Saturday, July 27, 2013

Grilled Peach and Basil Preserves - Summer In A Jar

Ever wish you could put summer into a jar?
We were grilling on the back patio and I "taste-tested" one of the peaches we were grilling.  I make these sacrifices regularly (and the scales would say a little too regularly.) 
Of course, the way my brain works I immediately started thinking of flavor combos and other dishes I could add that smokey peach experience to and preserve it.  Preserve it. Doh!
The next day I set out to enhance, tinker, tweak and jar what turned out to be one of my all time favorite recipes.  It has the approval of at least one Los Angeles Fire Department Station (and that's a lot of hard working hungry people.)  I sent in a giant jar with my son to work.  I saw him later that day and he said it was almost gone.  I had worried that it would go to waste on some forgotten refrigerator shelf, but I don't think it made it past lunchtime the same day.  I call that success. Yay!
Since the first batch, I've made several and it has become one of my go-to additions to fish, pork, lamb chops and salad dressings.
It made some of the best Fruit Crumble Bars ever.
Tomorrow I think I'll add in minced jalapeno for topping a burger.

I'd love to hear how it works for you and let me know any ideas you come up with, too. Thanks for stopping by.
Recipe:  Grilled Peach and Basil Preserves
(makes about 5-6 6oz jars)

3 lb. Peaches (cut into quarters)
1 Tablespoon Honey
1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Lb. Sugar
6-12 Large Fresh Basil Leaves
1) In a small bowl, whisk 1 Tbls. honey with 1 Tbls. lemon juice.  Brush this on each piece of peach.
2) Place the peach quarters onto a well oiled and med/high heated grill or indoor grill-pan.
3) Cook and turn for about 3 minutes each side. Remove and cut into small pieces.
4) In a large pot, add the peaches, 1/4 Cup lemon juice, and the sugar.  Cook and stir often on low heat until the sugar has dissolved (about 10 minutes.)
5) Increase the heat to Low/Med and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.  The mixture should rise to a low simmer.
6) Add the Basil leaves (whole) to the pot and continue cooking for about 20 more minutes or when the liquid in the pot falls from a wooden spoon in a large slow drop.
7) Remove the Basil leaves and pour the Peach Preserves into clean jars, close and refrigerate.  **the sugar is reduced and no pectin is being added so this is a refrigerator jam only as written.

**Here's another way to use those Grilled Peaches in a quick Summer Treat:  See the directions on this ShowFoodChef Facebook Page. :D
Wine Brushed Grilled Peaches 
with Basil and Truffle Cacio on a Stick

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