Place chopped peaches in a bowl filled with cold water with ¼ cup of lemon juice to help maintain color.
8 cups peaches, ¼ cup lemon juice
Drain peaches and place in a large pot with sugar and lemon juice. Heat over medium heat and stir until sugar is dissolved
5 cups sugar, ¼ cup lemon juice
Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil
As the mixture cooks, the peaches will begin to break down. Some varieties of peaches maintain their shape more than others. If needed, use an immersion blender to help break down peaches. I did just a few quick whirls to help blend it a bit.
Cook until jam reaches the gelling stage - test with the sheeting method, the cold plate method or by the temperature method (see below)
Once jam has reached the gel stage, place into canning jars leaving a ¼ inch head space
Remove air bubbles, wipe down rims, add lids and rings and place in a water bath canner with simmering water
Repeat with remaining jars
Make certain there is at least one inch of water covering the top of the jars
Place lid on canner and turn the heat up
Once the water comes to a rolling boil, start your processing time. Process pints and half pints for 10 minutes adding additional time for your elevation. (see chart below)
When time is up, turn off heat and remove the lid. Allow jars to sit in the water for an additional 5 minutes. Then remove jars and place on a cooling rack.
Allow jars to fully cool for 12 hours before touching jars. Do not tighten rings or check seal during this time.
After the 12 hours, remove the rings and check the seal.
Wash the outside of the jars, label jars and store in a cool, dark place.
Depending on the size of your peaches, each peach will yield between ¾ -1 cup of diced peaches
The sugar level can be adjusted to suit your needs
Use ripe, good quality yellow peaches
Have everything you'll need for this recipe ready and set out before you begin making jam - including the equipment
Use a heavy pot for making jam. This helps maintain an even heat and helps prevent burning.
Be certain to stir your jam often
Your saucepan should be more than double the size of the ingredients. Jam expands while it's boiling and can easily boil over if your pan is too small.
Use half-pint or pint sized jars. Both sizes will be processed for 10 minutes with additional time added for your elevation.
Altitude Adjustments for Canning above 1000 feet in elevation:
Always adjust processing times for your elevation:
1,001- 3,000 ft. - add 5 minutes
3,001- 6,000 ft. - add 10 minutes
6,001- 8,000 ft. - add 15 minutes
8,001-10,000 ft. - add 20 minutes
Please read added notes in post (above recipe card) for methods on testing jam for reaching the gel point