This super simple, three ingredient, homemade peach preserves (aka peach jam) recipe is one of the tastiest ways to enjoy peaches all year round. No pectin needed.
We absolutely love making homemade peach jam and peach preserves at our house. Talk about a way to enjoy what summer tastes like in the middle of winter – peaches are the absolute best.
There is nothing more summe-like than biting into a juicy, sweet peach that you just picked.
Store-bought peaches that have been sitting on the shelf for days have nothing on perfectly ripe peaches just plucked from the tree that morning.
There are also very few things messier than fresh, ripe peaches. I love watching the kids gobble down their sun-ripened fruit with juice just running down their face.
Being able to preserve that same delicious peach flavor all year long is a favorite of mine. Come December, we can pop open a can and be brought back to the joys of summer.
- If you want a smooth jam, just use an immersion blender. You can also use a regular blender, but an immersion blender is way easier.
- For old-fashioned peach preserves, you can just mash the peaches with a potato masher, which will leave it a little chunky and rustic.
- You can also make instant pot peach jam by placing the ingredients in the instant pot. Set to high pressure for one minute. Allow it to release naturally for about 10 minutes. Then remove the lid and turn on the sauté function, allowing it to simmer and thicken, stirring occasionally.
- Did you know that all jam can be freezer jam? Make peach freezer jam by just placing the jam in the freezer after making it, rather than canning it.
- I like to add a little cinnamon to this recipe. It really complements the peaches. It also makes the jam a lot darker in color, which is why you will notice the difference in the batches. Some had cinnamon and others did not.
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Peaches – Preferably very ripe peaches for the best flavor.
Sugar – Could also substitute with honey or maple syrup. You may need to add pectin if using one of these alternatives, since it adds liquid.
Lemon juice: Bottled or fresh lemon juice will work. This helps add acidity to the recipe to ensure safe water bath canning.
Cinnamon – (optional) Adds a yummy, warm, spiced flavor and a rich color.
Tools you may need:
Immersion blender (optional, but very handy)
Jars and lids
What is the difference between peach jam and peach preserves?
The main difference is the thickness and chunkiness of the peaches. Peach jam tends to have a smoother texture, while preserves have some peach chunks remaining.
How long do peach preserves last?
They will last 3 weeks opened (but covered) or at least 18 months if canned and unopened.
How do you thicken peach preserves?
You can cook it down to evaporate some of the water, or you can use pectin to help thicken it.
Can you reduce the sugar in jam?
Yes. Technically, sugar is not what makes jam or preserves safe for canning, but rather the acidity and water bath canning process.
But saying that, reducing the sugar can compromise the set, especially if using pectin. If you want to make a low sugar version, I would suggest using Pomona’s pectin or Ball’s low sugar pectin.
Do you have to peel peaches for canning?
Peeling peaches for canning is not a safety issue, but rather a texture issue. Many people find that the texture of the skins is not very desirable and prefer taking them off.
Can I skip adding lemon juice?
No. The acid from the lemon juice reacts with the natural pectin in the fruit to thicken it. It also helps ensure safety for water bath canning.
How do you fix jam that hasn’t set?
Wait 12-24 before determining that it hasn’t set for sure. Sometimes it takes this long for it to really set.
If it has not, open all of the jars and reprocess. Place in a pot over low/medium heat.
Add a little more pectin. The amount you add will be determined by how much jam needs to be reprocessed.
Bring to a boil and stir well for 5-10 minutes. Once it has reached the desired thickness, go ahead and can it.
Add to jars, wipe rims, and add lids and rings.
Reprocess in a water bath canner.
Or, if all else fails, call it peach sauce.
Can I use a regular pot for canning?
You don’t technically need a special pot to water bath can. Rather, a large deep pot that can hold jars and have two inches of water above the jars and it has to have a lid will work. Also, it will have to have something to prevent the jars from touching the bottom of the pot. This could even be caning rings placed at the bottom.
Canning Safety Tips
- Make sure all of your jars, lids, and bands have been washed thoroughly with hot soapy water.
- For water bath canning recipes that process 10 minutes or longer, you do not need to sterilize the jars ahead of time.
- To ensure your jars don’t break, you want to make sure the water in the canner and the jars are around the same temperature when adding the filled jars to the water bath. So if you are adding hot jam to the jars, you want your jars to be warm before filling. Place them in the water bath to warm up the water before filling.
- Make sure not to start the timer until the water has come to a full boil.
How to Make Peach Preserves without Pectin
In a large pot, fill with water and place over high heat.
Wash peaches. Using a knife, add a cross to the bottom of them. This helps make peeling easier, and the skins slip right off.
Once it has come to a boil, add in peaches and boil for about 30 seconds.
Move peaches to an ice water bath, then peel. Save those peels for the chickens.
Slice peaches at least in half to remove the pits, then place back into a pot over low-medium heat.
Smash with a spoon, potato masher, or use an immersion blender. Remember the difference between jam and preserves is how thick and chunky it is. For perfectly smooth jam, use an immersion blender. Preserves has more peach chunks and texture.
Add sugar and lemon juice and stir well.
Simmer until the desired thickness is achieved.
Add cinnamon to taste if desired.
Canning Peach Jam
Wash and clean jars, lids, and rings with hot soapy water. Set aside. Place jars in warm water until ready to fill.
Fill jars using a funnel, leaving 1/4″ head space.
Wipe the rims clean using a damp, clean rag.
Center lid onto the jar and secure the ring to finger tip tightness. This means that you screw it on tight, but tighten it without forcing it. Turning it too tightly will prevent the air bubbles from escaping. If the band is too tight and the air is trapped in the jar, it can cause spoilage and will have trouble sealing.
Gently place the jars into the water bath canner and turn heat on high, covered.
Once the canner has come to a full, rolling boil, start the timer to 10 minutes, cover with lid, and allow the canner to work its magic.
When the timer is up, turn off the heat and remove the lid. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Using the jar lifter, lift jars out carefully and place on a towel on the counter. Leave for 12-24 hours without touching. You may hear the jars start popping as they seal. It is okay if you do not hear any popping either.
Once the 12-24 hours are up, check the seals. If they are sealed, clean the outside of the jars and label. If they have not sealed, you can reprocess them.
Store canned jars in a cool, dark place for up to 18 months.
Freeze for up to one year in an air-tight container. This could be a jar, but make sure to leave a good amount of headspace so the jar doesn’t break when the liquid expands, or use a freezer safe plastic bag. After 6 months, the quality of freezer jam starts to decrease.
You can also store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
Another option is the freeze dryer. After processing so many cans of jam, I decided to freeze dry the rest in my freeze dryer. We will later rehydrate it and turn it into peach sauce. This will last up to 25 years.
Find More Ways To Preserve The Harvest:
- Homemade Strawberry Jam Sweetened with Honey
- Water Glassing Eggs
- Homemade Lacto-Fermented Pickles
- How To Use Up Eggs: Recipes & Preserving
- Lacto-fermentation: A Guide To Fermenting Vegetables
If you try this recipe and love it, I would love if you gave it 5 stars! Thank you! Tag me on Instagram @farmhouseonboone.
- 8 lbs peaches
- 3 cups sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Cinnamon (optional)
- In a large pot, fill with water and place over high heat.
- Wash peaches.
- Using a knife, add a cross to the bottom of them.
- Once it has come to a boil, add in peaches and boil for about 30 seconds.
- Move peaches to an ice water bath, then peel.
- Slice peaches at least in half to remove the pits, then place back into a pot over low-medium heat.
- Smash with a spoon, potato masher, or use an immersion blender.
- Add sugar and lemon juice and stir well.
- Simmer until the desired thickness is achieved.
- Stir in cinnamon to taste, if desired.
Canning Peach Jam
- Wash and clean jars, lids, and rings with hot soapy water. Set aside. Place jars in warm water until ready to fill.
- Fill jars using a funnel, leaving 1/4″ head space.
- Wipe the rims clean using a damp, clean rag.
- Center lid onto the jar and secure the ring to finger tip tightness.
- Gently place the jars into the water bath canner and turn heat on high, covered.
- Once the canner has come to a full, rolling boil, start the timer to 10 minutes, cover with lid, and allow the canner to work its magic.
- When the timer is up, turn off the heat and remove the lid. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Using the jar lifter, lift jars out carefully and place on a towel on the counter. Leave for 12-24 hours without touching. You may hear the jars start popping as they seal. It is okay if you do not hear any popping either.
- Once the 12-24 hours are up, check the seals. If they are sealed, clean the outside of the jars and label.
If you want a smooth jam, just use an immersion blender. You can also use a regular blender, but an immersion blender is way easier. For a chunkier version use a potato masher.
Make freezer jam by just placing the jam in the freezer after making it, rather than canning it.
I like to add a little cinnamon to this recipe. It really complements the peaches.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 80 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 47Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 0g