• When possible, preserve fresh, locally-grown peaches and nectarines for the best quality and nutritional value. Determine when fresh peaches are available where you live with this seasonal food guide.

1. Selection

Jams with Added Pectin

  • Use fully ripe fruit to make jam
    • Irregular and imperfect fruit can be used if not moldy, spoiled, or overripe

Recipes

If this is your first time making jams and jellies, or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read Using Boiling Water CannersGeneral Canning Information, and General Jam and Jelly Information before beginning. 

2. Ingredients

  • 3¾ cups crushed peaches (about 3 pounds peaches)
  • ¼ cup bottled lemon juice
  • 1 package powdered pectin
  • 5 cups sugar
  • NOTE: Follow instructions exactly for best results.
    • Do not make double batches or reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe-both of which could interfere with gel formation.

Yield: About 6 half-pint jars

3. Equipment

  • Water bath canner: Large covered pot (with a tight-fitting cover and a rack) that is deep enough to cover the rack and canning jars by 1 to 2 inches of boiling water. (At least 10 inches deep for pint jars, and 12 inches deep for quart jars.)
  • Canning jars: Use standard canning jars without cracks or chips (see recipe for sizes)
  • Lids and bands:
    • Lids must be new to ensure a proper seal.
    • Bands can be reused if they are in good shape-not bent, misshapen, or rusty.
  • Large, flat-bottomed pot (deep enough to allow jam mixture to come to full rolling boil without boiling over)
  • Medium cooking pot with lid for having extra boiling water on hand (optional)
  • Long-handled spoon
  • Ladle
  • Colander
  • Wide-mouth funnel
  • Jar lifter for removing hot jars from the canner
  • Lid wand (magnetic tool used to transfer lids to jars)
  • Ruler for measuring headspace (some bubble freers include this feature)
  • Towels or wire rack for cooling jars
  • Paper towels
  • Hot pads
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Timer or clock

4. Prepare Canning Equipment

Prepare canner:

  • Place rack in the bottom of a boiling water canner.
  • Fill the canner approximately half full with clean warm water for a canner load of pint jars. (For other sizes and numbers of jars, you will need to adjust the amount of water so it will be 1 to 2 inches over the top of the filled jars.)
  • Center the canner over the burner and bring to a boil.
    • Use this water to sterilize jars if required for your elevation (see below).
  • Be careful not to let too much water evaporate prior to filling the jars--you will need enough to cover the filled jars by 1-2 inches.
  • (Optional) Boil some extra water in a covered medium cooking pot in case more is needed to cover jars.

Prepare jars and lids:

Jars

  • Wash jars with hot soapy water and rinse.
  • Refer to the Water Bath Processing Time table below to determine if sterilization is necessary.
    • If processing time for your elevation is 10 minutes or greater jars do not need to be sterilized prior to filling and processing.
    • If processing time for your elevation is less than 10 minutes, sterilize jars by placing right side up on the rack in a boiling water bath canner.
      • Boil 10 minutes plus 1 minute per 1,000 feet above sea level.
      • Keep jars in hot water (180 degrees F) until jars are ready to be filled.

Lids

  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids and rings.

5. Prepare Ingredients

  • Measure 3 ¾ cups crushed peaches into a cooking pot.
  • Add bottled lemon juice and pectin.
  • Stir well.
  • Place on high heat and, stirring constantly, bring quickly to a full boil with bubbles over the entire surface.
  • Add sugar, continue stirring, and heat again to full bubbling boil.
  • Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Remove jam mixture from heat and skim off foam.

6. Fill Jars

  • Using a ladle and wide-mouth funnel, fill jars with hot jam.
  • Leave 1/4-inch headspace.
  • Wipe rim with clean, wet paper towel.
  • Place lid on jar and add screw band. Screw the band down fingertip tight- not too loose nor too tight. Follow lid manufacturer's directions for tightening the jar lids properly.

7. Process Jars

  • Load filled jars (fitted with lids and ring bands) into the canner one at a time using a jar lifter or if you have a wire rack that has handles to hold it on the canner sides above the water, you can load the jars into the rack in the raised position and then use the handles to lower the rack with jars into the water.
    • When moving jars with a jar lifter, make sure the jar lifter is securely positioned below the neck of the jar (below the ring band of the lid).
    • Keep the jar upright at all times. Tilting the jar could cause jelly to spill into the sealing area of the lid.
  • Add more boiling water, if needed, so the water level is at least 1-2 inches above the jar tops. Pour the water around the jars and not directly onto them.
  • Turn the heat setting to its highest position, cover the canner with its lid and heat until the water boils vigorously.
  • Once the water is boiling, set a timer for the total minutes required for processing the food. Refer to the table below for processing times for your elevation and jar size.
  • Keep the canner covered for the process time. The heat setting may be lowered as long as a gentle but complete boil is maintained for the entire process time.
  • Add more boiling water during the process, if needed, to keep the water level above the jar tops. Pour the water around the jars and not directly onto them.
  • When the jars have been processed in boiling water for the recommended time, turn off the heat and remove the canner lid. 
  • Using a jar lifter, remove the jars one at a time, being careful not to tilt the jars.
    • Carefully place jars onto a towel or cooling rack, leaving at least one inch of space between the jars during cooling. Avoid placing the jars on a cold surface or in a cold draft.
  • Let the jars sit undisturbed while they cool for 12-24 hours.
    • Do not tighten ring bands on the lids.
    • Do not push down on the center of the flat metal lid.
  • After 12-24 hours of cooling, remove ring bands and test seals:
    • Seals can be tested by pressing the middle of the lid with a finger. If lid springs up when finger is released, the lid is not sealed.
    • Seals can also be tested by holding the jar at eye level and looking to see if the lid is concave (curved slightly down in the middle). If the lid is concave, the jar is sealed.
    • Refrigerate any jars that did not seal and use within 1 month.
  • Ring bands should be cleaned, dried thoroughly, and stored for future use.

8. Store

  • With a clean, wet cloth or paper towel, wipe jars and lids to remove any residues.
  • Store jars without ring bands.
  • Label with name, date, and processing method.
  • Store in a cool, dark place, where there is no danger of freezing.
  • When stored properly, canned jams should retain their quality for about 1 year.

Not sure of your elevation? Click here

Boiling water bath processing times [hot pack]-Half Pints or Pints
0-1,000 ft 1,001-6,000 ft 6,001-10,000 ft
5 minutes 10 minutes 15 minutes

If this is your first time making jams and jellies, or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read Using Boiling Water CannersGeneral Canning Information, and General Jam and Jelly Information before beginning. 

2. Ingredients

  • 4 cups drained peach pulp (4-6 pounds of peaches)
  • 2 cups drained, unsweetened crushed pineapple
  • 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
  • 2 cups sugar (optional)
  • Yield: 5 to 6 half pint jars

3. Equipment

  • Water bath canner: Large covered pot (with a tight-fitting cover and a rack) that is deep enough to cover the rack and canning jars by 1 to 2 inches of boiling water. (At least 10 inches deep for pint jars, and 12 inches deep for quart jars.)
  • Canning jars: Use standard canning jars without cracks or chips (see recipe for sizes)
  • Lids and bands:
    • Bands can be reused if they are in good shape, but lids must be new to ensure a proper seal
  • Large, flat-bottomed pot - deep enough to allow spread mixture to come to full rolling boil without boiling over (8 to 10 quarts)
  • Medium cooking pot with lid for having extra boiling water on hand (optional)
  • Jelly bag, cheesecloth or fruit press (for extracting juice)
  • Measuring cups 
  • Bowls
  • Long-handled spoon
  • Ladle
  • Colander 
  • Wide-mouth funnel
  • Jar lifter for removing hot jars from the canner
  • Lid wand (magnetic tool used to transfer lids to jars)
  • Ruler for measuring headspace (some bubble freers include this feature)
  • Towels or wire rack for cooling jars
  • Paper towels
  • Hot pads
  • Cutting board
  • Knives
  • Timer or clock

4. Prepare Canning Equipment

Prepare canner:

  • Place rack in the bottom of a boiling water canner.
  • Fill the canner approximately half full with clean warm water for a canner load of pint jars. (For other sizes and numbers of jars, you will need to adjust the amount of water so it will be 1 to 2 inches over the top of the filled jars.)
  • Center the canner over the burner and bring to a boil.
    • Be careful not to let too much water evaporate prior to filling the jars--you will need enough to cover the filled jars by 1-2 inches.
  • (Optional) Boil some extra water in a covered medium cooking pot in case more is needed to cover jars.

Prepare jars and lids:

Jars

  • Wash jars with hot soapy water and rinse.
    • There is no need to sterilize jars prior to filling the jars since processing times for this recipe are greater than 10 minutes at all elevations. 

Lids

  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for preparing lids and rings.

5. Prepare Ingredients

  • Thoroughly wash 4 to 6 pounds of firm, ripe peaches. Drain well. Peel and remove pits.
  • Grind fruit flesh with a medium or coarse blade, or crush with a fork (do not use a blender).
  • Place ground or crushed fruit in a large saucepan.
  • Heat slowly to release juice, stir constantly until fruit is tender.
  • Place cooked fruit in a jelly bag or strainer lined with four layers of cheesecloth.
    • Allow juice to drip about 15 minutes. Save the juice for jelly or other use
  • Measure 4 cups of drained fruit pulp for making spread.
  • Combine the 4 cups of pulp, pineapple and lemon juice in a large saucepan.
  • Add up to 2 cups of sugar, if desired, and mix well.
  • Heat and boil gently for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir enough to prevent sticking.

6. Fill Jars

  • Fill clean half-pint or pint jars quickly, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace.
  • Wipe rim with clean, wet paper towel.
  • Place lid on jar and add screw band. Screw the band down fingertip tight- not too loose nor too tight. Follow lid manufacturer's directions for tightening the jar lids properly.

7. Process Jars

  • Load filled jars (fitted with lids and ring bands) into the canner one at a time using a jar lifter or if you have a wire rack that has handles to hold it on the canner sides above the water, you can load the jars into the rack in the raised position and then use the handles to lower the rack with jars into the water.
    • When moving jars with a jar lifter, make sure the jar lifter is securely positioned below the neck of the jar (below the ring band of the lid).
    • Keep the jar upright at all times. Tilting the jar could cause jelly to spill into the sealing area of the lid.
  • Add more boiling water, if needed, so the water level is at least 1-2 inches above the jar tops. Pour the water around the jars and not directly onto them.
  • Turn the heat setting to its highest position, cover the canner with its lid and heat until the water boils vigorously.
  • Once the water is boiling, set a timer for the total minutes required for processing the food. Refer to the table below for processing times for your elevation and jar size.
  • Keep the canner covered for the process time. The heat setting may be lowered as long as a gentle but complete boil is maintained for the entire process time.
  • Add more boiling water during the process, if needed, to keep the water level above the jar tops. Pour the water around the jars and not directly onto them.
  • When the jars have been processed in boiling water for the recommended time, turn off the heat and remove the canner lid. 
  • Using a jar lifter, remove the jars one at a time, being careful not to tilt the jars.
    • Carefully place jars onto a towel or cooling rack, leaving at least one inch of space between the jars during cooling. Avoid placing the jars on a cold surface or in a cold draft.
  • Let the jars sit undisturbed while they cool for 12-24 hours.
    • Do not tighten ring bands on the lids.
    • Do not push down on the center of the flat metal lid.
  • After 12-24 hours of cooling, remove ring bands and test seals:
    • Seals can be tested by pressing the middle of the lid with a finger. If lid springs up when finger is released, the lid is not sealed.
    • Seals can also be tested by holding the jar at eye level and looking to see if the lid is concave (curved slightly down in the middle). If the lid is concave, the jar is sealed.
    • Refrigerate any jars that did not seal and use within 1 month.
  • Ring bands should be cleaned, dried thoroughly, and stored for future use.

8. Store

  • With a clean, wet cloth or paper towel, wipe jars and lids to remove any residues.
  • Store jars without ring bands.
  • Label with name, date, and processing method.
  • Store in a cool, dry, dark place, where there is no danger of freezing.

Not sure of your elevation? Click here

Boiling water bath processing times (hot pack)-Half Pints
1,001-6,000 ft 6,001-10,000 ft
20 minutes 25 minutes
Boiling water bath processing times (hot pack)-Pints
1,001-3,000 ft 3,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft 8,001-10,000 ft
25 minutes 30 minutes 35 minutes 40 minutes