Sunday, September 4, 2011

Vanilla Peach Jam

I've been freezing and drying peaches over the last week, and also made some jam (by special request from my four-year-old). I have made Ginger Peach Jam in the past but decided to try something a little different this time around. The vanilla flavor adds a lovely note to the peach.

You can make this with pectin or without. When I use pectin, I use Pomona's Universal Pectin. If you do this, follow the directions about how to add it (at the end, mixed in with the sugar).

6 cups sliced peaches (skin on is fine, ok to use frozen)
1 pod vanilla beans or 1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
Up to 1/4 cup lemon juice (optional)

If you're using frozen peaches, thaw them first.

Combine the peaches and vanilla pod or extract in a Dutch oven and simmer until peaches are very soft, stirring occasionally. Mash the peaches as you go. Remove the vanilla pod at the end. If desired, use an immersion blender to make the jam smoother, or skip it for a chunkier consistency. Stir in the sugar and simmer for a few minutes. Add lemon juice if desired (for flavor; even if canning it's not required). If you are not using pectin, you may wish to simmer the jam longer to thicken it further.

Can the jam, freeze, or refrigerate. (If you choose to freeze it, make sure there is plenty of headroom. If using glass jars, do not seal until frozen.)

Makes about 4 cups.

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