Delicate floral notes lift up the flavours in these peach preserves. Try it on a cracker with a piece of aged cheddar. It’s amazing!
It’s the end of summer in New Zealand and peaches are in abundance. Now is the time to start canning fresh peaches so they can also be enjoyed in the cold winter months.
In today’s post I have made a sticky, sweet preserve with peaches, thyme and lavender. This peach preserve is excellent on a cracker with a piece of aged cheddar!
Peach itself is quite flavourful but the addition of thyme and lavender really lifts it. Thyme and peach go together so well in general but the extra addition of lavender brings out the floral notes in the peach.
Any fresh lavender variety can be used though are the English lavender has the best flavour for cooking.
Jams, Preserves and Conserves
Let’s answer some questions first like what is a preserve? And what is the difference between a jam and a conserve? What is the difference between preserves and jam?
How to make Preserves
Preserves are made from whole fruits or pieces of fruit that have been cooked down with sugar into a scoopable or spreadable mixture. The thickness of the preserves can vary but the main thing is that it contains pieces of fruit which have been cooked down but pieces can still be seen. Preserves can be made with or without pectin. This homemade preserves recipe is a peach preserve without pectin.
How to make Conserves
Conserves are made with two or more varieties of fruit that have been cooked down until thick and spreadable. Sometimes raisins and nuts can be added for flavour and texture.
How to make Jam
Jams are made of crushed fruits and sugar that have been cooked for a long period of time. This concentrates the jam flavour but also lets it thicken. When the jam cools it should have a gel like texture. Jams can also be made with added pectin which decreases the cooking time.
And what is pectin? Pectin is a natural gelling agent found in fruits and veggies. The pectin you find in the shop usually comes from either apples or citrus as they are naturally high in pectin.
Preparing the Peaches
There is no need to peel the peaches in this recipe which means it is super easy to prepare. The peel in fact helps to bring a delicious candy-like texture to the preserves.
How to Make Peach Preserves
Chop the peaches into chunks and remove the stones. Add them to a large saucepan over medium-low heat along with sugar, lemon juice, salt and fresh thyme.
Stir this all together while the peaches release their juices and the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved, keep the peaches simmer until they soften and break apart. Near the end of the cooking time, fresh lavender is added and left to infuse.
Once cooked it is poured into clean jars and sealed tight.
To store the peach preserves long term, lower the jars into a large saucepan of water and if possible, add any extra water needed to cover the jars by 2cm. A rack or something similar should be placed in the pot first to keep the jars from sitting directly on the bottom of the pot. If you don’t have a rack, you could use the lids of your spare preserving jars instead. Bring the water to the boil and once boiling keep it at a rolling boil for 10 minutes.
Once the jars are cooled, check that the buttons on the lids are concave and remove any preserving jar bands if that’s what you’ve used. Label the jars and store in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months.
Want to make something else with your peaches or peach preserves? Try these recipes!
- Juicy Peach Cobbler with Flaky Sourdough Biscuits
- Flaky Sourdough Danish Pastries with Step by Step Instructions
Spread your peach preserves on these recipes.
- The Best Sourdough Bread Recipe
- The Best Sourdough Brioche Bread
- Sourdough Sandwich Bread Recipe with Whole-Grains and Seeds
- Super Simple Seed Crackers
Looking for more preserving recipes? Try these!
Easy Peach Preserves Recipe (Lavender and Thyme)
- 1 kg peaches stones removed, chopped into chunks
- 400 g granulated sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 4 lavender flower heads
- In a saucepan, on medium heat, combine the sugar, peaches, thyme leaves, salt and the lemon juice. Stir it together while the peaches release their liquids and the sugar dissolves. Bring it to a boil.
- Let the preserves simmer away for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring regulary until it starts to reduce and thicken.
- Break apart the lavender flowers and stir through. Keep simmering the preserves until thick. You can break the peach chunks up a bit more as you stir.To test if it is thick enough, place a spoonful of the preservs onto a cold plate. Let the preserves cool and then run your finger through it. If it doesn't run or bleed back into the middle where you made a line, it's ready.
- Pour into two clean 500ml/1 pint jars. To store the peach preserves longterm, lower the jars into a large saucepan of water and add any extra water needed to cover the jars by 2cm. A rack or something similar should be placed in the pot first to keep the jars from sitting directly on the bottom of the pot. If you don’t have a rack, you could use the lids of your spare preserving jars instead. Bring the water to the boil and once boiling keep it at a rolling boil for 10 minutes.
- Once the jars are cooled, check that the buttons on the lids are concave and remove any preserving jar bands if that's what you've used. Label the jars and store in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months.
- Once opened keep in the refrigerator and use within a month.
Have you made this? Tag me and let me know! @home_grown_happinessnz