Friday, September 06, 2013

Peach and Vanilla Bean Jam

Peaches are cheap right now so I have been stocking up for the year.  In the past couple of weeks we've been eating them fresh, in pies, crisps, and over our pancakes in the morning.  But lately I bought enough that I could store some in the freezer for winter and a day or two ago I converted a big bag of peaches into this delicious jam with vanilla bean.  At first I ate it on toast all by itself, but it didn't take long for me to make a warm peanut butter and jam sandwich and I liked it so much I surprised myself.  I might have to make another batch before the peaches run out.

Peach Jam with Vanilla Bean

3 pounds peaches, skinned and roughly chopped
3 1/3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste, or one vanilla bean split open
juice of 1 lemon
1 pat of butter

Bring the peaches, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla up to a boil.  Add the pat of butter and boil gently until thickened and jam turns a deep golden caramelized color.  (I used my stick blender to break up the chunks a bit, but feel free to leave it as chunky as you like.)  Heat 5-6 half-pint canning jars and new canning lids in a large pot of water.  Transfer hot, cooked jam into jars leaving 1/4 inch space at the top.  Place hot lids on top and twist on the rings, making sure not to twist too tight.  Lower into boiling water with canning tongs and boil for 10-13 minutes.  Remove from boiling water and leave upright for 24 hours.  Try not to move the jars too much or turn them sideways.  You should hear the lids seal and make a popping sound as the jars cool.  Store in a cool dark place for up to a year.

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