Peach Vanilla Bean Jam
If you have been following my blog for some time, then you probably know by now that I like to make all of my own jam. In fact, I haven't bought jam in several years. I process and can several different kinds every summer, in hopes that it will last us until next summer! And, we eat A LOT of jam. I love knowing exactly what goes into the jam, rather than eating all those preservatives and goodness knows what else. It also just tastes so much better than store bought. I like to be able to play around with different flavors. Definitely more exciting than the typical kinds you find in the grocery store. Of all the kinds of jam I have made, this is one of my all-time favorites. I made it last year for the first time, and couldn't wait to make it again this summer. Vanilla beans are a wonderful addition to anything, but combining with peaches? Amazing!! I love how there are little chunks of peaches in the jam. Especially when I spread it on toast, it's like little flavor explosions in each bite.
This is a no-pectin jam, but don't let that intimidate you. Even if you don't cook it as long as it should, it will still taste great. So, grab the last of the summer peaches, and make this jam. It is well worth the effort!
Peach Vanilla Bean Jam
Yield: about 6-7 half-pint jars
3 pounds ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
3 1/2 cups sugar
2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out, pods reserved
Juice of 1 lemon
In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine all ingredients (including vanilla bean pods) over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce to a simmer.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit has partially caramelized and turned a dark orange color, about 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours. To check if the jam is ready- spoon a little on a small plate. Place in the refrigerator or freezer until cool. Then, run your finger through the center. If the jam separates then slowly returns to the streak, then it is ready. 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. Or store in sterilized jars in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. (They may last longer, but I have never experimented, so do so at your own risk.)
Source: Cook Like a Champion