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Author Notes: I really enjoy a sweet yet savory jam. Such a treat allows you to escape the cloying nature of many fruit preserves but also provides flexibility in that your jam is no longer relegated to breakfast or PB&J (not that jam should be, but it often is). Anyway, still enjoying my plum-basil jam in such a major way, I decided to savory up my sweet white peaches from last weekend's farmers market. Rosemary, black pepper and Cognac did the trick nicely, and this will be absolutely wonderful with cheese, on a good whole grain bread or baguette, and in many other ways. —em-i-lis
Makes 1½ pints
- 4 cups peeled, pitted and chopped white peaches
- 1½ cups unrefined, granulated sugar
- 4 5? sprigs of rosemary (kept whole)
- 1/16 – 1/8 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons Cognac, optional
- If you’re going to preserve this jam, set up your waterbath canner. Get the water boiling and then sterilize whatever jars you want that make up 1½ pints.
- In the meantime, in a heavy-bottomed, non-reactive pot set over medium-high heat, put the chopped peaches and sugar. Stir and cook until the sugar is melted, and then turn the heat up to high. When the peaches have started to melt down, use a potato masher to make the consistency an even one. Add the rosemary sprigs and Cognac and stir. After 1 minute, test the flavor of the jam; if the infused rosemary flavor is strong enough for you, remove the sprigs. If not, leave in for another minute and test again.
- Once you’ve removed the rosemary, add the pepper, starting with a lesser amount. Test, in the way you tested the rosemary, and add more pepper if its presence isn’t strong enough. When the jam has thickened nicely and hovers around 213 degrees, ladle carefully into your jars, apply the lids and bands and process for 14-16 minutes.