Peach jelly captures all the delicious flavor of summer peaches in an easy to make preserve. While peaches are only around for a few short months, peach jelly is perfect for year-round enjoyment.
Peach jelly can be made with fresh peaches, but it’s also the perfect way to use up extra peach scraps around the kitchen. When you’re canning peaches, making peach jam or simply making a peach pie, there’s plenty of peach peels left over. It seems a shame to commit them all to the compost bin when they still have one more tasty gift to give.
While peach jelly doesn’t have to start with peach peels, that’s definitely the most economical way to make it. Keep in mind that Peaches are a high spray fruit, and it’s best to use organic peaches in the kitchen whenever possible.
If you’re using conventional peaches, I don’t recommend using peach peels for making peach jelly. Instead, just peel a peach and use the interior flesh, following this same recipe.
Whether you’re using scrap peach peels or fresh peaches, the process of making peach jelly is the same. Start by extracting the peach juice.
In a large stainless steel saucepan, place either the peeled peach flesh or peach peels and scraps. Add about 1/2 cup water for each pound of fresh peaches, or if using peels, add just enough water to fully cover the peach peels. For each cup of peach juice, you’ll need about 3 medium peaches (about 1 lb) or 3-4 cups of peach peels.
Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, and then reduce to a low simmer. Cook about 20-30 minutes, until peaches are thoroughly softened. Mashing occasionally with a spoon helps them release their juices.
Strain the mixture overnight in a jelly bag or through several layers of dampened cheesecloth for the highest yield. Or, simply scoop out as many solids as possible with a slotted spoon and quickly pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer.
Next, measure the strained peach juice. A “batch” is three cups of strained peach juice. Add the measured peach juice back into a clean jam pot. For every three cups of peach juice, you’ll need to add 1/2 cup lemon juice, 5 cups granulated sugar, and 1 packet pectin.
That’ll give you the standard “high sugar” jelly that’s popular in old fashioned canning kitchens as described in The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. It’s really sweet, but balanced by the tart lemon juice and it still has plenty of peach flavors.
For a low sugar peach jelly, use Pomona’s pectin, which gels even in low sugar recipes. With Pomona’s pectin, you just need to add enough sugar to distribute the pectin evenly within the jelly and avoid clumping. A batch could have as little as 1/2 cup, which is a far cry from the “traditional peach jelly” recipe with 5 full cups of sugar.
Bring the peach juice and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently and skimming if necessary. Add the sugar and pectin, and return to a full rolling boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Pour the peach jelly into prepared canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims, apply 2 part canning lids and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. Turn off the canner, and allow the jelly jars to sit in the canner for 5 more minutes before removing to cool.
(Alternatively, make a refrigerator peach jelly by placing the capped jars into the fridge right after filling. They’ll keep a few weeks for immediate use that way, but they’re not shelf stable like a canned peach jelly.)
- 3 cups peach juice (see note)
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1 package pectin (sure gel 1.75 oz)
- 5 cups sugar
- Extract the juice from peaches or peach peels by boiling them in a small amount of water for about 20-30 minutes. Strain through a jelly bag, cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer. Measure out 3 cups for a batch.
- Bring the peach juice and lemon juice to a boil over high heat. Mix the sugar with the powdered pectin to distribute, and add together.
- Return to a boil and cook for 1 minute.
- Pour into prepared canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Store in the refrigerator, or process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.
- Turn off the canner and leave the jars in for another 5 minutes before removing to cool.
- Check seals, and store any unsealed jars in the refrigerator for immediate use.
For a low sugar peach jelly, use pomona's pectin or another low sugar added pectin. Use as little as 1/2 cup sugar to 3 cups juice. Mix the pectin powder into the sugar to distribute.
Pomona's pectin comes in 2 parts, pectin powder and calcium water. Add the calcium water directly to the peach juice, and mix the powdered pectin into the sugar.
Add 1 teaspoon of each pectin powder and calcium water for each cup of peach juice. (ie. 3 teaspoons of each for a batch)
More Peach Recipes
Still looking for more creative ways to use peaches? Try these: