Category Archives: Jamming

Layered Peach Melba Jam



Layered Peach Melba Jam

I love the ease and flavor of homemade jam. Peaches are in season now, and I scored an incredible deal for 75 lbs of peaches. I have canned some slices, canned peach jam, frozen peach slices, but my latest peach project has been a layered peach-raspberry jam, or peach melba jam.

The recipe I saw in the Ball Book calls for them to be combined, but I decided to play with the recipe a bit, split the two jams, and see what happened. That’s pretty much what I do with most recipes.

“Oh, this calls for chicken and sesame oil and chili powder…I think I’ll substitute pork, add some sesame seeds and sprinkle in some Cajun seasoning.”

Anybody else use perfectly nice recipes as a springboard for what you want to make?

This layered version is a bit involved, but the visual effect is worth it. Well, I think so anyway. It is a bit time consuming, I have to warn you.


You will need:

8 cups peeled chopped peaches

1 cup raspberries

4 1/2 cups sugar, divided

1 box lower sugar pectin, divided

Yield:approximately 9 half pints (6 layered peach melba jams and 3 peach jams)



Start by prepping the fruit. Peeling the peaches is the most time-consuming part of the whole process.

Wash the jars and put in the hot canner.

I chose to make the raspberry jam first because I though it would look better that way and I figured it would be denser and more likely to stay in a layer at the bottom.

Crush the raspberries or give them a quick whirl in a food processor. Measure 1/2 cup of sugar for the raspberry jam. Whisk 1 tablespoon of the pectin and 2 tablespoons of the sugar together, then into the raspberries. Heat to a rolling boil, stirring constantly, then add the rest of the reserved 1/2 cup. Heat to a boil again, stirring constantly, then boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and carefully put 1/4 cup of the raspberry jam into each of 6 jars.


You could of course make the layers thinner and put some in all 9 jars. Totally up to you.

Now it’s time to make the peach jam. Whisk the remaining pectin into 1/4 cup of the remaining sugar, then heat the peaches and the sugar/pectin mixture to a rolling boil. Add the rest of the sugar and heat to boiling again, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute, then turn off heat and remove pot from heat.

I like to live dangerously, so I just used what was left in the packet of pectin, rather than a whole other packet, which was risky.

It worked for me, and the jam set nicely, but you may want to use a whole packet.


Carefully ladle the peach jam into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.

Top with warmed lids and screw on rings gently.

Process half pints for 10 minutes.


Peach Melba Jam Recipe

I love the look of a layered jam! I’m wondering if I should have put the raspberry on top, but it’s too late now. Maybe if I make another layered jam I’ll put the darker jam on top.

Blueberry and peach would be another pretty combination, don’t you think? I’ve combined them in a jam before, but it might be pretty to separate them.

Have you made a layered jam? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Summer is such a busy time in the kitchen. I’ve been working with blueberries, peaches, and figs are next!



My ulterior motive for buying Classico


Reusing Classico jars for canning

You’re not supposed to do this, but if you can believe what you read on the internet, you can actually reuse Classico jars for canning home goods!

I did it, and did not sustain any bodily injury.

Don’t come crying to me if you die, though. I told you that you’re not supposed to do it.

I have also used their lids with great success to avoid the nasty rusted canning lid syndrome.

Anyway, these are a great size (24 oz) and I am happy to add them to my canning jar stash! I think Publix had them BOGO for $2.99, which is a great deal, especially considering that I’m getting a canning jar too.

Mmm. Now I’m in the mood for some hot apple pie made with homemade pie filling or some warm homemade bread slathered with apple pie jam…

Maybe I’ll can some salsa in these this summer. I do love salsa.

Isn’t canning yummy?



Kumquat Marmalade

Kumquat Marmalade

It’s kumquat season! If your tree is going bonkers, or you have access to fresh kumquats, you may be wondering what to do with these unique fruits. I’ve been using kumquats in various recipes, but this is my favorite.

You only need kumquats, sugar, and water to make this fresh marmalade.

Slice kumquats crosswise to make 5 cups, removing the seeds as much as you can. This is the tedious part.

You will go through various emotional stages as you slice the small kumquats.

Cup 1: Oh, how pretty!

Cup 2: This isn’t so bad.

Cup 3: Wow, it really took a long time to just slice that last one cup.

Cup 4: This is ridiculous. Who is even going to care that they are sliced in rounds?

Cup 4.5: Almost there…you can do this…

Cup 5: Yay! I’m done! I am never going to so this again. Next time I’m just going to chunk them in a blender.


Chunking them is totally acceptable, but I do like how the slices turned out.

My next batch may be a mix of both, though. πŸ™‚

Boil with 6 cups of water for 5 minutes. This is a good time to skim off any seeds you missed.

Let cool, then set in fridge overnight.

Mix in 4 cups of sugar. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches 220Β°F or passes the gel test.

Ladle into prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Can pints or half pints in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Yield: 5 half pints
I was concerned that just using kumquats wouldn’t give me enough jelly between the rind pieces, but it turned out that there is plenty of sparkling jelly.

I love the look of the thin strips of rind and the few circles that were left after the cooking process. If you prefer more bites of peel per bite, you may want to process some of the kumquats.

For other two ingredient jams, check out my post on strawberry jam (my husband’s favorite!), andΒ  peach jam.

Look for my Strawberry Kumquat Marmalade recipe soon!

Crock-Pot Pumpkin Butter


If you want a homemade base for making pumpkin spice lattes, this is it.

It starts with homemade pumpkin puree ( visit my easy tutorial to learn how to make your own).


3 cups of pumpkin puree

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

a few sprinkles of ginger


Stir all ingredients in Crock-Pot and cook on high for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Do not can this pumpkin butter.

I could go through all the reasons why not, but those have been covered exhaustively in the comments in Marisa’s post over on Food in Jars. It really made me laugh. Here’s my version. πŸ™‚

Commenter: What about if I add a gallon of orange juice? Would that make it acidic enough?

Marisa: No.

Commenter: But my Grandma canned it and we never got sick.

Marisa: The answer is still no.

Commenter: What about if I canned it for 6 hours??? Could I do that? And added a quart of battery acid?

She is so reserved in her responses, but I can only imagine how it tested her patience. Go on over, check it out!


This pumpkin butter of course has its carbohydrate applications, but it also makes an amazing Pumpkin Spice Latte! Have you ever had a real PSL?

I’ll share my method of making a $5 drink at home; red cup, or no red cup. πŸ™‚

Soon. For now though, enjoy turning those mammoth pumpkin patch pumpkins into something yummy.

Apple Pie Jam with Toasted Walnuts


I wanted a jam that would recreate the taste of an apple pie, only in spreadable form. In this jam, there are small, soft chunks of apple in a sweet jam base, and toasted walnuts to add just a hint of crunch.

peeling apples

This recipe is adapted from the Ball Book’s Apple Pie in a Jar.

6 cups peeled chopped apples
4 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 box pectin
1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Makes approximately 7 half pints

Toast the walnuts in a dry pan over medium heat until they are slightly browned. Set aside to cool.

Measure the 4 cups of sugar into a bowl so it can be added all at once.

Place the chopped apples in a large pot with the water. Cook over medium heat until they start to soften, but do not cook them down to mush. This will take about 8 minutes, so if you work quickly, you can get the canner on the stove, the jars washed, and the lids in a pan to simmer in between the occasional stirrings. πŸ™‚

You should see me in the kitchen when I’m canning something with pectin- I’m running around like a crazy lady and unless your arm just fell off you’ll just have to wait until the jars are in the canner!

So anyway, once the apples are softened, stir in the pectin and boil for 1 minute. Stir frequently.

If your jars are not hot (I put mine in the canner), get them in the hot water ASAP!

Add the sugar all at once, bring to a rapid lava boil, and stir for one minute.

apple pie jam with toasted walnuts

Now remove from the heat, stir in the spice and toasted walnuts, then ladle into the hot jars. You need 1/4 inch headspace for these.

Process for 10 minutes.

Enjoy on a hot buttered biscuit or a soft croissant!! Yum!

apple pie jam recipe

You could even use this jam as a filling for tiny pies. Wouldn’t that be cute?

I Think I’m Done, Folks


I’m down to the last box of apples.

I’ve been canning my way through 160 pounds of apples, and I’m just about done.


I am officially out of half pint jars, and I have just a few pint jars left.

I think I’m done canning, though. I may do something novel, like actually bake something with fresh apples, like an apple crisp or an apple pie.

I think I’m going to have to wait a few days, though. I’m kind of appled out. So, unless one of you creative people can think of something that I should do with these last few apples, I think I’m putting the canner away for a while.


In other news, the apple pie jam turned out fantastic! I’ll share that recipe with you in just a bit. I canned six pints of it last night, and some very special people may be seeing them around Christmas time.

So, what should I do with these last few apples??

Chunky Spiced Applesauce in the Crock-pot


Do you enjoy a delicious bowl of hearty applesauce? This is the best way to make applesauce that I know. I have made applesauce over the stove and in the Crock-pot, and the Crock-pot method works out better for me. It splits up the actual hands on time nicely.

First, take approximately 12 apples that have been cored and sliced, 1.5 teaspoon cinnamon, a dash of water in the bottom to prevent sticking, and cook the apples on high for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.


Your house will smell so nice!

At the end of the time, the apples will have broken down so much that you may not even need to process them if you want chunky sauce.

If you prefer a finer sauce, or if you left the peels on ( I used Jonagold apples, which have fairly thin skins, but they still needed a bit of processing) this is the time to give them a whirl with a food processor or immersion blender.

If you want to add sugar, add it to taste. The cooking concentrates the sweetness, so I started with 1/4 cup, and ended up adding a total of 3/4 cup.


Yield is approximately 4 pints, depending on how many quality control specialists get involved. πŸ™‚

Either refrigerate the applesauce, or can the pints or quarts for 20 minutes, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.

I like how using the Crock-pot splits up the time. It takes me about 5 minutes to wash and slice the apples and put them in to cook. Then, if needed, I can just leave them on the warm setting until I have the time free to can them.

So, yummy applesauce in the Crock-pot, what do you think? Have you ever made it this way?


I’m working my way through 160 lbs of delicious apples, so be on the lookout for more apple recipes!

Sand Pear Recipe: Florida Pear Preserves with Pineapple


Wondering what to do with a huge harvest of sand pears? I have really enjoyed working my way through my laundry basket of pears. My most recent project has been these preserves. Sand pear, juicy pineapple, and tart lemon combine in a spread that is delicious and makes good use of a windfall of sand pears.

When I first started looking for sand pear recipes, I found a recipe on Oysters and Pearls that sounded intriguing. It called for the addition of pineapple and lemon. It is an old recipe, using paraffin wax for sealing(no longer recommended!), but the flavor combination inspired me to create a preserve with those flavors.


Ingredients: 8 cups peeled diced sand pears, 22 oz can crushed pineapple in juice, 3 cups sugar, finely chopped flesh of one lemon, approx 3 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice for canning.


Combine all ingredients except bottled lemon juice in large stockpot, and simmer until it passes the gel test. For more information on how to test for gelling, click here.

I ended up with approximately 5 half pints of preserves. Canning guidelines for sand pears call for the addition of 1 tablespoon of bottled lemon juice per pint. I like to round up for safety!

Process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.


Enjoy! If you are fortunate enough to have access to sand pears, I highly recommend this recipe. The grittiness of the pears is not the focus, and the pineapple adds a nice accent flavor.

So far I’ve made Spiced Pear Butter and these Florida Pear Preserves.

Next post on the sand pears will be… Nana Clement’s Pear Conserve! I have been entrusted me with a family recipe that I am so eager to try. It has walnuts in it, which means that I may just eat it out of the jar with a spoon, or pour it over ice cream. How do you like to eat a yummy conserve?

Look for that sand pear recipe soon!

Sand Pear Recipe: Spiced Pear Butter

Sand Pear Recipe: Spiced Pear Butter

Wondering what to do with a bounty of sand pears? If you have never had a sand pear, I would have to describe them to you as a fruit with the crisp crunchiness of an apple, the flavor of a Bartlett pear, and textured with the tiny bits of grittiness that give them their name.

I have had a laundry basket of them setting on my kitchen table, slowly but steadily ripening.


First plan: Spiced Pear Butter. This is a great way to use up the pears that need to be preserved right away. It takes a large amount of pears and turns them into a delicious product thanks to some easy cooking done in the Crock-Pot.


Ingredients: 14 cups peeled sliced sand pears, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 cup sugar, lemon juice for canning


Place pears in Crock-Pot and cook on low overnight or for 12 hours.


In the morning, puree the pears until smooth. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar, then cook on low for another 4 hours with the lid cracked so the excess moisture can evaporate. At the end of four hours, taste the butter to see how sweet it is after all the cooking down time. I only needed 1 cup of sugar. You may want to add more, based upon your personal taste, or the relative sweetness of your pears. At this point, the butter was not quite as thick as I’d like, I so I let it cook on low for another hour with the lid cracked.

Sand pears are also known as Asian pears, and do not contain enough natural acidity to be canned alone. The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends that lemon juice be added to Asian pears before canning, at the rate of 1 tablespoon per pint.

To be sure that it would be acidic enough, I measured the amount of the final product (5 cups), then added the appropriate amount of bottled lemon juice (2.5 tablespoons).Β  You may have more or less, depending on how juicy your pears were, how thick you wanted your pear butter, etc.

spiced sand pear butter recipe

Spiced Sand Pear Butter Recipe

If you decide to can your butter, process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Won’t this be delicious on hot biscuits? Or on some roasted pork chops?

Next: Florida Pear Preserves!

These preserves are made with sand pears, juicy pineapple, and a bit of lemon. Really tasty. Look for that recipe soon!

I Have a Laundry Basket of Sand Pears


Remember the 75 pounds of peaches? Well, now I am happy to be swimming in pears.

sand pears

These are sand pears: crunchy, crisp and (hence the name) slightly gritty.

I was glad I didn’t have one fall on my head as I was picking them; those pears are big and pretty heavy too!

I’m not as panicky about getting them processed as I was about the peaches; sand pears ripen much more slowly.

I have found that the grittiness is reduced as they ripen.

sand pear

Right now I have a batch of spiced sand pear butter in the Crock-Pot; look for that recipe soon!

Other plans include a gingery pear jam and pear cobbler mix.

Do you have any favorite sand pear recipes? I’d love to hear your ideas. It seems that many have never even heard of these pears.

You can comment below or join me on Facebook!