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Peach Jam Recipe (without pectin)

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 recipe for beginners.

Transform those juicy ripe local peaches into a summer classic. All you need is peaches, sugar and lemon. Delish!

jar of peach jam s3

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 time can be quite different. 

Why make 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-friendlywe have clear step by step instructions that are easy for beginners to follow. You will nail it the first time you make it.

How much jam you can expect

This is a small batch recipe for peach jam that can easily be turned into peach preserves. If you’re curious about the difference, scroll down.

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, 

  1. Have clean jars ready
  2. Peel and cut the peaches (you need 6-7 ripe peaches for this recipe)
  3. Cook the jam (the longer you cook it, the thicker it will be).
  4. 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 🙂

peaches peeled using blanching method

FAQ 

What are the best peaches to use for a peach jam recipe?

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. 

How to tell if a peach is ripe?

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. 

Do you have to peel peaches for making jam?

Technically no. There is nothing wrong with cooking the peach skin 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. 

Do I have to use lemon?

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 peach jam without pectin

6 whole peaches, sugar, lemon
3 ingredients: fresh ripe peaches, lemon, sugar
peaches boiling in pot of water
To peel skins off easily, start by plunging peaches into boiling water bath for 60 seconds. Check the recipe card for a video on how to blanch peaches.
peaches floating in cold water in pot
Drain the boiling water and pour on cold water under the tap until the water stays cold. Or use ice water.
skin of peach slipping off
If the peaches are ripe, the skins will slip right off with your fingers. Use paring knife to remove stubborn spots.
slicing a peach with small knife
Slice peaches. I slice from stem to bottom with a small knife all around then squeeze the slices off the pit.
sliced peaches in pot with sugar and lemon
Add peaches to the pot along with sugar and lemon juice. Use less sugar to start, then add more if need based on the sweetness of peaches.
peach mixture pulverized with some chunks remaining
Squish peaches and sugar with your hands or use a potato masher. I like to leave a few chunks. The sugar will help release water from the peaches.
peach jam boiling in pot
Gently boil the peach jam, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Skim off the foam if you like (I don’t bother). Or add a teaspoon of butter to contain the foam. Cook for 15-20 minutes, depending on the consistency you like.
finished peach jam in pot
Peach jam is ready at 210-220F (99-104C) measured with a candy thermometer. Or when it’s thickened and slowly drips off a spoon.
two jars of peach jam
Scoop into jars. Cool to room temperature, then freeze or refrigerate.
peach jam on scone p5

Tips for making the best jam

  1. 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. 
  2. 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!
  3. 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. 
  4. 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 increase the cooking time if you like a thicker consistency. 
  • 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. Or a bit of lemon zest for some zing. 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. 

Shortcut

  • 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 peak 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. 

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 (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. 

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. 

More homemade jam recipes

More delicious peach recipes

If you love peaches, try a delicious peach dessert, salad, main dish, sauce, side dish or condiment.

jar of peach jam s3
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4.91 from 22 votes

Peach Jam Recipe (without pectin)

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!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time28 mins
Course: Jams and Spreads
Cuisine: American, Vegetarian
Servings: 24 tbsp (or 1.5 cups/480g/17oz.)
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

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)

Instructions

  • 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 large 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 heat and bring to a boil. Lower to medium heat (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 2how 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.

Notes

  1. 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.  
  2. 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. 
  3. Tips
    • 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. 
    • 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 peak 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). 
    • Double the recipe. If you want to do this, use a large 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. 
  4. 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. 
 
Nutrition values are estimates for approximately 1 tablespoon of peach jam without pectin. 

Nutrition

Calories: 39kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 123IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg
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16 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is the 2nd year I’ve used this recipe and the jam turns out great every time! I live in Colorado and use Palisade peaches. It never lasts long and makes a great gift!

    1. So glad you like it Rita! I’m curious to know if the jam tastes different with palisade peaches. And I agree – it’s a lovely gift. Thanks for leaving a comment.

  2. 5 stars
    I just made this peach jam, and it’s fabulous. The butter trick really worked, and I cooked the jam until 100C because it was a little more than 200F, and the jam was still quite loose at 200F. I thought it was going to be thick enough, so the jam cooled down a bit and had to be reheated.

    I added a long strip of lemon peel and a little almond extract. The jam tastes like edible sunshine. I got 3 whole 1/2 pint jars and another 1/4 cup out of 3 lbs of peaches and used 1 cup of white sugar. I might use a little less sugar next time. There will be a next time.

    I mixed a couple tablespoons of cooled jam with vanilla bean ice cream, and it was absolutely delicious.

    To always cut the peaches in half with the pits easy remove, I cut through the center of the peach “butt”. That way the pit is completely visible and easy to remove. I freeze the pits then roast them to make a liquor out of them.

  3. I’m using this recipe and want to know if I can seal the jars with boiling water to preserve for a longer period of time?

    1. Hi Ava. I don’t have experience with canning, but I think if you don’t have all the canning equipment and know the canning process, you’re better off freezing the no pectin jam. Hope that helps.

  4. 5 stars
    My peach preserves have cooked the amount of time in recipe but are very loose . I’m adding more time as you suggested. I’ve tasted them and this recipe is a keeper for sure! I have a question for you tho. I’m making this away from home and haven’t any jars. Can I take it home in storage containers and transfer to jars later? Should I reheat it to same temp if I do this? Thank you for a great recipe. It’s very thorough and easy.

    1. Hi Cynthia. I copied this from the recipe notes “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.” Hope that helps. 🙂

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you so much for this recipe. I’m blessed to have a windfall of fresh peaches from a neighbor but I’m injured and not up to canning. I’m going to give this a try right now. I’ll get back to you with results!

        1. Can’t wait to hear Jill! How lucky to have all those fresh peaches (but sorry about your injury).

          1. Hi Cheryl! I just made it and it’s wonderful. I made this away from home and have no jars. Do you think I can take it home in storage containers and transfer it when at home? Should I reheat it to recipe temp again before putting in the jars? I appreciate this and can’t wait to serve it to my family.

          2. Glad it worked out. Yes, it’s no problem to keep it in a sealed container. You can even leave it in there. Just keep it in the fridge. No need to reheat if you want to transfer to jars.