Peaches in a jar

I absolutely love fresh, seasonal produce and it so happens that the fruit and vegetable markets at two stations is right on my way. By now I’ve made friends with the bhaajiwala (vegetable vendor) and fruitwala (fruit vendor) and even though there’s one that comes to my doorstep, I still prefer going and buying what I need. Now I’m not saying I’m against ordering groceries and veggies online, I’m a huge fan of that, but sometimes nothing can beat the joy of carefully inspecting and buying your own stuff.

When it comes to making jams and preserving fruits by canning them, I’m quite an amateur. I started this just last year by trying my hand at Strawberry jam and ever since it’s become quite the addiction. The jams I make are simple, I try and make them without too much sugar so that it retains the natural flavour of the fruit.

Come end of summer the markets are filled with a huge variety of stone fruits, my favourite among them all are peaches. I love their slightly tart, slightly sweet flavour. They’re great to eat by themselves, good in baked stuff, even better in muesli with curd and make a mean smoothie with some mango or papaya. When I was looking online for recipes, I found one at www.foodinjars.com, it seemed simple and easy, the best part was that it used honey and not sugar!

Peach preserve
Adapted from FoodinJars

500gms of peaches, peeled, stoned and chopped
1 1/4 cups of honey
1 tbsp of lemon zest

Mix all the ingredients together. Cover the bowl and let it sit for about half an hour, you don’t have to put it in the fridge.
Heat a non-stick or heavy-bottomed pan and pour this mixture into it. Cook on a low flame until the whole thing thickens. Allow it to cool down and then divide among jars equally.

* The preserve takes about an hour to thicken on a low flame, so keep stirring till them
* Instead of lemon zest you can use some orange zest or even vanilla essence, but don’t let is be something that’s very strong which will overpower the peaches
* The consistency of this is a little less thick than a jam, that’s because of the absence of any pectin 

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