Bourbon Spiced Peach Preserves (no added pectin)
makes about 4 half-pint jars of preserve
2 pounds washed and appropriately prepared fruit (Peel, seed, halve, etc. Weigh after preparing.) 4 to 8 oz (a gently rounded ½ to 1 cup) sugar 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice ¼ teaspoon Dry Spices (optional: I use Cinnamon and allspice, 1/8 tsp of each) 1 tablespoon Bourbon (optional if using an extract, start with 1 tsp and adjust to taste.)
Put the fruit into a large, non-reactive bowl and stir in 1/4 cup of sugar (4oz). Cover and let macerate in the fridge overnight or up to 24 hrs.
Transfer the fruit/sugar mixture with the juice it created to a large pot. the more surface area there is, the faster it will reduce. (I use my non-reactive wok).
Bring the fruit to a simmer over medium heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until the fruit is soft but not falling apart. Add your lemon or lime juice and dry spices and stir.
Crush your fruit to desired chunkiness. If you prefer it very smooth, use an immersion blender.
Taste for sweetness, keeping in mind that this will cook down more and all of the flavors will continue to concentrate, including the sugar.
Return to the heat and continue to simmer over medium until the preserve has darkened, slightly thickened and glossy. Stir constantly and gently.
Put a small amount on a chilled dish and run a wooden spoon handle or your finger through it. If the track remains, the preserves are at a soft spoon-able stage and ready to can. (Note, this is a soft preserve, almost a very thick syrup, not thick and rubbery like commercial preserves. The longer you cook it to remove the moisture, the thicker it will get but be careful of scorching)
Add your bourbon at this point and taste to make any final adjustments for taste whether it be spices, sugar, bourbon or citrus juice.
Keep the preserves at a simmer while ladling into prepared jars.
Process pints and half pints for 10 min in a waterbath.
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