Peach Cinnamon Preserves
About 6 lbs. fresh, tree-ripened peaches
3 cups granulated sugar
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
Peel and slice peaches to measure about 10 or 11 cups of fruit (the fruit should
be sliced into chunks about 1/4-inch thick, and about 1 inch wide; but some can
be larger, some smaller). Toss the fruit with the sugar, cover with plastic wrap
(to help prevent browning of the top layer) and let stand for 3 to 4 hours at
room temperature. It would be all right to let the fruit stand overnight in the
Wash 7 half-pint jars; keep hot until needed. Prepare lids as manufacturer
Place a large colander in a large, non-aluminum skillet or wide-mouthed pan.
Pour the fruit and juice through the colander and let it drain for 20 minutes.
Remove the fruit to a bowl. Add the cinnamon stick, then measure the depth of
the juice collected in the pan by standing a chopstick in the juice and marking
its surface with a pencil.
Bring the juice to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat enough to keep
the juice boiling fairly rapidly (the surface will appear foamy with small
bubbles covering the entire surface). Boil until the juice is reduced by half.
This will take about 20 minutes. To test the amount of reduction, place the
chopstick in the pan and see where the surface hits in relation to your original
pencil marking. By this time, the juice has become a light, slightly glistening
Add the fruit and any additional juice that has accumulated and continue cooking
until the peaches begin to take on a translucent, caramelized look around the
edges, and the syrup is quite thick. This will take about 15 minutes. There's a
great deal of splattering toward the end, so protect your hands and arms to
avoid tiny burns.
Remove the mixture from the heat. Remove the cinnamon stick. Ladle the hot jam
into one hot jar at a time, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rim with a
clean, damp cloth. Attach lid. Fill and close remaining jars. Process in a
boiling water canner for 10 minutes (15 minutes at 1,001 to 6,000 feet; 20
minutes above 6,000 feet).
Yields 6 or 7 half-pints.