Basil + Ginger + Peaches = Yum!
Herbs are not just for savory dishes or to pair with veggies. They can enhance the flavors of fruits as well. This summer, I happen to make a friend whose twin sister runs a peach orchard. Let’s just say this friendship has perks; I get personal deliveries of delicious, perfectly ripe Georgia peaches. It’s good to have friends in high places. A special thanks to Ogeechee Peaches 🙂
I really love ginger and peaches together. When I was considering what herb to pair with peaches (I was determined to put an herb in it) I first considered sweet mint. However, I felt that when working with desserts, mint is always the go to herb. My thoughts settled on basil next; it’s in the mint family, but still has its own definite flavor.
Spicy Globe Basil
This is the first time I have grown spicy globe basil. I was immediately drawn to it because it looks like a little boxwood shrub. The minuscule leaves are packed with potent basil flavor. Even its fragrance is much stronger than the other basil varieties. Because of its compact size, spicy globe basil is perfect for containers. It gets about a foot tall and wide. The best part about this basil, is that the little leaves requires no chopping: just pluck and garnish.
Tips for Making Peach Preserves
Have you heard of a soft skin peeler? If not, then I HIGHLY suggest you get one before you proceed to make this jam. I usually skip peeling peaches because I detest the whole blanching before you can peel it process. I’ve had this peeler for years and it dawned on me to try it on the peaches before I put a pot of water on to boil.
And hallelujah it worked! I will never blanch peaches again. I tried it on very ripe peaches and some that were on the green side; both times the peeler worked beautifully.By the way, the soft skin peeler works on hard fruits and veggies too.
You can use any type of basil for the jam. I have about 4 types in the garden at the moment, and decided to use this one because I wanted the little leaves to show in the jam.
I added the basil in at the last minute once the preserves were ready to be jarred.
Homemade preserves make wonderful gifts. I am preserving up a storm this summer in preparation for Christmas (yes, I went there). In addition to my herb salts, I plan to give homemade preserves made with seasonal edibles from the garden. Good thing I made some friends who own an orchard 🙂
Add a cute label on top and tuck these beauties away. When you need a ready to go gift to give for a baby shower, homecoming or welcome to the neighborhood, you’ll be well stocked. How about those cute labels? Well, you are in luck my friends. You can download a pdf version here or just right click and save the jpeg version and print them for yourself. Print them on printable sticker paper or on cardstock.
Right click and save to your computer:
- 12 half pint jars
- Canning pot, funnel and jar lifter
- Candy Thermometer
- Immersion blender (optional)
- Small glass plate
- 8 lbs of Fresh Peaches
- 6 cups of sugar
- 2 med lemons. juiced.
- 8 Tbsp of real fruit pectin
- 2 Tbsp of spicy globe basil (or regular basil, chopped)
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger,peeled and finely chopped
- Fill the canning pot with water (it will need to be enough to completely cover the jars) on the stove to boil.
- Once the water is boiling, place half the jars in the pot of water to sterilize. You can sterilize the jars in batches. They will need to sit in the hot water for 10 minutes. The lids will need to be sterilized as well; I add them to the boiling water about 10 minutes before I need to fill them.
- Meanwhile, peel, pit and chop the peaches.
- Put the chopped peaches in a large stock pot with the sugar, pectin and lemon juice.
- Bring the peaches to a light boil and stir occasionally to make sure the sugar and pectin are dissolved.
- Add the chopped ginger. At this point you can use an immersion blender to break up some of the peach chunks. If you like it chunky, then skip it.
- The mixture needs to cook until it reaches 220 degrees Fahrenheit (about 30-40 minutes).
- If you do not have a thermometer, you can test if the jam is ready with the freezer plate test. Put a plate in the freezer for about a minute. Spoon some of the jam on the the plate and return it to the freezer for another minute. With tip of your finger, nudge the edge of the jam. If it wrinkles up, it's ready.
- Once the jam is ready, ladle it into the sterilized jars. Make sure to leave a 1/2" head space.
- Clean jar rims with a towel. Add jar lids and rings, making them "finger tight."
- Fill water process canner or large pot with enough water to cover jars with 1" of water. Bring water to boil.
- Place hot, filled jars inside pot, return water to a boil, and process 10 minutes.
- Remove jars and cool, undisturbed for at least 12 hours.
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