Low-Sugar Peach Jam Without Pectin

article image
Photo by Andrea Chesman.
Try rippling this maple peach jam into homemade ice cream about 5 minutes before it's done, or just topping a plain vanilla ice cream with it.
About 8 half-pints SERVINGS


  • 5 pounds ripe peaches
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, bottled
  • 1-1/2 cups maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg


  • Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Lower the peaches into the boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds. Drain, cool, and peel. Working over a bowl to catch all the juices, use a sharp knife to cut each peeled peach in half around the pit. Gently twist each half to expose the pit. Using the knife or your fingers, pry the pit out of the peach. When all the peaches are peeled and pitted, chop into small pieces, again trying to save all the juices.
  • Combine the peaches with their juices along with the lemon juice, maple syrup, and nutmeg (if using) in a large, heavy saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for about 30 minutes, until thick, stirring frequently. You’ll have reached the jam stage when a spoonful of jam dropped onto a cold plate holds its shape and you can leave a trail by passing your finger through the mixture.
  • Remove from the heat and skim off any foam. Ladle the hot jam into clean, hot half-pint jars, leaving a 1⁄2-inch headspace. Install new canning jar lids. Process in a boiling water bath or atmospheric steam canner for 15 minutes. Remove from the canner and allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12 hours. Store processed jars in a cool, dry place. Store any opened jars in the refrigerator. Find other low-sugar jam recipes and learn more about preserving with less sugar and added pectin in Making Low-Sugar Jams.
    Andrea Chesman cooks, writes, and teaches in Vermont, where she lives on a 1-acre homestead. Find her books Serving Up the Harvest and The Backyard Homestead Book of Kitchen Know-How in our online store.

I love the combination of maple and peaches, but honey also works well with peaches. A hint of nutmeg enriches the flavor. Yield: about 8 half-pints.

Low-Sugar Peach Jam