Summer Peach Preserves

“Peaches in the summertime, apples in the fall, if I can’t have the girl I love I won’t have none at all . . . ” Anyone else love Shadygrove?

It’s certainly summer here in these shady groves of the Blue Ridges, and the scent of fresh, ripe peaches wafts through our kitchen, mingling with crackling sourdough singing from the counter, where it’s cooling having leaped out hot from the oven. We’ve been breakfasting on scrambled eggs, and slices of sourdough topped with herbed peach preserves, some nights we have this for dinner with a bit of bacon.

I make the preserves with a half gallon pot filled with chopped peaches, white and yellow ones, and a heaping one cup chopped fresh thyme, a packed half cup chopped fresh sage, and a cup or two of fresh, whole rose petals mixed together and cooked on a steady low heat for most of the day till thickish.

Then I add a packed cup dark brown sugar (or light or regular raw or honey, whatever’s on hand), stir it up and cook down till a bit thicker and still chunky.

We begin eating this while warm, then, once it’s cooled, spoon it into a container and refrigerate for further delicious partakings; goes very well with grilled or roast chicken as a chutney. It thickens and darkens a little bit afterward.


Other peach jammy conservation flavors that are tasty are:

anise hyssop, ginger, and peaches

roses, cardamom, tulsi, and peaches

star anise, cinnamon, thyme, and peaches

vanilla bean, fresh orange peels, and peaches

I’d love to hear from you with peachy flavor ideas, and what you pair with.

This conserve piled on the bottom of a split biscuit, topped with eggs, salt, pepper, and bacon then covered with the remaining biscuit is oh so yummy in the tummy, and on the side with quiche or fried green tomato is oompa loompalicious!


And should you be wondering . . .

a preserve is whole or chunky chopped fruit cooked and ‘preserved’ with sweetener (such as sugar or honey).

a conserve is a mixture of different fruits, usually dried fruits, with nuts added in; all’conserved’ with sweetener (these taste amazing on cheese boards).

a jam is fruit that has been crushed and mashed and cooked with sweetener till spreadable; with pectin added in to help it set when it’s not naturally high off its own inner pectin

a marmalade is made specifically with cooked citrus fruits and peels, such as grapefruit, lemon, and orange, laden with sweetener until la-dee-da delicious in a bitter sweet way.

a butter is pureed fruit and very sparse sweetener, often with spices added, cooked very, very slowly until almost all the liquid evaporates and it’s thick and dark.


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