The peaches are in! I know I’ve taken you down the skillet jam road before… with a larger surface area, a skillet makes a great tool for cooking down fruit and sugar to make just enough for a single pot (or jar) of jam to tuck in the fridge. It’s a great way to take care of surplus stone fruit starting to soften and/or become a hub for fruit flies. Bonus: you can see your jam thicken, so there’s no need for hard boiling and thermometers.
To peel your peaches – something I rarely do, but did here – just plunge them into a pot of boiling water for a minute or two. Once they cool (you could put them in a bowl of cold water to speed this up) you can peel the skins away with your fingers. Ripe peaches you’ll be able to squish with your hands, right into the pan. Otherwise, use a knife and chop it in.
At first it will look kind of chunky and saucy, but as you simmer it will cook down to a thick jam. Mash it about with a spoon, or use a potato masher. Fresh ginger is good, but a pinch of cinnamon or cardamom would be too, or nothing at all but straight-up peaches and brown sugar. When it has become jam, you’ll know it.
Skillet Brown Sugar Peach-Ginger Jam
4 ripe peaches, peeled
1/2-1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
In a bowl, roughly mash your berries with a fork, pastry cutter or potato masher, or simply squeeze them with your fingers if they’re soft enough that you can do that, right into a large, heavy skillet. Set it over medium-high heat and stir in the sugar and lemon juice.
Cook, stirring often, until the mixture bubbles and the fruit softens. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until it thickens enough that your spoon leaves a trail through the jam. Remove from heat, scrape into a jar or bowl and cool completely. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
August 23 2012 06:06 pm | preserves