Grace’s Spicy Peach Jam

Spicy Peach Jam / @loveandlemons

A few weeks ago, I had dinner with my friend Grace and she brought me the most delicious homemade blackberry jam. Since making jam isn’t really my jam, I asked her if she would come over and share a recipe for the blog. Peaches were in peak season, so we decided on spicy peach jam. And last weekend, we jammed. Well, technically, she jammed. I watched. Jack took pictures.

Spicy Peach Jam / @loveandlemons Spicy Peach Jam / @loveandlemons Spicy Peach Jam / @loveandlemons

(Canning aside), I was surprised how easy this was. The recipe looks long but, really, the most time consuming part is macerating the peaches overnight. The hands-on steps went pretty quickly.

Spicy Peach Jam / @loveandlemons Spicy Peach Jam / @loveandlemons

I just love the sweet & spice combination. I’ve been eating this jam on toast all week – it’s especially delicious with a slather of ricotta or almond butter. I’m also thinking it would be a fancy, unexpected addition to tacos similar to these.

Spicy Peach Jam / @loveandlemons

grace's spicy peach jam
Recipe by: Grace Hall
Serves: 4 cups (or half-pint jars)
  • 3 lb. peaches
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1 cup lightly sweet white wine (I used a Viognier)
  • 7 dried pequin chile peppers, stems removed
  • 3 Granny Smith apples (or pectin)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • Zest from 1 small lemon (about 1 tablesoon)
  1. Peel: Cut a small "x" into the bottom of each peach, drop it into boiling water for a minute or two (you'll know when it's ready when you see the skin start to separate near the "x"), remove, and then drop into an ice bath. Once the peach is cool enough to handle, slip the skin off. I've also found that the ease of removing peach skins really depends on the ripeness of the fruit and how it's been grown. If the peach is overripe or underripe, it always seems like it's much harder (sometimes impossible) to remove the skins. In that case, I just cut the skin away.
  2. Cut and mix: Add a little sugar into the bottom of a medium-sized glass (or non-metal, non-reactive) bowl. Slice each peach in half, top to bottom, and remove the pit. Cut each half into 12-16 thin slices and add to the bowl. Between each peach, add a little more sugar until you've added all the peaches and all the sugar. Then add the wine and the chiles and stir gently until combined.
  3. Macerate (2-3 days): Let the mixture sit in the fridge for at least two days (and up to three). If you want a little extra kick, try this: on the second day, simmer the mixture again, allow to cool, and transfer back to the bowl and let it sit in the fridge for one more day. (This will infuse more spice into your jam).
  4. Cook: (If you're canning, start preparing your boiling water bath, jars, and lids now). Pour the peach mixture into a colander suspended over a bowl and strain the juices. Transfer the juices to a preserving pan or a heavy-bottomed, wide, deep, non-reactive, uncoated sauté pan. Add the lemon juice to the pan. Cut the apples into quarters and either add straight to the pan or bundle in a cheesecloth and add to the pan. (You can substitute the apples with homemade or commercial pectin, if you'd prefer.) Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Continue to boil, stirring from time to time, until the liquid is bubbling thickly and reduced, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the apples and discard or save for another use. Add the peach slices, lemon zest, and any accumulated juices to the syrup in the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is bubbling thickly and the foam subsides, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir gently for a few seconds to distribute the fruit.
  5. Can: (optional) Fill your hot, sterile jars to ¼" headspace, remove any air bubbles, wipe the rims, put your lids on, and process for 10 minutes in the boiling water bath.
  6. Store: Refrigerated, the preserves will keep up to 1 month. Canned, they'll keep in a cool, dark spot for up to 1 year.
*I tend to use the least amount of sugar I can possibly get away with when making preserves. You can increase the amount of sugar in this recipe if you desire, but if you use less, it will probably affect the set. Also - I really like a loose set, but if you like a firmer set, use ½ - 1 cup more sugar and / or commercial pectin instead of the Granny Smith apples.


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. It’s probably because I’m so read for a snack, but this would be exceptionally good with brie? I don’t know, but looks soooo good. And love that making jam isn’t really your “jam” – puns 🙂 x

    • jeanine

      mmm, it would be really good with brie! Ha, glad someone appreciates my puns 🙂

  2. jesse

    Hi, I am new to your blog. Its beautiful! In this peach jam post is it your kitchen? Its so beautiful!! Cant wait to try some of these recipes.

    • jeanine

      yep it is – welcome!

  3. Elyse from

    I love it when I read a recipe and I immediately start thinking what I could use it on! We are still on a major pizza kick around here with our pizza oven so I am thinking that it would be perfect on a pizza with some ricotta! Sweet and spicy perfection- thanks for the recipe.

  4. leah

    is there an alternative to the dried peppers? Could you use fresh hot peppers? I have lots in the garden now. Thanks for the notes on amt of pectic and sugar!

    • jeanine

      Hi Leah, she’s not sure if it would affect the acidity level (ie, safety) if you’re going to can these – if you’re going to just refrigerate them, it’ll be fine.

  5. dana from

    Gorgeous recipe! Also, your friend is so cool. How do I be like her when I grow up?

  6. Lindsey from

    Yum! What a nice way to taste summer peaches after they are long gone! Looks delicious.

  7. Isabelle from

    I’ve made jam before but have never thought of good way to start the peeling process, that tip about cutting a small X… brilliant!
    And this recipe sounds so good, I love sweet and spicy.

    Isabelle @ Head Red & Blondi

  8. Nicole B.

    This sounds so yummy and I love the peeling process that you used. Thanks for sharing. I’ll have to give this recipe a try once I can get canning down. The last time I tried, my tops never “popped”.

    • jeanine

      I just put mine in the fridge, I’m way to lazy to go through the canning process 🙂

      • Nicole B.

        Haha good to know I’m not the only one. Things like homemade applesauce would never last long enough for the extra work of canning in our household anyways. I’ll let you know how this recipe turns out!

  9. michelle from

    yum, yum, yum!

  10. Saska from

    This looks absolutely great! 🙂

  11. Sara from

    Mmm, homemade jam is just the best! My nan makes a delicious apricot jam, I might just ask her to make a peach one for the winter now.

  12. Rivki Locker from

    I am so very intimidated by the thought of making jam, but this looks fantastic. I like the idea of just refrigerating it for a month and skipping the canning steps. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Tamara

    Love this! It looks so good! I love peach jam and I’m so glad I finally found a recipe to make it at home. Thank you for sharing.

  14. mel morris

    REALLY want to make this. Yum. But two questions:
    1) At 3) Macerate: you suggest “on the second day, simmer the mixture again” — but prior to this, when if the first time the mixture is supposed to simmer?
    2) Do you leave the pequin chile peppers in (after you’ve strained) – do they end up whole in the final product?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Mel – you’re right, the word “again” is wrong and confusing. That’s the first time you simmer and it’s optional. 2) The chile peppers end up in the final product, they’re very tiny.

      • Mel Morris

        Got it. Thx. Looking forward to giving this a try!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.