There is simply nothing more comforting than a warm slice of multigrain toast with a generous spread of fresh homemade peach jam on top. This was my first jam making experience and let me just tell you that I might be addicted. I have already made two batches of this peach jam, one as Amaretto Peach Jam and the other Vanilla Bean Peach Jam. Both versions tasted amazing! And if you can bear to give any away, the jam makes a perfect gift, especially with these cute pintable jam labels.
Making jam is way easier than I thought it would be. It takes time to peel and chop the fruit but besides that it is pretty simple. This time I chose to freeze the jam but you could also preserve it by using the instructions given on any canning jar label.
I was first inspired after tasting Jenny’s Apricot Jam. I loved the rustic look of the vanilla bean spreckles in her jam and the nutty flavor from roasting the pits. I used her recipe, changed the fruit because I couldn’t find any more apricots in season, and I lowered the amount of sugar from 3 cups to two.
- 2 1/2 pounds peaches, seeds removed and set aside
- 2 cups raw sugar
- one lemon
- 1/2 a vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
- Peel then chop the peaches into small chunks. Roast the apricot pits in 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes (very important to roast them as they hold an enzyme that generates poinsonous prussic acid when mixed with water). After they are roasted, crack them open and roast the smaller kernels from inside (noyaux) again for a few minutes. This will add a toasted almond taste to the jam.
- Place the chopped peaches, a few of the roasted peach kernels (chopped), and sugar in a glass or ceramic bowl, cover, and let sit overnight.
- Transfer fruit and sugar to a non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat stirring enough to assure none of the jam sticks to the bottom. The jam will bubble high up the sides, spoon off the light colored foam as it rises (save this to use over desserts). Continue to spoon off the foam until the jam begins boiling at a lower, thicker level. While the jam is cooking, put a small plate in the freezer. When the bubbles are subsiding and the jam seems to be thickening ever-so slightly, remove the pot from the burner. Put a few drops of the jam on the frozen plate and return to the freezer. Check the set after a few minutes by nudging it with your finger. If it wrinkles, it is done. If not, heat it a bit more and test again. I prefer it a bit on the chunky side but I did mash through the jam with a potato masher a few times to remove some of the large pieces of fruit.
- When it has reached your preferred thickness add the vanilla bean seeds and pod, turn off the heat and let boil a minute more, then remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Remove the vanilla bean pod, rinse and set aside. Ladle jam into clean self sealing jars leaving a 1/4 to 1/2 inch at the top and seal as directed in manufacturer's instructions.
- 2 1/2 pounds ended up being about 6 cups, after they were chopped.
- I found it useful to have two separate plates in the freezer, so there was always a frozen one at the ready.
- a candy thermometer might be helpful, but isn’t necessary.
- use the spooned off foam as a drizzle on desserts