Stretch out the long-awaited peach season with an easy peach jam recipe without pectin. Just 3 simple ingredients, 30 minutes, no canning, no special equipment. Perfect for beginners.
Transform those juicy ripe peaches into a summer classic. All you need is peaches, sugar and lemon. Delish!
This is a small batch peach jam recipe that can easily be turned into peach preserves. Curious about the difference? Read on…
If you googled peach jam recipes on the internet, you already know there are a ton of recipes out there. For the most part, the ingredients are the same, but the cooking process and processing times can be quite different.
Here’s a few good reasons to try this homemade peach jam recipe.
- No canning process needed with special equipment. All you need is a couple of jars, a pot and a spoon.
- Low sugar – because summer ripe peaches are sweet, you can get away with much less sugar.
- No pectin needed – the lemon and sugar act as a natural pectin or thickening agents.
- Easy and quick (about 30 minutes). I even slather it on toast when it’s still warm! I read one recipe where they do a 5-part boiling process (too long!).
- Beginner-friendly – we have clear step by step instructions that are easy for beginners to follow.
Note that you will not be getting 25 jars of peach jam with this recipe to store in your basement or pantry. You will get just a couple of small jars of jam. Good for the next couple of weeks or to take out of the freezer when you need it.
The basic steps
The 4-step process is simple. In a nutshell,
- Have clean jars ready
- Peel and cut the peaches (you need 6-7 peaches for this recipe)
- Cook the jam (the longer you cook it, the thicker it will be).
- Scoop into jars.
Before making the recipe, I suggest you scan the frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) and tips below, particularly if you are fairly new to making jam.
Almost every one of our recipes comes with shortcuts, make ahead/storing instructions, variations and substitutions to suit your taste. This one does too. And we always look for ways to get from point A to point B in the quickest way possible. I like to think that’s efficient, not lazy 🙂
The difference between peach jam and peach preserves
There is very little difference between the two. The taste is the same. The only real difference is that you crush the peaches for jam and leave whole chunks of fruit for preserves. So the texture of preserves will be a bit chunkier. This goes for any fresh fruit, not just peaches.
Both ways will work with this recipe so choose what you like. I crush most of the fruit (with my hands) and leave a few chunks as well.
How to serve peach jam
Peach jam or peach preserves are delicious on toast, English muffins, pancakes, blintzes, waffles, a plain pound cake or ice cream.
There are generally two types of peaches – freestone and clingstone (and now a new hybrid of the two). The flesh of clingstone peaches “clings” to the pit and is harder to remove, but they are a bit sweeter and juicier and smaller. I prefer these, but both types will work fine.
Go for ripe peaches that are not blemished or wrinkled (a sign of over ripeness). The peaches should have a bit of ‘give’ when pressed and they will have a fragrant smell at the stem. If they are hard, give them a pass unless you have days to let them ripen on the counter. Ripe peaches will be very easy to peel with the blanching method.
Technically no. There is nothing wrong with cooking the skins with the flesh, but you may find some tougher bits floating in the jam. If you don’t mind that, go for it. I prefer to peel the peaches.
Yes, it acts as a natural pectin. Without it, your jam may be too runny or you will have to cook it for longer.
How to make a peach jam recipe (without pectin)
Tips for making the best peach jam (no pectin)
- Adjust the sugar. Taste your peaches first to see how much sugar they need. If they are very sweet add less to begin with. You can always add more later toward the end of cooking.
- Best way to peel peaches. I love the blanching method (here’s a video). This means dropping them in boiling water for 60 seconds the draining them and running them under cold water (or dropping them into ice water). If your peaches are ripe, the skins will literally slip off. The whole process take about 5 minutes. Don’t be intimidated. Yes, it’s a extra step, but once you try it, you will never go back. Easy!
- Double the recipe. If you want to do this, use a larger pot. The wider the bottom of the pot, the quicker the jam will cook. Make sure your ingredients only come up to 1/3 of the pot as the jam can splatter with boiling. If you want to triple the recipe, it’s best to use two pots.
- Add butter to contain the foam. My mother taught me this and it works pretty well. Just add a pat of butter while the jam is cooking to reduce the foam. I often don’t bother. It tastes good though!
Tailor to your taste
- Chunky or smooth? Squish the peach-sugar mixture as much as you like. Or not at all. There’s no need to squish the peaches until smooth as the cooking process will break down the peaches.
- Thick or loose? I prefer a looser jam, but that’s totally up to you. Just cook it a bit longer if you like it thicker.
- Flavor: I like to keep my peach jam simple, but you can certainly experiment with flavorings. Try a pinch of cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, nutmeg, ginger or allspice. A small splash of bourbon might be nice too. I like to add a pinch of sea or kosher salt to brighten the flavors.
- One reader suggested adding a tablespoon of chia seeds which will quicken the thickening and cooking of the jam.
- Use frozen peaches: If you can’t get fresh ripe peaches use frozen peach slices found in most grocery stores. They are picked at their pick and you won’t have to peel and slice them. Tip: defrost them and discard most of the juice (or you will have to cook them longer).
- Skip peeling the peaches. I don’t recommend this, but if you don’t mind some tougher peels in the jam, you can certainly do it. Alternatively, since we’re only using 6-7 peaches, you can peel them with a knife and skip the blanching process.
- This peach jam recipe has no pectin and doesn’t use a canning process, so it’s not the kind you store in your basement for a year or two. It will, however, keep in the fridge in well sealed containers for 2-3 months (if it lasts that long). And it freezes well for 6-12 months. After that, it may get a bit watery or lose some taste.
More Peach Recipes
If you love peaches, try a delicious peach dessert, salad, main dish, sauce, side dish, jam or condiment.
- peach crumble with oats
- panzanella salad recipe with peaches
- maple salmon with peach salsa
- savory peach sauce
- grilled peaches
- peach marmalade
- 30 minute peach chutney
Peach Jam Recipe (without pectin)
This peach jam recipe makes a small batch (1.5 cups/480g). Double the recipe if you like.
- 2 pounds (0.91kg) fresh ripe peaches (about 6-7 medium peaches)
- 3/4 cup -1 cup white granulated sugar (depends in sweetness of peaches and your taste)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (1/3-1/2 medium lemon)
- PREPARE JARS: Run 2-3 small jars (depending on size) through the dishwasher or washed in very hot water. You will make about 1 1/2 cups (480g) of peach jam.
- PEEL AND SLICE PEACHES: For easy peeling, carefully drop peaches into a pot of boiling water. Boil for 60-90 seconds. Drain water and run cold water over peaches in pot. If peaches are ripe, skins will slip off the peaches with your fingers. Here's a video on blanching method. Use small knife to peel stubborn spots if needed. Slice peaches and remove pits. Note 1.
- PREPARE PEACH MIXTURE TO COOK: Place peaches, sugar and lemon juice in a medium pot (mixture should only take up about 1/3 of pot so it doesn't boil over). If you are doubling the recipe, use a larger pot and cook the jam a little longer. Squish the mixture with a potato masher or your hands. (I use my hands). I like to leave some chunks of peaches.
- COOK PEACH JAM: Heat mixture to medium high and bring to a boil. Lower heat to about medium (5-6 on my dial) and boil on a medium rolling boil for 17-22 minutes (depending on how loose or thick you like your marmalade), stirring occasionally to prevent scorching on the bottom. The amount of time will depend on speed of boil and size of pot. A pot with a larger bottom surface will take less time. If you have doubled the recipe, You can remove the foam if you like by scooping it out with a spoon or adding a teaspoon of butter to contain the foam. I don't bother. See Note 2 – how to tell when jam is done. Taste and adjust flavor as needed e.g. add a bit more lemon juice or sugar as you like. I sometimes add a small pinch of salt to bring out the brightness of the peaches.
- STORE THE JAM: Scoop jam into jars. Cool, then cover tightly and store in the fridge or freezer.
- To cut peaches easily and remove pits: I make 8-10 slices around the peach from end to end. Then slip the slices off the pit. Alternatively, cut peaches in half around the pit. Remove pit. Slice peaches.
- How to tell if peach jam is done: If you have a candy/fry thermometer, look for a temperature of 210-220F/99-104C depending on the thickness you like. If you don’t have a thermometer, scoop up some marmalade with a spoon and let it drip off the spoon. If it drips off very quickly, cook some more. If it drips slowly and coats the spoon, it’s done.
- Make Ahead: This peach jam recipe has no pectin and doesn’t use a canning process, so it’s not the kind you store in your basement for a year or two. It will, however, keep in the fridge in well sealed containers for 2-3 months. And it freezes well for 6-12 months. After that, it may get a bit watery or lose some taste.