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This easy method for Peach, Strawberry & Maple Jam makes a small batch of sweet and delicious fruit jam, no canning required! Make a small batch jam with the last of summer’s richest gifts.
Right now, I have stragglers coming in. That is to say, what remains of this summer’s bounty, the last of which here and there, is currently ripening. Much of this is coming from neighbors who are “gifting” what they can no longer use nor stand to eat any more of. Zucchini is a biggie. Tomatoes are another. Last weekend though, I opened the front door to a brown bag filled largely with jalapenos and peaches. There was a big rubber-banded bunch of purple basil and some rosemary, too. I still have no idea who left it.
Including the peeling, pitting, chopping, and cooking, this small batch peach, strawberry, and maple jam takes under an hour to put up. It also makes a superior gift for the neighbor who has been passing zucchini over the fence all summer.
As I have mentioned in past posts, I have no formal canning ability. I watched my great grandmother, grandmother, and my Mom all can my entire young life. I never showed an interest, and never picked it up. I wish now I could go back and get the gen on canning. I have purchased a book for the beginner. I am anxious to see if I can master this for future posts for those of you who actually do know what you are doing.
For today, no pectin. Just jam. Refrigerator jam. Or freezer, whichever suits you. This small batch still makes a hefty little bit and so as not to allow any of my efforts to go to waste, some will be frozen for late fall when I need my summer fruit fix. That, and I will surely be baking up another zillion loaves of my homemade buttermilk bread that I seem to not be able to eat without my jam 🙂
My Grandmother had hundreds of vintage canning jars that she’d process in. Sadly, they were disregarded and tossed when they left the farm. I like having these around for refrigerator pickles, pickled hot and sweet peppers, and jam.
That half of a vanilla bean that has been waiting for a task will be put to good use in this mash that will become my small batch jam. If you have one, use it. Alternatively, a cinnamon stick will flavor things up nicely, too.
In lieu of granulated sugar, I am using maple. Hey, Fall is in the air, promise! Almost time for sweaters, boots, and pumpkin spice. So, yes; maple. Not much, just enough to compliment the sugars already singing loudly from the fruit. And the fruit of course are fresh, somewhat overly-ripe peaches and a handful of strawberries I froze whole because I couldn’t use them right away. Perfect.
The ultimate color of your jam will depend on the color of your peaches. I like that mine ended in a dark, rich color.
Natural pectin in the fruits when heated together with the sugars in the maple syrup will thicken the jam. No additional pectin is required. I recommend cutting off the heat at the point that it is as viscous as you would like it. I prefer a runnier jam to a thicker one for example. Also, know what you plan to eat this with, otherwise, freeze it. I say this because it’s jam, not jelly. And because there is no formal canning going on here, there is no preservation. You have a two-week window to consume if kept in the fridge. Beyond that, freezing is the option. I do both; one small jar goes into the fridge, and the remaining portions all go into freezable plastic containers and popped into the garage side-by-side. You have NO IDEA how wonderful those little containers of jam are when defrosted mid-February for homemade biscuits…
Peach, Strawberry & Maple Jam
- heavy-bottomed saucepan
- canning jars with lids
- potato masher
- 3 cups chopped fresh peaches, skins removed and pitted, about 4 to 5 peaches
- 1 cups chopped fresh strawberries
- ¾ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice with any pulp
- ½ vanilla bean, split or 2 teaspoons quality vanilla extract
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Place the chopped peaches, chopped strawberries, maple syrup, vanilla bean or cinnamon stick, and lemon juice in a heavy-bottomed 3-quart saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, mashing the fruit mixture as it cook. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and thickened, about 30 to 35 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Let the jam cool in the pot before removing the vanilla bean or the cinnamon stick.
- Spoon the jam into a jar/jars. Place the lid on the jar and allow to cool to room temperature. If planning to freeze, be sure to use freezer containers. Save room at the top if freezing to allow for expansion.
- Refrigerate the jam for 24 hours. Jam will keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks, and will freeze for up to 1 year.
- Enjoy this jam spooned onto warm biscuits with butter, or warm from the oven buttermilk bread.
The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.