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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Peach Lavender Jam

Ontario peaches are now in season here.  We have not made a trip to the orchard for them yet but my husband brought home 2 - 2 L baskets for me to experiment with.  I would like to get any peach products canned before starting into tomato and corn products.  This is likely wishful thinking as various fruits and vegetables tend to overlap this time of year.  At any rate I had a chance to can a couple of peach products so it was a peachy day!

dried lavender flowers
Lavender has wonderful medicinal properties but it is also an amazing culinary herb that adds a subtle flowery note to dishes.  Lavender is one of the key herbs in herbes de province, one of my favourite herb blends.  Lavender accents the flavour of fresh fruits as well so it is perfect for adding that extra special flavour element especially when making jams and jellies.  It also happens to be one of my favourite herbs to grow second only to basils.  I love getting a waft of lavender as I brush against it while in the garden.  I have a couple of problem areas that I am going to try dividing my lavender and planting those spots in the hopes it will do well.  

If you don't grow lavender yourself but would like to experiment cooking with it look for organically grown lavender.  Many organic farm stands are now selling a wide range of fresh organic herbs.  Another good source is health food stores.  I also recall seeing dried lavender flowers at World Market so check specialty kitchen stores.  You should be able to order online as well.

peach lavender jam
A simple addition of lavender water can be just the ingredient that puts your homemade jam into the higher end of the gourmet category.  It's a combination you likely will not find in regular grocery stores although some gourmet specialty shops may possible have something similar.  When buying gourmet style jams expect to pay somewhere around the $8 mark for an 125 ml (pint) jar if not more so about $1 per 15 ml (about 1 ounce).  The homemade version will cost a third or less of that even with buying the produce.

The peach lavender jam is simply delightful.  I made several changes including halving the recipe something I normally do when testing any new canning recipe and I converted the recipe to use Pomona's pectin* rather than regular pectin (eg. Certo).   The flavour of the jam is wonderful. 

Peach Lavender Jam
modified from:  Topp, E. and Howard M., Peach-Lavender Jam, Small-Batch Preserving.2005. Pp. 41.

1 tbsp dried lavender flowers
¼ c boiling water
2 c finely chopped peaches
1 tbsp preservative free lemon juice
3 c organic granulated sugar
1½ tsp Pomona's pectin*
2 tsp calcium water

Place the lavender flowers in a small bowl.  Pour the boiling water over them.  Allow to steep for 20 minutes then strain reserving the liquid.  Combine peaches, lavender liquid, calcium water, and lemon juice in a medium sized saucepan.  In a separate bowl mix the pectin and sugar together.  Bring the peach mixture to a boil.  Stir in the sugar, pectin mixture.  Continue stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Return to a boil and boil for 1 minute while stirring.  Remove from heat.  Ladle into hot prepared 250 ml (half-pint) jars leaving ¼ - inch headspace.  Wipe rim.  Adjust 2 piece lids.  Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath canner.  Remove from canner and tighten ring further is using Tattler reusable lids or leave ring as is for single-use  metal lids.  Allow to sit undisturbed for 24 hours.  Remove ring and test seal.  Wash jars and rings.  The rings can be stored loosely on the jars for storage.

*Pomona's pectin is a low methoxy pectin.  Do not substitute regular pectin in this modified recipe.

2 food lovers commented:

cassandrasmom said...

Thank you for another wonderful canning recipe. I grow my own lavendar and peaches!!!

Garden Gnome said...

Thanks Cassandrasmom! Lucky you :) I grow my own lavender as well. Hopefully we will get a peach tree planted this fall as well.