Are you familiar with The Peach Truck? Neither was I until Rick showed up with a 25-pound box of peaches after going to the hardware store for a garden hose. The Peach Truck Tour travels through Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Texas, and Florida, stopping at select locations (usually hardware stores and garden centers) to sell half-bushel cases of fresh Georgia peaches. The truck stops at each location for just two hours, and then they are off to the next stop.
Why not just get peaches at the grocery store, you say? (Or I might have said, to Rick, as I looked at the massive amount of fruit on the kitchen counter.) One juice-dribbling-down-the-chin bite later, I doubted no more. These peaches are amazing!! After we shared some of the bounty with our kids, both our son and son-in-law raved that they were the best peaches they’d ever eaten.
After doing our own little peach tour to our kid’s homes, we still had 15 pounds of fruit left to make jam and a pie!
We found a recipe and canning tips on YouTube (thanks Cog Hill Farm!) and got down to work.
Fresh Peach Jam (Recipe courtesy of “Saving the Season” by Kevin West: http://amzn.to/2wdzAQP
5 pounds ripe peaches
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 1/2 cups sugar
To peel the peaches, slash a shallow X in the end of each fruit. Working with a few at a time, blanch the peaches for 60 to 90 seconds in boiling water. Lift the peaches out of the water using a slotted spoon and set them in a bowl of ice water to cool. Remove the skins and pits from the peaches. Chop peaches and combine with the lemon juice and sugar. Leave to macerate for 30 minutes.
Turn the fruit mixture into a large heavy bottomed pot and bring to a full boil. Reduce over high heat to the gel point, 8-10 minutes, at a full rolling boil, while stirring constantly. If the jam is too chunky for your liking, turn off the heat and stir with a whisk to break down the chunks. Ladle the hot jam into six prepared half-pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Seal the jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
I think I’m supposed to add a disclaimer here stating the fact that I am not a professional canner or chef, so don’t rely on this recipe or my instructions alone to safely make preserves. For the latest guidelines on canning and processing, visit http://nchfp.uga.edu/ .
Interested in getting your own bushel of the Peach Truck’s peaches? They’ll be rolling back into the Pittsburgh area on Sunday, July 21 with stops at Ambridge Do It Best, Rural King in Washington, Hampton Do It Best in Allison Park, Bedner’s Farm & Greenhouse in McDonald, Tractor Supply Co. in Natrona Heights, and Rollier’s Hardware in Mt. Lebanon. For more information, visit https://thepeachtruck.com/pages/tour.