If you are very fortunate enough to catch the end of the raspberry season and the beginning of the peach season at the same time, then you can make Peach Melba jam.
The name Peach Melba comes from the dessert invented in 1892 by Auguste Escoffier at The Savoy Hotel in London, to honor the Australian soprano, Nellie Melba. It featured peaches with a raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream.
It is challenging to grow peaches in Texas unless you have a south facing walled kitchen garden, and so it goes without saying that you will be buying them instead. Please make sure they are ripe and juicy before you buy, by ensuring they yield to the touch.
This recipe should make approximately 2 lbs of jam, which will be exceptionally well received spread on warm buttered toast on a cold winter’s day:
1 lb of ripe peaches
1 b; fresh raspberries
Juice and zest of 1 lemon (I always buy unwaxed lemons)
1lb caster sugar
Place the peaches in boiling water for a minute, then remove the skins. Keep about 150 ml. of the peachy water.
Cut the peaches into small pieces, removing the stones. Place the peaches, the raspberries, lemon zest and juice in a big pan with the peachy water. Cook for ten minutes. Keep stirring.
Add the sugar, mix well and cook for another 20 minutes, stirring regularly.
Bring to the boil and boil until you reach a temperature of 105 degrees C. Remove any scum with a slotted spoon.
Take a cold saucer (leave it in the fridge for a few minutes) and place a teaspoon of jam on it. Put back in the refrigerator to cool down for a few minutes. Test the jam for a set: if you push the jam with your finger and it creates wrinkles the jam is ready for pouring into sterilized jam jars and sealing.