Peach-Raspberry Jam + Blue Ribbon Jammin’ with Barb Schaller!

Jars of Plum jelly and Peach-Raspberry jam

(Jars of Plum jelly and Peach-Raspberry jam)

I’ve come to understand that the key to really great jam is a good dose of humor and a dash of sass! No one better to have taught me this lesson than the blue ribbon jam lady Barb Schaller. She does magic with fruit and pectin and never steps foot into the kitchen without her pearls (a nod to June Clever). She has been winning ribbons at the Minnesota State FAIR since 1981 and holds its Prestigious Processor of the Pantry award along with countless blue ribbons. She also has developed 2 jams for M.A. Gedney Company’s Award Winning State Fair Recipe line of preserves.

I met Barb, and her charming husband Rob, at a book signing for ABin5. She handed me a bag of home made jams and I’ve been a devout follower of hers ever since. I’ve been begging to get in the kitchen with her for well over a year and this past weekend she graciously allowed me and my friend Jen to watch. What an incredible honor to spend a day in the kitchen with a true master of her craft and watch this year’s blue ribbon recipe in the works.

Barb Schaller’s Peach-Raspberry Jam:

Barb Schaller

(Mother Superior, the Holy Order of the Sacred Sisters of St. Pectina of Jella. Wearing pearls and a smile are important elements to making great jam.)

Peach-Raspberry Jam (a reduced sugar recipe)

Makes 5-6 half pint jars

2 1/2 cups crushed, peeled peaches (about 6 medium)

1 1/2 cups crushed raspberries (fresh or frozen)

1 cup unsweetened apple juice

juice of half a lime

1 (1.75 ounce) package Ball 1.75OZ No Sugar Needed Pectin

3 cups granulated sugar

Recommended equipment for jam making. It seems like a lot of stuff, but you probably have some of it already:

21-Quart Covered Preserving Pot/Canner with Rack For boiling the jars

Heavy bottom 6 quart pot for cooking jam

Heat Resistant Rubber Spatula For stirring the jam

Kerr mason jar, 8oz Make sure there are no cracks or chips on the rims.

Kerr mason jar lids and bands. You can not reuse the lids, so having extra is a good idea.

Magnetic Lid Lifter Just wait to see how handy this is.

Kitchen Tongs For arranging the jars in the pot.

Jar Lifter

Stainless Skimmer

2-Quart Pourable Measuring Cup

Wide-Mouth Funnel

Kitchen Timer

Barb’s recommended reading list:

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

Ball Blue Book of Preserving make sure it is the latest version. Barb lives by this…“Our grandmothers and great-aunts preserved the fruits of the harvest using the safest and most current information and methods available to them at the time. We should do no less.”

So Easy To Preserve New & Revised 2006

To make the jam:

Sanitizing jam jars in boiling water

Wash the jars and then place them in a large kettle of warm, not hot water, then bring it to a boil to sanitize the jars. Leave the jars in the hot water until ready to fill.

Peach-Raspberry Jam | Mashed peaches and raspberries in a pot

Barb used a potato masher for the peaches, she wanted to keep them chunky not finely pureed.

Adding pectin to the peach-raspberry jam

Combine the fruits, apple juice and lime juice in a 6 quart saucepan. Gradually stir in the pectin while stirring with the spatula. Bring to a rolling boil, that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.

Barb Schaller adding sugar to her peach-raspberry jam

Add the sugar and stir thoroughly. Return the mixture to a rolling boil and boil hard for 2-3 minutes.

Testing the thickness of peach-raspberry jam with a spatula

When you lift your spatula you will see that the juices are starting to set, but still able to drip. If it is too thick right away she suggested adding a touch more apple juice.

Barb Schaller making peach-raspberry jam

Remove from heat, pour the jam into a pourable 2 quart measuring cup. Stir slowly and gently for 5 minutes to help ensure the fruit is distributed evenly.  Use your skimmer to skim any foam off the top. Lift the spatula from the jam again to see if it is setting, it should be setting somewhat, but still pourable.

Barb Schaller making peach-raspberry jam

(Please note that the following pictures are of jelly, so there is no fruit visible. When you make Barb’s recipe for Peach-Raspberry jam there will be lovely chunks of fruit.)

Remove the hot jars onto a clean kitchen towel and drop the lids into the still hot, but not boiling water. You do not want to boil the lids because you may damage the rubber seal.

Barb Schaller filling jars with peach-raspberry jam

Fill the hot jars with the hot jam/jelly. Barb has done this a few thousand times and no longer uses a funnel, but recommends it for anyone without as much practice. That would be you and me.

Leave 1/4-inch of headspace (air) at the top of the jar.

Barb Schaller cleaning her jars filled with peach-raspberry jam

Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean towel.


Barb Schaller sanitizing the lids for her peach-raspberry jam

Using the magnet, lift the hot lids from the water and place them on the jars. Apply the band and tighten, but not too much. (Barb recommends doing this with just your thumb and middle finger, because it is harder to overdo it with just two fingers.)

Barb Schaller making peach-raspberry jam

Place the jars back in the hot water using the jar lifter.

Barb Schaller making peach-raspberry jam

Use the rack in your pot if you have to stack the jars. Make sure the jars are completely covered with the water. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil for 10 minutes (adjusting for altitude) as set on your timer.

Jars of Barb Schaller's peach-raspberry jam

Remove the jars and allow to cool on a towel.

A jar of plum jelly, made by Barb Schaller

This is the plum Jelly that Barb made from the juice of her own plums from tree in her yard. Gorgeous and perfectly clear. The Peach-Raspberry Jam was as lovely, but with chunks of fruit throughout. I meant to take a picture of it for you, but my boys and I ate it in one sitting. I’ll just have to make more. (You can see it in the picture at the top of the post.)

Thank you Barb, for sharing your wisdom and love of jammin’ with all of us!

45 thoughts to “Peach-Raspberry Jam + Blue Ribbon Jammin’ with Barb Schaller!”

  1. Hi Sarah,

    I’m not sure about that? I assure you it looked so easy to make this jam, you should give it a shot! I’m going to make some with the fruit I picked up yesterday. I’ll admit I was intimidated by the whole thing until I saw Barb do her magic!

    We can do this! 😉

    Zoë

  2. Didn’t we have fun! With your bread and my spread, we’ll take over the world, Zoë! The baguettes you graciously brought to the party were the perfect accompaniment to our jam.

    Later that day I picked up 10 pints of fresh raspberries from my sister’s patch and on Sunday made stunningly beautiful and delicious Raspberry Jam and an excellent Raspberry-Mango Jam (this time a full-sugar jam). I sacrificed a few pints of berries to extract just enough juice to make my State Fair entries; jelly is an extravagant use of fruit, I think. And so-o-o delicious! You and Jen were a joy to have on hand—thank you for the opportunity.
    -Barb

  3. Love that woman already!! I miss making jams and jellies with my mom and grandma but it is a tradition I happily carry on!! Nothing beats homemade anything and particularly jams!

  4. I have been thinking jam all these days, and hei, its on your site too!

    That was a pleasant surprise!
    Must be really yummy…looks real mouth watering…drool

  5. What a terrific coincidence! I made 5 pints of delicious plum jam last week. However, mine did not solidify in a jam-like manner. I followed the directions to a T- using pectin, exact amount of sugar and fruit gloop.

    Is there any way to save it? Re-heat?

    It is seriously delicious, just not solid enough, more of a thick plum sauce.

  6. Hi Lisa,

    Barb told me that you can reheat the jam and add more pectin. But, I’ve forgotten the details and will ask her to remind me of how that is done.

    She refers to jam and jelly that has not set as “toppings,” as in the kind you pour over your favorite cheesecake or pound cake. Not an all bad ending!

    Thanks, Zoë

  7. Lisa, topping happens. :-\. As does brick mortar. Don’t ask me how I know this.

    Here is a link to the National Center for Home Food Preservation (NCHFP) page that covers re-making jams and jellies that didn’t set. You might want to hold back a jar and add some ginger and vinegar to it and use it as a dipping sauce for grilled wings. You could do worse. 🙂
    -Barb Schaller

  8. Do you put the jars in a total of 10 minutes or start counting when the water reaches a boil? I keep overcooking my jams, so I want to be sure.

  9. Thanks for this! I learned a few things and am grateful for that! I’m glad you had such a great experience!!
    Now I’m going to click on Barb’s link!
    Sue

  10. Michele, you want to start timing when the water returns to a boil. A gentle boil will do the job. If you’re above 1000 feet altitude, you need to increase the processing time — check the NCHFP site for particulars.
    Why are you overcooking your jam? What kind of recipe are you using? If you are using fruit and sugar only, the jell point is 8 degrees above the temp at which water boils at your altitude. Contact me if you think I can be of more help to you. You can do that through my website link. I’m working on updating my site. . . .
    -Barb

  11. Barb & Zoe,

    My plum sauce has turned into jam! I went on vacation, and when I returned, it had spontaneously gelled.

    Today I made 6 pints of blueberry jam and 5 pints of raspberry jam. On deck for tomorrow is apricot jam, fig jam, and apple butter (if I can find a local source for jam jars.)

    I’m so excited!

  12. Hi Lisa,

    That is so exciting, congratulations! I’ve got to get on a batch, since I’m almost done with all the jars Barb gave me! 😉

    Zoë

  13. Great news, Lisa! That happens sometimes. Apricot Jam has a reputation for taking up to two weeks to set. And am I seeing that you made pint jars instead of half pints? All of my books provide processing time for half pint jars only. The larger volume will also affect how long it takes for the jam to set.

    Figs have a higher pH than other fruit; your recipe will undoubtedly include lemon juice for acidification.

    Congrats on your yummy plum jam.
    -Barb

  14. Thanks for the tips, Barb. I am a beginning canner and it tends to take me a long time to fill and cap the jars. I was putting each jar into the canner rack as I filled it. Once the rack was filled I lowered it into the pot. While waiting for all the jars to be filled, those jars in the rack were partially submerged in the water, so I think that made them taste overcooked. Do I fill all the jars before adding them to the rack?

  15. You must have a very sensitive palate, Michele. You have a couple options: leave the jars on the counter until you have a rackful; or have the water level below the bottom of the rack when it is (I’m assuming here) hooked on the side of the canner and put your filled jars on/into the rack as you fill and cap them. If you do that, have some boiling water at the ready to add to the pot so your jars are covered by an inch of water.

    I generally put my filled jars into the maybe-simmering waterbath as I fill and cap them. When all the jars are in, I increase the heat under the pot to get the water moving.

  16. Thank you. Great advice. I really did take a long time to fill the jars, which is why I think they might have tasted odd to me. Also I think the water level was too high, so they were cooking a long time while I was filling the jars. I really appreciate the advice. I am new to canning and I don’t have anyone to ask for advice. We found after we let the finished jam sit a few weeks, it tasted better than it did in the beginning. When it was first made, we opened a jar a couple days later and it had an aftertaste, which is why I thought I overcooked it. Do you find the flavor of jam sometimes needs to “cure” a bit before tasting its best?

  17. I would love to make the peach-raspberry jam but I do not have a water bath canner. I have always used the inverted method. Would that method work for this jam as well?
    Thanks!

  18. Oh, Adriane. . . . please do not use the inversion method. You really do need to process your sweet spreads in a boiling water bath. A large stockpot will serve nicely as a waterbath canner if it is deep enough to cover your jars with an inch of water and has enough room above the water level to allow for boiling. You’ll get a stronger seal with a waterbath process and you are probably already keeping your jars hot in a large kettle of water, so it’s a very small step to continue with the waterbath.

    I can tell you a really sad story about a woman who lost several jars of strawberry jam to mold after she used the inversion method to finish her jam process.

    In my mind, the effort and expense put into the product to the point of processing it is not worth the risk of a seal failure.

  19. Note to food preservers, current or considering: I’ve finally published my new blog about my preparations for this year’s Minnesota State Fair. I invite you to have a look at it. I’m happy to answer questions there. There will be more entries as I continue my task of preparing my 20 entries (that is as many as we may enter).

    Y’all come! Click on the “Yes, I Can” link at the top of my site’s home page: http://web.me.com/barbschaller and I’ll see you there.

  20. Thanks Barb. You mentioned a large stockpot….can the jars just sit on the bottom? Don’t the water-bath canners have a wire basket to hold the jars up?

  21. Thank you Barb and ZOe for a lovely recipe. MY is setting up right now. I saved soem fresh raspberries from our season here and added it to the peaches presently in season.

    I love the flavor.

  22. I have never made jam before, but I remember my grandmother making it when I was younger. I’m originally from Canada, and making your own jam is a lot bigger in the north. I live in Georgia now. Do you know how hard it is to find everything? I had to go to 3 places to find everything I needed!

    Anyway, after much research I figured a blue ribbon jam was the way to go, and decided on this one. IT TURNED OUT AMAZING! I didn’t realize jammin’ was so easy. I will be making this and giving it away as favors at my Georgia wedding. THANK YOU!

  23. This reminds me of my time back on the farm in Vermont we used to make all kinds of jams and jellies from strawberry rhubarb, to boysenberry, to cherry, apple cinnamon, raspberry, you name it! I will have to try her recipe as even though we had peaches and raspberry I never thought to combine them then.

  24. Hey all! I made this as a first attempt at jamming and I totally goofed. First, I used Sure Jell pectin – I blindly bought the regular kind, NOT the “no sugar needed” variety. Second, I tasted the jam before I added any sugar and it was already so sweet I decided to reduce the sugar even further, to 2.5 cups.

    Results: super runny peach raspberry goodness. I wanted to post this so newbies will know not all pectins are created equal and sugar REALLY matters in the set! I should’ve researched more before I got started.

    Any ideas on how to salvage this and/or use it? So far I think it would be delicious mixed into yogurt, on ice cream, or maybe even on a pork chop?

    Is it true I could reheat and mix in more pectin to make it set? Or would sugar be the only thing to make it set at this point?

  25. Does anyone have a recipe for making jelly or jam, using Monin Lavendar Syrup? I see several recipes for lavendar jelly using homemade lavendar syrup. But I want to use my Monin syrup and I don’t know how much to use in a basic fruit jelly. Thank you.

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