Somewhere near Northampton, Massachusetts....
To Wade's hand...
I weigh the peaches before I peel them and core them.
After the peaches have been pitted and skinned, I weigh them again and half as much sugar is added. The ratio is 1 part sugar to 2 parts fruit.
The sugar and peach mixture is brought to a boil. A half teaspoon of citric acid - it helps prevent oxidation and adds acidity - is added.
The mixture is brought to a boil. Two apple peels are added for pectin. The scum - though pretty and tasty - is skimmed off.
The mixture is boiled. And boiled.
I check for sheeting. When it sheets - or 'flakes' - I know it is close to done. I like a slightly softer, less-set jam. I usually take it off the heat after the temperature reaches 218, not 220 (which is the set point for jam).
And then I add fresh verbena. I let it macerate for a few minutes, then I carefully squeeze the verbena leaves dry to extract as much flavor as I can from the leaves without getting leaves - which are tough - into the jam. At this point I also remove the apple peels.
While the jam is still piping hot - just below 220 degrees F, I ladle it into hot, sterile jars.
And then plunge the jars into boiling water for a 10 minute processing time.
The processing time begins when the water comes to a boil, not when the jar is placed in the water:
After 10 minutes, the jars are removed and placed on a tea towel to cool.
It is a chunky, sweet, not all-too-thick jam. I like jam that spreads easily. The added pectin from the peels don't create the 'hard' mouthfeel and texture created by boxed and bottled pectins.
The bright peach color is such a treat - a reminder of summer during the cold months.
(as an aside...here's a visual of the difference between using citric acid and not using citric acid).