Just Peachy

Apparently it’s peach season.

Unlike strawberries, or squash, or tomatoes, or cantaloupe, or asparagus, or potatoes, or pumpkin, or even apples – which I vividly remember planting and weeding and picking as a child – I never had much to do with peaches. So when I wandered into the produce section at the grocery store last week I was surprised to find a great big prominent endcap display of the things, priced cheap. They were so cheap that I felt, a little guiltily, that I ought to buy some and do something useful with them.

Now, I have a confession to make. I don’t like peaches. Not fresh ones, anyway. Something about the smell of them just puts me off. Baked peaches are all right, though, and I thought I would make a pie. So, I stood there between the apples and the mangoes, called my mother, and asked how many peaches I’d need for a pie. (By the way, being able to do that is something that I hope I won’t take for granted for a very long time. I missed being able to call mom from the grocery store those years in Japan.)

While mom was looking it up for me (you need somewhere between 6 to 8 peaches for a pie, it seems) she talked about other peach recipes she was flipping past. Peachaberry cobbler. Peach-and-pineapple preserves. And spiced peaches.

I love spiced peaches.

I don’t often have spiced peaches – in the past we’ve usually made them with canned peaches and some spices – but I love them. Suddenly that fuzzy pile of nose-tickling peaches represented a whole lot of something delicious. I bought…well, I bought a lot of peaches.

Almost as soon as I got them home, I started peeling and chopping them for jam. I wanted to see if I could modify my bread machine berry jam recipe to work for the peaches.

Hey look, a helper!

After chasing off a little someone who couldn’t keep his fingers off the strange fuzzy fruit, of course.

Anyway, what I’m saying is, I pretty much improvised a jam recipe and it totally worked.


As you can see, it’s very chunky – more like what I think of as ‘preserves’ than a real jam. It’s also delicious, and I’d recommend it for spreading on things like biscuits and rolls and pancakes instead of the inside of a PBJ. (Although I can personally verify that this is also delicious.) You know you want the recipe.

Bread Machine Spiced Peach Preserves


  • 1 lb peaches (weigh after peeling and pitting: about 4 medium peaches)
  • 1 c sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tbsp low-sugar pectin (for soft jam – for very firm jam increase to 3 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  1. Wash and prepare your peaches. (I know properly I should have blanched them, but it’s hot and I didn’t feel like playing with boiling water. I just peeled and pitted them, then sliced them and smashed them as best I could. If you want more like real jam, you might put your peaches through a food processor.)
  2. In bread pan, combine all ingredients.
  3. Set bread maker to ‘jam’ cycle; start.
  4. Allow your jam to cool before transferring to a clean container; store in the fridge (3 months) or the freezer (1 year).

Makes about two cups.

We ate some of ours over vanilla ice cream before it even had a chance to cool down.


This won’t be the last peach experiment, either! Watch this space!

This entry was posted in Recipes.


  1. bezzie says:

    Could you omit the pectin? I made peach jam last year w/o it and it turned out nice and thick. I’m hoping to see peaches at the farmers’ market this weekend….

  2. mom says:

    I made blackberry jam without a breadmaker OR pectin. Good but odd! It is more like a very soft set candy. (I love getting the calls)

  3. Melissa says:

    I think if you omit the pectin you’d need to add more sugar. I looked at some peach jam recipes and saw a few without any pectin and that’s why I decided to try it with less, but I used this same recipe plus two peaches and minus the pectin to make syrup for cinnamon pancakes this weekend. It was definitely sauce, not jam!

    I’d much rather spring for the pectin and be able to reduce the sugar.

  4. Tersa says:

    Oh, I could eat fresh peaches until I was sick!!! Yum! Maybe if the birds would stay away from my tree this year…

  5. Tenia says:

    Just thought I would share how to get rid of the fuzz on the peaches or other fuzzy vegetables. When washing put Baking Soda (Arm and Hammer) in the water.

    What we usually do is taking one side of the sink fill with cool water and fruit… soak for a few minutes, then rub softly to remove fuzz that stayed on…. amassing fuzz free fruit.

    Living here in Central Texas we did baskets of fruit each summer.

  6. Crystal says:

    I stumbled upon your website today while looking specifically for jam recipes to use in the Zojirushi bread machine. You see, I was planning to attempt homemade peach preserves this weekend the old fashioned way when I remembered that my brand new bread machine had a jam setting. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to see that you had a peach jam/preserves recipe! I will be attempting this in the next couple of days. :)

    Thank you!

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