The peaches are near the end of their season. The season is so short here in Ontario that I buy as many as I can to enjoy before I have to give up on peaches for a year as I refuse to buy those rocks that are shipped here from the US and South America.
Peaches -- there are dozens of varieties -- are classified as clingstone or freestone based on how easy it is to dislodge the pit from the flesh. The former is widely used for commercial canning; most fresh peaches are freestones. I always buy freestone so that I don't lose half of the peach when I'm removing the stone.
I found this jam recipe on the web and thought it looked interesting - I was intrigued by the addition of citrus (the lime zest) and the lavender. Normally I run away from foods with lavender because they can smell like bad perfume but this was delicious. Both the flavour and colour of the finished jam was stunning - I won't be giving these jars away!
Lavender Peach Jam
lime zest from one lime
2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers, dried
1/2 cup boiling water
4 cups peaches, finely chopped (about 5-6 medium peaches)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 cups granulated sugar
1 (6 ounce) envelope liquid fruit pectin
Place lavender flowers in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over flowers and steep for 20 minutes. Strain and discard flowers preserving the liquid.
Combine lavender liquid, peaches, lime zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a very large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a full boil over high heat and boil hard for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in pectin
Ladle into sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath for 5 minutes.