sweeteners, but to be honest you'll need to add sugar to this one. The sugar really gives the jam a great texture and helps it stick to whatever you're cooking, and it also helps balance the heat from the peppers.

Habanero Peach Jam

Makes 10 8 oz. jars (half pints)

5 cups fresh peaches, peeled, cored and chopped
6 cups sugar
1/3 cup habanero peppers, chopped
1 1/2 cups red bell peppers, chopped
1 cup purple bell peppers, chopped (any color bell pepper can be used)
2 pouches pectin (1.75 oz. each)
2 cups apple cider vinegar

Pour the chopped peaches into a food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a large pot and add remaining ingredients, except pectin. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes, until peppers soften and mixture starts to come together. Increase heat and bring to an intense boil (one that can't be stopped when stirred with a spoon). Add the pectin, and then continue boiling at this level for 1 minute.

Remove from heat, and skim off any excess foam. Ladle into hot, sterilized jars and process in a hot water both for 15 minutes.

*If not canning, simply pour the hot jam into jars and store in the fridge for up to several weeks.

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