First taste sweet golden warm summery peach with a hint of smokey spice... then warmth, then heat... just up to the point of concern... then subsiding back to mellow peachy goodness. On top of a cream cheese coated cracker (or even better, a PBJ on homemade buttermilk bread!), the heat is mellowed to a gentle "creeper" warm that sends them back for more... and more... and more. Adapted from the Ball No Sugar Needed cooked peach jam recipe. Try it, you'll like it. Seriously. This type of pectin gives a soft set - perfect for putting on cream cheese. I add a handful of red peppers to serve as a warning as the orange habaneros meld right in and are invisible. WEAR GLOVES. PUT A TOWEL DOWN AT YOUR WORKPLACE TO CATCH ANY SEEDS, ETC. DO NOT TOUCH FACE. Buttermilk soaked compress helps any burning areas that are inadvertently touched.
- 4 cups peaches, peeled and crushed (about 4 lbs)
- 1 cup habanero pepper, seeded and minced (about 25-30 peppers)
- 5 red peppers, coarsely seeded and chopped (cayenne, red jalapeno, etc)
- 1 cup unsweetened grape juice (white)
- 1⁄2 cup lemon juice (bottled)
- 1 tablespoon turmeric, ground
- 1⁄4 teaspoon butter (optional)
- 1 3⁄4 ounces ball fruit jell (No Sugar Needed Pectin)
- 3 1⁄2 cups unbleached cane sugar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- Peel, chop & crush peaches. Pulsing them in Cuisinart to a chunky consistency works well. Crushing with a potato masher works well too. Do not over process in food processor as cooking breaks them down too.
- WEARING GLOVES (seriously), split habaneros and remove seeds and most of pith holding seeds. Reserve the pith & seeds to add back to jam if it is not hot enough for your tastes (OMG).
- Split red peppers, de-seed & chop coarsely.
- Process habaneros and red peppers of choice to mince. Do not process until smooth, just a mince, finer than the peach chop.
- Measure 4 cups of peach crush and 1 cup pepper mince into a 6 to 8 quart nonreactive pot. Add the white grape juice, lemon juice, turmeric and butter (optional - but reduces foaming). Gradually stir in pectin. Bring to a full boil over med-high heat, stirring constantly.
- Add sugar. Return to a full boil and boil hard for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Taste and decide whether you want to add some Habanero pith and/or seeds (not for me thanks and I like it hot!). Go easy though as you probably want an edible finished product.
- Ladle jam hot into freshly boiled half-pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims clean with a clean dish towel dipped in hot water if necessary so the lids will seal well. Adjust rings until resistance is just met.
- Load jars into boiling water bath, cover and process 10 minutes. Make sure jars are covered by at least 2 inches of water and water is gently boiling.
- After processing, remove jars and place on a towel to cool for 12 to 24 hours.
- Remove bands, wipe sealed jars with a cool damp cloth. Label and store in a dark, cool. dry place for up a year -- as if it be around that long!