Get our newsletters

Susan S. Yeske: Recipe of the Week -- There’s still time to make peach jam

Posted
Coping with the restrictions that are part of the current pandemic have often been difficult, and among the hardest hit have been local restaurants.
 
Forced to close at the onset of the virus, they reopened with takeout only, followed by limited indoor seating, currently set at 25 percent with a list of safety precautions.
 
Some restaurants have closed permanently and others may close soon. But many others have worked hard to abide by the restrictions set by the state while serving their customers in the best and safest ways possible.
 
Along the way they also have found different ways to get by, beginning with weekends-only takeout at Canal House Station restaurant in Milford, N.J. There award-winning cookbook authors Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer craft basic menus using local ingredients in season that customers order online and pick up. Those include soup and sandwich pop-up specials on Fridays and Saturdays, and full three-course meals on Sundays ready for pickup between noon and 5 p.m.
 
Quinoa in Doylestown and El Tule in Lambertville, N.J., which are both owned by the Egoavil family, have added home delivery and crafted family-style meals for families of four.
 
Caleb’s American Kitchen in Lahaska added outdoor dining for the first time, as did the nearby Cock ‘n Bull and Hart’s Tavern in Peddlers Village. Tilly Mint’s tea shop in Souderton has offered its popular treats on limited days for takeout only.
 
Many restaurants have operated with smaller menus to improve efficiency, especially when they were forced to make staff reductions. Some restaurants with outdoor dining added tents so they could serve even when the weather is wet.
 
As the colder months approach, look for restaurants to improve and expand on home delivery and family-friendly menus. If there is a restaurant you like, try to support it whenever you can, to make sure it is here when the pandemic ends.
 
Meanwhile, the local peach season is winding down, but there is still time to make this Canal House recipe.

Fresh Peach Jam

Makes 6 to 8 half-pint jars

12 large ripe freestone peaches
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Special equipment: candy
thermometer
 
Using the tip of a paring knife, score an X in the bottom of each peach. Working in batches, cook in a large saucepan of boiling water just until skins begin to peel back where cut, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water; let cool. Peel and cut over a medium bowl into ½-inch-thick slices to collect juices.
 
Combine peaches with their juices, lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan. Let stand, tossing occasionally, until peaches release their juices and sugar is dissolved, about 1 hour. Fit saucepan with thermometer and bring peach mixture to a gentle boil over medium-high heat (you want slices to stay intact).
 
Reduce heat and simmer gently, skimming foam from surface as needed, until peaches are translucent, juices are reduced by half, and thermometer registers 220°F, 20 to 25 minutes.
 
Carefully divide jam among half-pint jars, cover, and chill 12 hours. Jam can be made 1 month ahead. Keep chilled.

X