Sunday, June 5, 2011

Peach Preserves with a sweet dessert wine - So good!

Today was my second class of the weekend and I had some extra time this morning and decided to finish up the rest of a batch of prepped peaches from my sisters visit and cooked up a preserve. I wanted to slow cook them to see if I didn't rush the cooking process and let them cook down whether the end product would change. I simmered the peaches for about 30 minutes alone in their juices. I didn't add the sugar or lemon juice and it really developed a more peachy flavor. I didn't cut the chunks of peaches up and many of them stayed whole. 

As I tasted the flavors develop and the recipe get a darker richer color I wanted to add some additional flavor. I have done the vanilla bean and the cinnamon, but I had a great white dessert wine that I was given now several bottles of and have used in the past, a Cambria Late Harvest Viognier. It is fruity and it definitely added some sweet flavor to the batch. I added my sugar, cutting back a cup and then the lemon juice and pectin. The color, smell and consistency was perfect. 

I am finding that the simplest of flavors such as wines are really quite good in shifting a fruit jam or preserve into a great batch that has some depth. Just as in cooking only use wines that you would drink and enjoy in a glass by themselves. I hope you find your perfect combination. Here is the recipe. You can substitute a sweet white wine like a Reisling or Sauvignon blanc for the one I used. 

Peach Wine Preserve

6 cups peaches, peeled, pitted
1/2 cup sweet white wine
2 cups sugar
4 T. lemon juice
3 T. Ball flex batch pectin
Cut peaches into chunks and cook on a simmer for 30 minutes in a medium size dutch oven or stainless steel pot. Stir in the wine and continue to simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Add the sugar and lemon juice. Bring mixture to a boil and then add the pectin and return to a full boil for 1 minute. Skim foam if necessary.
Viognier Grapes

Using sterilized jars ladle the recipe into 6 half pint jars, remove air bubbles and refill to 1/4" headspace. Using a wet paper towel clean rims, add heated lids and add rings. Process in the water bath at a full boil for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, wait five minutes and remove jars and set on dish towel on the counter overnight. The next day label your jars and remove rings for storage.