Habanero Peach Jam

As far as I’m concerned, the world falls into two camps, those who love Habanero Peach Jam, and those who are still living in the dark ages.  If you’ve never had the pleasure then you’re in for an experience.  This isn’t a jam for your morning toast, this is for the cocktail hour — with some fluffy cream cheese and a crisp cracker,  it’s addictive.  And that’s not just me saying that, it’s a well documented phenomenon.

The beauty of these European style jams that Elisa introduced me to is that they encourage spontaneity.  They are so quick and easy you can whip up a small batch any time you get the urge.  I had a bag of about 8 peaches from the farmer’s market, and that yielded four 1/2 pint jars.  I’m completely hooked.

In fact Habanero Peach is the perfect jam to make when you only have a few peaches; it’s so powerfully flavored that a little goes a long way.  One small jar will transform a plate of cheese and crackers into a party.  You will definitely make converts of any of your friends who haven’t tried it before.  By the way, this jam makes a great host/hostess gift, too.

I must have grabbed two different varieties of peaches by mistake because when I peeled and sliced them they were different colors…pretty!

Be sure to wash well after cutting the habanero, in fact you probably have to wash more than once.  I make the mistake every time.  But don’t worry too much about the heat; once it’s cooked into the jam its bark is worse than its bite.  The sweetness of the sugar and the peaches counteracts it a bit.

Habanero Peach Jam

Habanero Peach Jam


  • 4 1/2 pint jars
  • 1 lb 5 oz peeled and pitted peaches
  • 2 habanero peppers, seeds and all, finely minced
  • 1 lb 5 oz sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon


  1. Put your jars through the hot cycle of the dishwasher to clean. You can reuse the glass jars, but always purchase new lids for each new batch of jam. This is to ensure that they seal properly. (They sell extra lids right next to the jars in the grocery store.)
  2. Peel and slice your peaches over a bowl, to catch the juices.
  3. Weigh the peaches and then weigh out the same amount of sugar.
  4. Put the peaches, sugar, habanero peppers and lemon juice in a large heavy bottomed pot. Stir to combine everything and mash the peaches a bit with a large wooden spoon or potato masher.
  5. Let sit for an hour.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil, and boil for approximately 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently. It will foam up for most of the time, and eventually, when the jam is nearly ready, the foam will die down.
  7. Check to see if the jam is ready by dropping a small amount on a very cold plate. When it is ready it will jel as it cools on the plate.
  8. When you are satisfied with the jelling, ladle the hot jam into clean jars, filling almost to the top. Put the lids on, but don't screw them too tightly, and immediately set the jars upside down.
  9. Let the jars cool, and then turn them right side up and refrigerate.


  • I considered adding a bit of cider vinegar to this batch, but didn’t.  I would like to try that next time to see how it affects the flavor. This jam is perfectly sweet/hot, but I would like to try a touch of vinegar to give it a tangy edge as well.  I would use cider vinegar, and maybe start with just a few tablespoons, especially with such a small amount of peaches.

Addictive, I tell you.  Don’t run out of cream cheese or crackers or you’ll be sorry…

As promised, I’m also bringing you Elisa’s recipe for Vanilla Peach Jam, this is just the way she sent it along to me.  It requires special jam making sugar, which contains added pectin.  This is common in Europe but not here in the states.  I couldn’t find it anywhere either online or in stores.  I’m assuming that this jam could also be made with equal parts peaches and regular sugar.  The combination of peach and vanilla sounds heavenly for scones or biscuits.

Elisa’s Vanilla Peach Jam

Peel the peaches and cute them in quarters. Put them in a big pan, with half their weight in special, high pectin content, sugar. Mix and mash the fruit a bit. Let the mixture stand for a few hours. In the meantime, prepare clean glass jars to be filled. When you start heating the mixture, add vanilla beans that you have previously sliced open along their lengths (roughly 2 beans for 1kg fruit). Boil until you are satisfied, doing the cold plate test regularly. Pour the hot liquid in the jars. Cut the vanilla sticks in halves, and put one half in each jar. Close the jars and turn them upside down.
Happy Jamming!


  • Reply
    Adriana Gutiérrez
    May 21, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    If you can get local fresh perfect nectarines, Habanero Nectarine Jam is exceptional too!

  • Reply
    mark matthews
    January 17, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Do I to use pint jars for this,or can I use one large jar ?

    • Reply
      January 17, 2017 at 9:00 am

      You can use any type of jar, Mark.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    I made it as directed with two habanero a seeds and all and it is so hot I had to drink milk to stop my tongue from burning, hubby too and he loves hot stuff, you should warn others this might happen if you use the seeds.

  • Reply
    September 5, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Hi I want to make peach habanero jam. This recipe requires no pectin? So does this make it a freezer jam or am I still canning without pectin? I’m pretty new to this so I’d rather ask first thanks!

  • Reply
    August 25, 2016 at 8:19 am

    How long would you estimate these will last in the refrigerator? I doubled the recipe and am trying to decide if I should go through the whole canning bath process or if they’ll keep in the fridge until Christmas.

    • Reply
      August 25, 2016 at 9:34 am

      It wouldn’t last till Christmas, Kim, but you could freeze the jars, and then thaw when you’re ready to give.

      • Reply
        August 25, 2016 at 9:35 am

        Just be sure to leave a little extra space in the jars for expansion.

  • Reply
    August 14, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Would a sugar substitute work with this? I am diabetic & bake with Splenda- measurement is usually 1c=1c. This is wt, not cups, how should I convert this?

  • Reply
    June 30, 2016 at 10:57 am

    I am done with my jam, it is so good that I have my husband and two boys in the kitchen each of them has a spoon, they are eating the jam, instill warm but they are eating the jam with French Baguette and goat cheese! It taste really good, and this is the first time my family taste the habanero chilies and I haven’t heard a complaint yet. I’m very happy to made my first jam. Thank you very much.

    • Reply
      June 30, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      I’m thrilled that the jam went over so well with everybody at your house Carol, and thanks so much for taking the time to come back and let me know — now that you’ve made your first jam you’re going to have to move on to some new recipes…I’ve got lots of spicy jams on the blog ;)

  • Reply
    June 17, 2016 at 5:09 am

    In the vanilla peach jam recipe, what is ‘special, high pectin content, sugar?’ Thanks.

    • Reply
      June 17, 2016 at 6:46 am

      Hi Holly — I mentioned in the intro to the recipe that this is a special jam making sugar available in Europe. It’s such a convenient idea it’s a shame they don’t have it here. You can adjust her recipe using regular pectin or you could use this Simple Strawberry Jam and substitute peaches: http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/simple-strawberry-jam-european-style/

      • Reply
        June 17, 2016 at 3:42 pm

        So sorry I asked a question you already answered. I didn’t read the intro. I was scanning the web for recipes to use my habaneros and went right to the recipes. Thanks!

        • Reply
          June 17, 2016 at 3:48 pm

          No problem Holly, I speed scan recipes too :)

  • Reply
    April 9, 2016 at 8:11 am

    I’m new to canning/anything with mason jars lol. When you say wash the jars in the dishwasher, does that include the lids? Thanks

    • Reply
      April 9, 2016 at 8:14 am

      Yes, you can put the lids in too Stephanie.

  • Reply
    Karen Oakey
    July 25, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    I just made this and we love it, I was wondering though if I could put it in cold water bath to seal the jars so i would not have to be put in the fridge and we could enjoy it all winter?

    • Reply
      July 25, 2015 at 3:01 pm

      I’m not sure, Karen, but I’ll refer you to this site which has instructions for canning stone fruit: http://sweetpreservation.com/preservation-101

      • Reply
        Karen Oakey
        July 25, 2015 at 3:08 pm

        Thank you Sue I think I will try, I make all my own jam and always do the water bath sealing method. It will make great gift for friends at Christmas!

        • Reply
          August 1, 2015 at 2:04 pm

          Karen Oakley – if this works, it would be much appreciated if you could post your results…. Thanks in advance!

  • Reply
    June 23, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Would you tell me what size jars you used? The recipe states 1/2 pint jars but yours look like 4 oz jars.

  • Reply
    September 23, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Great recipe!! I made a few changes and only used one pepper with seeds and one without, added 2 tblspns apple cider vinegar, and I halfed the sugar amount- mainly because I can’t stand super sweet stuff & it about killed me when I saw that much sugar measured out.. It tastes great & set up nicely without any extra pectin (but I did use half & half ripe & unripe peaches to get more natural pectin in there). Thanks!!!!

    • Reply
      September 24, 2014 at 6:51 am

      Sounds fantastic, and great to know that you can use less sugar!

  • Reply
    August 25, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Oh my…this sounds so good! Habanero peach jam!! Looking forward to making this – thanks for sharing it. :)

  • Reply
    June 22, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    I just tried some amazing mango habanero jam from the farmers market. This sounds great!

  • Reply
    A guide to peaches - Running to the Kitchen
    June 4, 2014 at 3:02 am

    […] Peach slab pie Peach and pecan quinoa salad Baked peach almond oatmeal Tomato peach burrata salad Habanero peach jam Deep fried peaches and ice cream Roasted peach buckwheat pancakes Gluten free peach french toast […]

  • Reply
    September 12, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I’m definitely going to try this one since I’m going to the farmers’ market this weekend. I bet it would be delicious with coconut shrimp! I’ve seen a recipe that used a pineapple habanero dip so it makes sense that this recipe would be a good one to use as well. Do you think pineapples or plums could be substituted for the peaches?

    • Reply
      September 13, 2013 at 6:27 am

      Plums could, for sure, but I’m not familiar with jelling pineapple, I think that’s a little different. I would try plums if you don’t want to use peaches…good luck!

  • Reply
    Carlene's World
    August 4, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    I just made this with 4 enormous white nectarines and 2 habaneros..4 cups sugar and juice of 1 small lemon. It is dee-licious! Perfect when topping the cream cheese & cracker. This would make a great dipping sauce for wings or grilled shrimp and I can see it happening on my next Carolina style pork BBQ sandwich…great recipe..thanks!

  • Reply
    Rachael Abel
    May 29, 2012 at 3:56 am

    Love your site! Also totally into this recipe… spicy is awesome!!

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    May 28, 2012 at 12:56 am

    I love this post! I canned hot pepper jelly for the first time about 4-5 months ago. Then, a reader brought a stovetop/no true canning required method (like what you did here) method to my attention and I’ve been in hot, spicy, sweet, tangy heaven. I use ACV, sugar, and various kinds of peppers…I bet your peach jam would be so good with ACV.

    I like the inverting step at the end. Smart. And equal amts sugar & fruit. Makes it easy that way!

  • Reply
    L o v e l y t h i n g s
    May 26, 2012 at 1:14 am

    Well…it’s official. I’m living in the dark ages. But i don’t want to be…can I come over for a jar? Looks so good and your photos are gorgeous as always! When does your book come out?

  • Reply
    May 25, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    i love sweet and spicy jams! jalapeno pepper jelly is my current favorite, but i haven’t tasted anything like this!

  • Reply
    The Slow Roasted Italian
    May 25, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Sue, this sounds delightful! I am hoping for a case of fabulous Utah peaches to magically appear again this year and I am bookmarking this one. I have a habanero plant in the garden, this would be amazing!!! I think Chad would even enjoy it.

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    May 24, 2012 at 7:03 am

    Oh yes this is definitely on my to do list. We are addicted to Chillies (we grow miles of them) so this is a perfect alternative to my usual chilli Jam/Sauce.

  • Reply
    Lea Ann
    May 24, 2012 at 11:46 am

    I don’t want to be living in the dark ages! As soon as we get fresh Colorado peaches, I’ll be making this one.

  • Reply
    May 23, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    This takes me back to 1966 – when it was all the rage in DC to pour red and green pepper jelly over a block of cream cheese and serve with crackers! I loved it then – love this recipe. I’m going to try it and also pull out my old pepper jelly recipe.

  • Reply
    May 24, 2012 at 4:38 am

    I’m still in the dark ages, but after reading about and looking, longingly, at this Habanero Peach jam, I’ll need to rectify that immediately. This looks amazing!!

  • Reply
    May 24, 2012 at 1:15 am

    I definitely have never had the pleasure of tasting habanero-peach jam. It looks so beautiful though. Those peaches and peppers look so fresh!

  • Reply
    May 24, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Yikes, still in the dark ages! I just recently learned the wonders of hot pepper jelly so I suppose I have big strides to make. I very much trust you on this though, and I’m bookmarking this to make when I have some peaches to use up this summer. I have been loving the posts about jamming, especially the european tips!

  • Reply
    May 23, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Oh, you’re so right Sue. This jam would go wonderfully with the quesadillas I just posted. YUM!!!

  • Reply
    A Trifle Rushed
    May 23, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    This is one for France, where I can buy gorgeous fresh peaches. I made a lovely Apricot/lavender jam last summer which is just super with yoghurt and creme fraiche I love adding the unexpected to jams and preserves.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ saving room for dessert
    May 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Oh my goodness – this sounds terrific! I love hot pepper jelly so I know we could get into this. Can you image how good this would be on a ham and cheese panini? Feel free to let us know how that turns out. A little arugula, a melty creamy cheese, can you tell it’s lunch time?

  • Reply
    Linda A. Thompson Ditch
    May 23, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    What a great idea! I’ve heard of raspberry-jalapeno jam before, but I think I’d like this one better. I can’t wait to try this European method. Thanks for passing it along.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      May 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      Raspberry jalapeno sounds great, I’ll have to try that. I am definitely planning more hot pepper/fruit combinations, so that goes on the list.

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