Friday, October 15, 2010

Peach and Fig Jam with Thyme

I hadn't planned on making jam, but a bowl of perfect peaches and organic figs sat on my table and I was leaving for 6 days.....2 Paris trips, back to back. It was too much fruit to take with me and it wouldn't be so perfect after a few trips through airport security checks. I had just read La Table de Nana's blog on Lavender Thyme Gelée and loved the addition of thyme into the jelly. Giving in to the power of suggestion, I thought a Peach and Fig Jam with Thyme sounded heavenly. In between packing for my trip, I started peeling peaches and cutting up figs. I saved one for a pre-flight snack :-) since they really were perfectly ripe, sweet and had a firm texture. I already had jars ready to go and thyme growing in the garden, so this went pretty quickly. Often I use cherry juice in recipes and used some instead of water to cook the fruit in. Jotting down the ingredients and times, I finished the jam and went off to work for the week. Knowing I had this treat waiting for me, I picked up a loaf of Poilâne bread and a fresh block of sel de mer butter from Paris. Ooh-la-la....what a breakfast this made! The butter with its delicate crunch of salt just sings a chorus with the sweetness of the peaches and figs. And thyme is the surprise guest.Homemade goodness in a jar. I decided to give a few away and couldn't resist using a copy I made of a French pêche label I bought at a Paris flea market a few weeks ago. Sometimes it just all comes together in an unexpected way.

Peach and Fig Jam with Thyme

4 1/2 cups peaches, peeled and roughly chopped into 1/2 inch pieces (about 5 large peaches)
5 fresh figs, cut in half if small, or into quarters if large
1 small handful of fresh thyme*, rinsed
1/2 cup unsweetened cherry juice or water
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 envelope powdered fruit pectin (from a 1.75 ounce package that contains 2 envelopes)
2 cups sugar
4-8 ounce canning jars
*Use about 15 sprigs or add more if you want a stronger thyme flavor. I used lemon thyme which has a mild flavor.

Divide the chopped peaches in half and mash one half with a potato masher or the back of a fork. Put both batches of the peaches in a 4 quart pot and add the figs, thyme, cherry juice (or water), and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes or until the fruit is tender.
Cool to room temperature and then stir in the pectin until dissolved. Over high heat bring the mixture to a full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute, while stirring. Add the sugar and boil for 1 more minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning on the bottom of the pot. Ladle the hot mixture into prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch space at the top. Wipe off the rims and seal with lids. As the jars seal, you'll hear a popping sound. Let cool to room temperature and store refrigerated.

Makes 4-8 ounce jars.

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La Table De Nana said...

I would be in huge trouble shopping the streets of Paris w/ you..LOVE the label..makes the jam even prettier! Especially w/ the herbs..You've got such an eye:)~
Have a lovely weekend..pouring cats and dogs here..and the leaves are falling..But my goodness this week was a prize of beauty..

Deana Sidney said...

I love Poilâne bread... and it would be perfect with that jam of yours. I think the world needs better jam labels-- do you really want to see ruffled bloomers on your jam ( I saw one... girl bent over and your jam flavor to be written on said bloomers... who comes up with this stuf???) yours is wonderful and inviting. The combination of peaches and figs sounds superb... but it's that cherry juice addition that has me in heaven... I think I missed the peaches in NYC by now but this is a keeper, thanks Diane!

linda said...

adore peaches…wild about figs & have enough thyme growing in my yard…i am missing those great labels…will have to find something interesting to make my jam presentation as beautiful as yours!

Thibeault's Table said...

Love the label. Just finishes off that jar of jam beautifully.


Nancy said...

My mouth is watering....I haven't had breakfast yet. Your descriptions and photos are amazing. You should be doing this for a living...aka...getting paid for this! Have I said this before?
Oh, right :-)

Anonymous said...

any idea how i can recreate those labels
also did you boil the jam jars after you filled them to help them set