I truly enjoy creating a number of batches of different types of jams each year during our stay in Umbria. I buy the fruit from our local markets, and I give a jar of my homemade jam to each group of guests that stay in our farmhouse rental in their gift basket. I also use my jam when I bake for our guests, particularly in my jam crostata that has become an Il Casale di Mele guest favorite. Although I do love making jams, I get bored if I have to make the same type of jam every year, so I am always adding a few new flavors into my jam repertoire each year. This year I made my usuals…..Strawberry Balsamic Jam, Sicilian Tomato Jam, Apricot Vanilla Jam for my granddaughter Sarah (her favorite), a new Peach Lavender Jam (recipe posted soon!), and my usual Spiced Fig Jam that I love to serve with a cheese selection. Looking for something new and different to add this year, I came across a post on FaceBook for Peach Cantaloupe Jam. I have seen recipes for different types of melon jams that I will try next year, I loved the color of the Peach Cantaloupe Jam so decided to give it a try.
This jam has a bright flavor that is a perfect blend of peaches and melon. I enjoy slathering it on my morning whole grain brioche, and have used it in jam filled cookies as well that turned out great. The next time I make this jam I think I may add a little vanilla paste just to enhance the fruit flavor, but it is delicious exactly as it is. To check if your jam has jelled enough, simply place a small saucer in the freezer before you begin to prepare your jam. When you think your jam has thickened enough (reached 220 degrees F.) place a teaspoon of the jam on the plate and return to the freezer for one minute. Check the jam…..it should keep its shape, and be thickened and not runny.
Deborah Mele 2014
- 4 Cups Cantaloupe, Peeled, Seeded & Diced
- 4 Cups Peaches, Peeled, Seeded & Diced
- 6 Cups Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 Teaspoon Finely Grated Lemon Zest
- In a large pot, add the melon, peaches, sugar, and lemon juice.
- Bring to a roaring boil, stirring often until the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Continue to cook, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until the fruit has completely broken down, the mixture has thickened and the jam reaches 220 degrees F. (This will take at least 30 minutes but sometimes more).
- While the jam is cooking, bring a water bath to a boil in a large stockpot or canner and sterilize 6 half-pint jars in the water for 5 minutes.
- When the jars are ready, use the tongs to remove the jars to a countertop covered with a clean dishtowel.
- When the jam is ready, use your funnel and ladle to fill each jar, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.
- Put the lids on the jars and use your jar lifter to put the jars back into the water bath, and process for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars to a counter space and let cool completely.
- Store the jars of jam in a cool, dark place for up to a year, and once open, store the jam in the fridge.