Basil and peaches

August 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Another summer favorite of mine other than peaches is basil. As I was looking into making preserves, my sister suggested adding some to the peach preserves I was making. It’s pretty amazing. It’s two perfect summer flavors that actually go pretty well together.
First you blanch the peaches by placing the in boiling water for 30-60 seconds followed by an ice bath. Once they cool, the skins come right off and then you cut them into 1/3″ wedges. I processed 6 1/2 lbs of peaches. Then you add 3 cups of sugar and 3 1/2 ounces of fresh lemon juice. Mix gently in the bowl and then cover with saran wrap. I separated it out into two mixing bowls, one for plain peach preserves and the other for basil peach preserves. Make sure the saran wrap is flush against the peaches to minimize exposure to air. Put in fridge overnight.

The next day bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and skim foam off the top. Using a potato masher, mash the peaches to break up the wedges a bit. It will further breakdown so you can do it later on to your taste. I like to still have chunks of fruit in my preserves. Bring back to a boil for 25-40 minutes until it thickens. For the basil peach preserves, add a bunch of fresh basil in as it is boiling. You can remove it before jarring. The way to test if it is right is to put a few spoons in the freezer, pull one out and put a little jam on it. Put it back in the freezer for 3 minutes. When you hold it up if it is runny it still needs more time boiling.
Sterilize the jars by running them through the dishwasher and then process the filled jars in a water bath for 15 minutes. I used 4 oz. jars and am at high altitude. Timing depends on what kind of fruit you’re canning, the jar size and altitude.

I’m looking forward to a croissant with brie and peach preserves tomorrow!

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