The Master Stone Fruit Jam recipe is a versatile and delicious way to capture the best flavors of summer stone fruits like peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots. This jam is ideal for preserving the fleeting goodness of ripe summer fruit so you can enjoy it throughout the year.
Master Stone Fruit Jam
Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Yields: Makes 5 half-pint jars, or 5 cups
- 1,588 grams (3 ½ pounds) pitted peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, or hybrids, roughly chopped
- 530 grams (1 pound 2 ½ ounces / 2 ½ cups) granulated sugar
- ¾ cup / 170 milliliters (176 grams) fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt or sea salt
- Optional flavorings: vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves
- Macerate the Fruit: In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the fruit, sugar, and lemon juice, and add a pinch of salt. If you’re using optional flavorings like a vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, or bay leaf, add it now. Stir the mixture well and let it stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours, stirring occasionally. This allows the sugar to draw out the moisture and macerate the fruit. Optionally, you can let the fruit macerate in the refrigerator for up to five days before making the jam.
- Cook the Jam: Place the pot over high heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to ensure all the sugar is dissolved. Once boiling, set a timer and continue cooking for 10 to 20 minutes, stirring often, especially as it thickens. The time may vary depending on the water content and ripeness of the fruit. Use a spoon to skim off any foam or scum from the surface, rinsing the spoon in cold water between uses. The jam is ready when it feels like it’s sticking to the bottom of the pot and moves as one mass rather than separating. Alternatively, you can monitor the jam’s temperature with an instant-read thermometer; it is done when the temperature reaches between 218 and 221 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Storing the Jam: Remove the pot from heat and ladle the hot jam into clean glass jars if you’re using them. Cover with lids and let cool to room temperature. If using plastic containers, let the jam cool in the pot before transferring. Store the jam in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
- This recipe yields jam with approximately 69% fruit, 23% sugar, and 8% lemon juice. Adjust sugar levels according to your taste, but avoid using less sugar than stated to ensure proper preservation.
- Feel free to leave the skins on the fruit for added color, texture, and flavor. If you prefer, peel the fruit before chopping.
- The jam can also be flavored with vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, or bay leaves for extra complexity.
- This recipe is part of a series on preserving fruit at home and was featured as part of “L.A. in a Jar.”
This jam would make an excellent gift or a delicious component in a variety of recipes—from spreading it on toast to incorporating it into desserts or savory dishes. It’s a fantastic way to make the most of summer’s stone fruits.