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Spicy peach jam is one you can’t miss this canning season, especially when it’s a peach jam recipe without pectin.
This sweet and hot chipotle peach jam makes an amazing accompaniment to cheese platters, as a sticky marinade on grilled or roasted meats, a dipping condiment for grilled cheese (oh ya, I did that at midnight last night) or, ya know, straight outta the jar with a spoon. Because in my mind, nothing is worth canning unless it’s good enough to eat with a spoon, amiright?
I was inspired to create this jam after a recent trip to my family’s cabin in the southern interior of British Columbia. The dry and desert-like yet fertile Okanagan Valley -located just north of the Washington state border and roughly midway between the west coast and the rocky mountains- is famous for its rolling hills dotted with vineyards and orchards bursting with summer tree fruits: cherries, apples, apricots, nectarines, plums and peaches galore.
The namesake town of Peachland in the Okanagan says it all: The peaches in this region of the world are abundant and are some of the juiciest, most delicious peaches I’ve ever tasted! I always make sure to stop off at the local fruit stands in the area and fill our cooler with fresh Okanagan peaches and other summer fruits when we’re visiting, and this time was no exception.
This time, however, in addition to our fresh-eating fruits, I decided to buy 20 lbs. of peaches to take home and preserve. Now the only thing left to decide was how I wanted to preserve them!
Of course I made a few jars of honey-sweetened peaches in syrup so we can enjoy sliced peaches right through the winter. But when I purchased the fruit, I decided to save a few bucks by buying seconds, so I had to come up with some preserving recipes that didn’t require my peaches to be in perfect condition.
For anyone who doesn’t know, “seconds” are fruits that have blemishes, bruises and other marks on them that make them look a little less than perfect and, therefore, less desirable to the average consumer. But there’s nothing wrong with them. Sometimes you just need to cut out a bruised portion, but otherwise they’re perfectly edible and just as tasty as their unblemished counterparts.
These “seconds” tend to sell at a discount and are perfect for making things like sauces, jams, jellies and butters. Not so great for canning whole, sliced peaches as the bruises and blemishes can affect the quality of the fruit. So I got a few jars of sliced peaches out of my 20 lb. haul and the rest were destined to be cooked down, puréed and turned into spreads and sauces.
I could have opted for a standard sweet peach jam, but we’re already stocked up on our jams for the year, and to be quite honest, I could eat nothing but strawberry jam on toast for the rest of my life and and die a happy woman.
No, I wanted -needed- something different. Something with a little more kick.
When I was at the cabin, I opened the fridge door to find a store-bought jar of chipotle peach spread. That sounded like the perfect combination of flavours to me, so I decided to recreate said spread with some of the bruised and beat up peaches in my arsenal that were in need of a new lease on life.
I was surprised at first that such a recipe didn’t seem to exist! I looked through my canning books. I looked online. I didn’t find anything that quite matched what I wanted to make, the way I wanted to make it. The peach jams in my books called for way too much sugar and added pectin. The recipes I found online used ingredients I didn’t care for or have on hand (like whole chipotle peppers in adobo sauce… By the time I was making this jam I had already used up my last tin of chipotles in adobo sauce to make a mean marinade, so alas, I had only ground chipotle spice to use in this recipe).
I took a little of this recipe and a little of that and I put together this delectable chipotle peach jam recipe low sugar (a rarity in the canning world it seems), no pectin and a little chipotle spice. It makes for a longer cooking time, but the end product is somewhere between jammy and saucy and is not too sweet and not too spicy. It’s just right.
So if you’re ready for something a little different this canning and peach season, this recipe for chipotle peach jam can’t be beat. Remember to put a little extra away too as a jar of this would make a fabulous Christmas gift in a basket along with a bottle of wine and some crackers and cheese. Or, ya know, just put it in a gift bag with a spoon;)
This is an old fashioned peach preserves recipe because we’re not using any store bought pectin, score!
(Recipe based off of Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving Peach Jam)
Method: Water bath canner
Time: 90 minutes
Yield: Roughly six 8oz jars
4 pounds of peaches (8 cups of pitted, peeled, and diced peaches)
3 cups of sugar
4 Tbsp of lemon juice
2 tsp of ground chipotle spice
Have you ever had spicy peach jam? Are you going to give this one a try?
My name is Anna and I'm a modern homesteader. I began homesteading a few years ago when I still lived in a condo in the city. It changed my life! I now live on just over an acre and am following my dreams of living a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life. I love to help and inspire others to do the same & prove that the simple life doesn't have to be complicated!