The jam alone with just sugar and lemon juice tastes like fresh fruit so don’t think you have to add anything else to it. But if you really want to jazz things up add the vanilla bean and at the end some bourbon. Now if you are not a bourbon fan, start out with a small amount and taste it until you get just the right combination. I don’t like bourbon to drink but I love the milder flavor of Hibiki for flavoring. Of course you can leave the bourbon out all together and just make Peach Vanilla Jam. You don’t have to can this, if that seems too much for you, just freeze it. I promise that canning jam does not have to be scary.
How to make jam:
Start out with a canning pot, you can get one on Amazon for $25, it’s really nice for other things, like making a seafood boil. The supplies that you can order for $10 are handy. Fill it with enough water to cover whatever size jar you are using and bring it to a boil. This can take a LONG time so start this first. If it comes to a boil before you’re ready, just turn off the stove and keep it covered. Then when you’re ready, it will only take a minute to heat back up.
For this jam, you can either make it chunky or puree it in a blender or with an emulsion blender depending on how you like your jam, but you will start out with small chunks of peaches and then mash them with a potato masher as they heat up. Once you’ve added the sugar they will need to cook until it thickens. This can take from 15-25 minutes depending on how juicy the peaches are. You’ll know it’s done when it is slightly thickened and it sizzles when you pull the spoon through it. How’s that for being precise! It will thicken more as it cools.
While the peaches are cooking and your water has boiled, add the jars to the boiling water to sterilize them for a few minutes. Then take them out and place them on a clean towel to dry. For the lids, I scoop out some boiling water and put it in a small pan and just put my lids in that for a few minutes. Then take them out and place them on your clean towel to dry.
When the jam has thickened pour it into your jars, wipe the rims clean with a paper towel and then place the sterilized lids on top. Screw the outside ring on but not super tight. Place them in your pot and boil them for 5 minutes. Remove and let them sit on the counter, you should hear the lids pot as they seal. If the lid doesn’t pop then you will need to refrigerate and eat right away. So far mine have all sealed.
Peach Vanilla Jam
Keep summer around all year with Peach Vanilla Jam. Hints of vanilla and bourbon compliment the naturally sweet peaches. A great idea for a hostess or holiday gift. Canning is easier than you think!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 jars
- 8 cups peaches, peeled and chopped into small pieces
- 2 ½ cups sugar
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 vanilla bean
- 3-6 tablespoon Bourbon
1. Place peaches and lemon juice in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Mash the peaches with a potato masher until they are the consistency you want. If you don’t want chunks use an emersion blender to make it smooth.
2. Add sugar and bring to a boil stirring for about 15-25 minutes until thickens. As it starts to thicken add a vanilla bean that has been split and scrape seeds into jam along with the pod. Continue to cook until it sizzles when you run a spoon through it and it has thickened.
3. Remove from heat and add 3-6 tablespoons of Bourbon depending on your preference.
Makes 4 8-ounce jars.