easy peach preserves

makes 2 pints

I must confess summer apples are not easy to come by. That's not say they're impossible to find, but you do have to keep your eyes peeled for them. Last year I bought mine from Fishkill Farms. They're tart, thin skinned and a doppleganger for Granny Smiths. What makes them so special is that the young fruit is high in natural pectin, which means this jam thickens beautifully without a load of sugar or the aid of commercial pectin.

If you can't find summer apples near you, then use your favorite brand of pectin, adjusting the amount according to the package directions. My go-to brand is Pomona's Universal Pectin. To put these up in canning jars for the winter, spoon the jam into sterilized glass jars. Cover with sterilized lids and rings, then process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

1/3 cup/1.65 ounces peeled, shredded summer apples

3 cups/14 ounces peeled, finely diced fresh peaches

2/3 cup/5 ounces sugar

Add ingredients to a microwave-safe glass bowl. Stir to mix well. Cook, uncovered, on HIGH for 6 minutes until boiling and bubbly. Carefully remove bowl using a kitchen towel or pot holders. Stir and return to microwave. Cook on HIGH for 8 to 10 more minutes, until thick and jammy. Transfer to clean, sterilized canning jars and process in a hot water bath, or store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to one month.

*note: times are based on using a 1000 watt microwave.