Peach Vanilla Bean Jam
I have an ongoing list in the back of my mind of things I want to accomplish in the kitchen. At the top of that list, until recently, was canning. Now that we’ve tried it, Eric and I are hooked. Last weekend we made pickles and this peach jam, and I’m already thinking about what to make this weekend. Though I’m certainly ready for fall to arrive, I’m clutching the last few weeks of summer so that we have time to preserve as much of summer’s bounty as we can.
Up until this point, I had never actually eaten peach jam. I like blackberry the best and normally stick with it (unless I can find boysenberry, also a favorite). But when I saw this recipe on Annie’s blog, I knew I had to make it. Bright orange peaches and flecks of vanilla bean? Yes, please! Eric and I picked up a few pounds of ripe, juicy, local peaches at the farmers market and were ready to begin our first canning adventure. The canning process was much easier than I expected. We went to the library and checked out a few books on preserving, but there’s ample information to be found online as well. Since we had never made jam before, we decided to consult one of the books to find out what temperature the fruit needed to reach in order to properly set (between 218-222ºF). We canned this jam using a water bath canner, but you can preserve it using whichever method you like. Once we get a little more canning under our belts, I hope to share a how-to post. Needless to say, you’ll be seeing a lot more recipes like this from us in the future.
- YIELD: 4-6 half pint jars
3 pounds ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
3½ cups sugar
1-2 vanilla bean(s), halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out
Juice of 1 lemon
I’ve made this recipe a couple times and never get the same yield. I recommend having 8 half-pint jars ready to go, but chances are you won’t need all of them.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine all ingredients (including vanilla bean seeds and pods) over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit has partially caramelized and turned a dark orange color, about 90 minutes. Remove and discard vanilla bean pods.
Divide the jam evenly among sterilized half-pint jars and can using the water bath method. Process the jars for about 15 minutes.
If you choose not to preserve the jam, the jars can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.