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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Peach Vanilla Bean Jam Cooking View

Canning and preserving is something that has long baffled me.  All the boiling water, sterilization, pH balance, differences in elevation and more confounded me and turned me off to the idea.  But darn it, every time I saw someone else mention canning as though it was nothing or post a photo of their pretty preserves, I was so jealous!  I pride myself on having a generally fearless attitude in the kitchen, so it bothered me that canning seemed out of reach.  Eventually I decided that, just like anything else, you have to first try something before you can be successful at it.  My original plan was to choose a recipe that had explicit canning instructions so that I couldn’t possibly mess it up.  Then when I was looking through the numerous recipes I had bookmarked, this one jumped out as the one and even though it didn’t say more than, “Can.” I was still determined to try it.  I looked at many different websites with great information on canning and preserving and somehow I made it through with delicious jam in safely sealed jars.

Having canned and lived to tell about it here are my general thoughts on the topic: it’s actually not all that difficult and I think it will get easier every time now that I have a basic idea about how it works.  To me the only slightly disheartening point is that you need massive quantities of fruit to come up with more than a couple of jars of jam.  When I end up with something as spectacular as this peach vanilla bean jam, all the uncertainty and worry was a small price to pay.  Peach jam has long been a favorite flavor of mine and I love it spread over a piece of wheat toast, a slice of baguette or a fluffy scone when I’m feeling especially indulgent.  Somehow it is even more satisfying when it is jam I have made myself.

Due to all the variability in canning techniques and timing depending on elevation, etc. I will simply link to the resources I used in figuring out my canning process.  Hopefully next time I share a jam or preserve recipe, I’ll be able to give more explicit directions.  If you do not want to go to the trouble of canning, you can simply place your jam in clean jars and store in the refrigerator.  (I don’t know exactly how long it lasts that way but I would guess it is quite a while.)

Do you have a favorite recipe (or several) for fruit preserves?  If so, I’d love to hear about it!  Please use the contact page to share your recipe.  There’s a great chance that your recipe will be shared here on the blog because I have most definitely caught the preserving bug!

Peach Vanilla Bean Jam
Yield: about 8 cups

Ingredients

3 lbs. ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
3½ cups sugar
1-2 vanilla bean(s), halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out
Juice of 1 lemon

Cooking View

Directions

  • In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, combine all ingredients (including vanilla bean seeds and pods) over medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is partially caramelized with a dark orange color.  Discard the vanilla bean pods.

  • Using your preferred method, can and preserve jam in sterilized jars.  (See this extremely informative guide on the principles of home canning.)  Alternatively, store the jam in clean jars and keep refrigerated.

Source

  • http://www.aliceelizateaparty.blogspot.com Alice

    This looks delicious! A real summery treat – will definitely be making this! xoxo

  • http://dailylifeofadesperate30somethinggirl.blogspot.com/ Marieke

    This is such a coincedence! I made Peach Vanilla Bean Jam two weeks ago, but haven’t had a chance to post about it yet. It truly is a delicious combo. For me it was a first too. I also made a Blackberry Vanilla Bean Jam. You can use the same proportions and it is also great!

  • Stacey

    Oooh sounds great! My fave jam combo is pear and ginger. I love Rhubarb too. And apple. And blackcurrant!! I do like my jam! Especially spread thickly over hot toast!

  • http://warmvanillasugar.wordpress.com/ Katrina

    This sounds amazing!

  • http://www.thecookingdoctor.co.uk jehanne@thecookingdoctor.co.uk

    hi annie
    this looks great, i have posted something in the contact form,pls let me know if you want those recipes:-)

  • http://daintychef-krissy.blogspot.com/ Krissy@DaintyChef

    I have been wanting to try canning as well. I am going to try my hand at my Granny’s chili sauce-it takes sloppy joes to a whole new level. Of course it is delicious on its own too!

  • http://www.fiddle-deedee.blogspot.com Etta

    Yummy! I love homemade peach jam. I’ve been wanting to learn to can forever now. I’m hoping to talk my husband into it this fall when apple season is here. I’m hoping to see a pantry full of homemade applesauce and apple butter. :)

  • http://www.familyonabudget.com FamilyOnABudget

    I am going to have to try this recipe if peaches are not too expensive this year. I am looking forward to apple season because our favorite is apple jelly. I make homemade applesauce, then boil all the left over peels and cores to make the juice for the jelly base.

  • http://sherrilynnpuz.blogspot.com/ sherri lynn

    This sounds delicious! My mother-in-law has offered to teach me how to can. I’m a little daunted by the task but I’d love to know how to do it!

  • http://www.blueeyedbakers.com The Blue-Eyed Bakers

    We’re kinda getting canning fever after seeing this…it looks divine!

  • http://jessica-lives-here.blogspot.com Jessica

    Hi Annie,
    I just found you the other day, and I’ll say firstly that it’s a lovely space you’ve created here :)

    You might not be aware of these blogs, but since you’re catching the canning bug, you might find “Tigress in a jam” and “Tigress in a pickle” interesting.

    Cheers,

    -Jessica.

  • http://christines-cuisine.blogspot.com Christine

    Canning is definitely addictive – but really rewarding! I canned tomatoes last year and it was so nice to use them all winter and not have to buy them from the store for soups/sauces. I recommend the Ball blue book for all your canning needs – its full of recipes and explains everything you need to know.

  • http://pink-parsley.com Josie

    My sister just brought me 10 lbs of peaches from south Georgia, and I was already planning to make jam – and now I’ve found a recipe!

  • Amy

    I’ve been canning for just a few years now – nothing too exciting. Homemade salsa, tomato sauce, jams, and dill beans (pickled green beans – a favorite of my husband!). The very best resource I’ve found is the “Ball Blue Book of Preserving.” I picked it up at the grocery store & it has fantastic step by step info. about canning, freezing, etc. It is my go to book whenever I’m considering how to best preserve some seasonal goodness!

  • penandra

    Growing up on a farm, I’ve been canning since I was tall enough to stand on a stool next to the stove and stir. We always had canned fruit from our orchard through the winter. My favorites remain homemade blackberry jelly (not a fan of the seeds in jam), plum/strawberry jam, and homemade applesauce. Nothing beats homemade applesauce!

    But even with all that experience growing up, the first time I canned on my own without my Mom or sister nearby (even if only for moral support), it was a challenge. But I think the challenge met only makes for a better appreciation of the finished product.

    Congratulations on tackling the challenge! Enjoy your jam — it looks delightful . . . and my neighbors have peaches.

  • http://agiltnutmeg.wordpress.com/ Emily B

    I went through the SAME THING! Everyone scared me so badly about canning and then decided I couldn’t stand it anymore and just did it and it was beautifully simple!

    Results were a twist on apple butter–Plum Butter!

    http://agiltnutmeg.wordpress.com/2011/07/25/plum-butter/

  • http://warmvanillasugar.wordpress.com/ Katrina

    This truly sounds perfect. Great combination of flavours!

  • SarahEG

    Ohh, that looks very good!! What are you serving it with in the photos?

  • Heidi

    I’ve been wanting to try traditional canning too. You may have inspired me. Your recipes for hamburgers buns and hot dog rolls have gotten me over my fear of working with yeast. Canning is the next fear to conquer. Although I remember my mom never used the normal canning process when she made jam – she just melted some paraffin wax (found in the canning/jam section of the store) and added a pretty thick layer of it on top of the jam then just put the lid on without processing it. It would keep for a good 6 months that way.

  • Lori

    So glad you tried canning! I’ve been canning for years with my mom and recently ventured on my own with it…another easy recipe is homemade tomato sauce–its so nice having a stocked pantry in the dead of winter when you can’t buy great produce!

  • http://www.cuminandcardamom.blogspot.com Renuka

    Your jam sounds so delicious. Wouldn’t having some on a warm buttered toast…. yummy !!!!!!!I need to make some for me too !!!! lovely photos too

  • http://www.kitchen-concoctions.com Heather of Kitchen Concoctions

    I am totally drooling all over my keyboard! You can never go wrong with a good jam (so many ways to use it other than just on toast). My Mom makes tons of homemade jam EVERY summer but usually does either blackberry, strawberry, or raspberry (or a mix of all three). I am totally sharing this recipe with her so that maybe I can get her to try something new this year! (and maybe share her tips and recipes so that I can pass them along to you, and heck for my own use!)

  • http://penniesonaplatter.com Nikki

    I’m still pretty intimidated of canning, but you’ve pushed me one step closer! :)

  • http://www.myfudo.com Tres Delicious

    This looks tasty. perfect way to start the day. Will definitely try it out.

  • http://thepajamachef.com Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef

    this sounds yummy! i make freezer jam but have never tried to actually can. i’d love to try though!

  • http://Www.Carolinaheartstrings.com Carolinaheartstrings

    This recipe looks so delicious and easy. Perfect. Come visit us we have wonderful Southern foods this week.

  • http://www.hurrayic.typepad.com/ Ellen

    This looks very nice. I’d like to try this, especially since it has no pectin added. You mentioned that it needs to simmer until a dark orange color (caramelized). Tartlette mentions 1-2 hours of simmering. That seems like a lot. How long did you simmer it before putting it into the jars to sterilize? Thanks so much.

  • Annie

    I did as long as she mentioned (forget the exact time now). Enjoy!

  • http://mariadicapriowhite.blogspot.com/ Maria

    I canned for years, not so much now because I don’t want to do the altitude conversion. And I don’t have a lot of storage space. So I just make enough for just us. I agree on the “Ball Blue Book of Preserving” book. It has everything you’ll need. My hands down favorite is grape jam. Find someone who has an over abundance of grapes and you will be amazed. Sure, I love seedless raspberry, strawberry rhubarb and blueberry but the surprise for me was the grape! Good luck on your canning!

  • http://cakebaker35.wordpress.com/ Amanda Bowyer

    Hello Annie,
    This sounds like a yummy recipe! I love reading your blog! :) The only problem I see with this recipe is the lemon juice.. If your going to can any jams, jellies, ect you really need to use bottled lemon juice, as fresh lemons can vary in acidity. Where as bottled lemon juice is 5% acidity. Here’s some links to provide the answers to what I am talking about.

    http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/questions/FAQ_canning.html

    http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_07/prep_jam_jelly.html

    http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can7_jam_jelly.html

    http://www.uga.edu/setp/book.html

    Thank you for posting the USDA canning book, I love that canning book, plus the Ball Blue book a one called “So Easy To Preserve”

    http://www.uga.edu/setp/book.html

    Happy Canning!! :)

  • Sugar Doctor

    Using paraffin wax is not recommended for canning because it does not guarantee sterile contents in the jar. Please Review the guidelines from the USDA for correct procedures.

  • Sugar Doctor

    Congrats on your first try at “putting up.” It is a very rewarding hobby :)
    Try adding a pinch of salt to your peach jam to up the peachy flavor. I will send you the recipe for my favorite strawberry champagne jam. Happy canning!

  • Sue

    Hi there, this jam sounds lovely, I have just discovered how wonderful the addition of a vanilla bean is to jam. I made some rhubarb vanilla jam with just a touch of cardamon the other day and I could steal spoonfulls all day, just sayin I could. Ummmm not that I do, but add some to some plain yogurt and it’s all good!

  • http://spreewhat.wordpress.com Jenlyn

    http://pickyourown.org/ is an excellent canning resource. The website is older in style but once you get to the canning instructions it’s like having someone in the kitchen walking you through the steps, complete with pictures.

  • Adam

    I love canning. It is really easy. Just be bold.

  • http://Blessusolord.blogspot.com Barbara

    I did not read every comment so it might have already come up, but you can use almost any fruit and freezer variety pectin. Freezer jam lasts for at least a year. You probably can even use your recipe without pectin and freeze it.

  • http://www.dishingthedivine.com Paula @ Dishing the Divine

    I have about 75 jars of jam in my cupboard. No kidding. I went on a canning fest last year and only recently have begun to understand that no one in their right mind needs to can as much as I did. :) I do love jams, though. And I just discovered freezer jams. You MUST try these! So fresh, so light, so delicious. I was a die hard preserving fan, but now I just want to make freezer jam over and over and over again. :) I’m out of freezer space, though. :)

  • Francine

    Hmmm, wish I would have read these comments first before attempting the recipe. I would have never guessed it had to simmer for so long. My jam never really ‘set’ up. Still tastes good but if I’d known I needed it to simmer 1 – 2 hours I would have done so. I’ve never seen a recipe cook for such a long time.

  • Annie

    Thanks Jenlyn :) I do know about that website, I was more asking for tried and true favorites from readers.

  • http://www.paoequeijo.typepad.com Sarah @ pão e queijo

    Oh dear, this is JUST what I need! I’ve convinced my mom that this is the jam we need to make next :)

  • http://the1fitfoodie.blogspot.com Niki

    Yum!! Now I have a good reason to break in my canning supplies since my tomatoes aren’t quite ready for salsa yet!

  • http://sweetsugarbelle.com sweetsugarbelle

    I FEEL the same! I ate the most amazing pear relish a month or so back and it gave me the bug…I guess I better dive in. I have a long list already…chow chow, fig preserves, asparagus pickles, and that pear relish! My confidence is building! Your jam is beautiful, and you made it sound manageable!

  • http://www.ratetheplateutah.com Mrs. Diner

    I passed this recipe on to my mom who has a peach tree. She tried it last night & took samples to a demo she did on cooked jams. Everyone loved it. She said next time she’s going to double the recipe since it was a lot of work for 2 pints plus 1/2 cup. Also, in your recipe it never said what to do with the vanilla bean pods…she removed them after cooking. Thanks for sharing!

  • Carolyn

    I love this recipe: http://www.foodinjars.com/2011/06/strawberry-rhubarb-jam-giveaway/ I made some this summer with strawberries we picked! I love all her jams but this is definintely my favorite. I find the liquid pectin is a little less finicky than the powder stuff.

    Great to see you’ve caught the canning bug. I will definitely make some of the peach jam when I get my Michigan peaches. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Claire

    I have been wanting to start canning and preserving for a while, and your post just reminded me that it is time to stop putting it off. I think this will be lovely to enjoy with homemade croissants on a week end. :)

  • Niki

    Thanks for the great ideas. Maybe I will give canning a try.

  • Mestebla

    My favorite jam that I’ve made is raspberry mint jam. Just follow the directions for raspberry jam on the sheet in the pectin box and add 1/2 cup chopped mint to the raspberries. It is really different and delicious! I just made dilly beans this year (which is a favorite of my husband’s) and they were easy and really tasty. The do have a bit of a kick to them, but it’s a great flavor. The recipe I used is the following: In 6 jars put the following:
    2 cloves garlic, sliced
    2 large heads of dill
    3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
    6 pearl onions

    After adding those, pack in as many fresh green beans as you can (I like to leave them long).

    In a large pot add:
    6 cups water
    6 cups white vinegar
    3/4 cup salt
    4 1/2 Tbsp sugar

    Bring to a boil. Pour over beans. Cold pack for 10 minutes. Shake bottles; don’t eat for 6 weeks.

  • Louann Zundel

    This is the first time I’ve made jam and it turned out great. It is a tad sweet, but I think that had to do with how sweet my peaches were. Thanks, Annie!!

  • Christina

    Love your blog, Annie! I am trying this recipe out today. Here is one of my favourite canning recipes – lavender jelly: http://howlingduckranch.wordpress.com/recipes/test-recipe-page/.

    It’s great on pretty much anything from toast to crackers & brie to roasts.

  • Jaime

    I just made your jam, but don’t think I let it carmelize enough… oh well the taste is amazing anyway!!

  • http://annies-eats.net Stephanie

    I noticed that you used no “Sure-Jell”… do you think this recipe would work if this product was used? I love your website- I am an aspiring doctor and I am inspired by you. Thanks! :)

  • Annie

    Stephanie, I guess I’m not sure I see the point in adding it since the recipe is great without it. Also, any time you add such things to a canning recipe, other changes will need to be made accordingly so that the food is still safe. Personally I wouldn’t mess with a good thing :)

  • Sarah

    Made this tonight as well (along with the roasted cherry brownies…it was stress baking :)) I wasn’t thrilled with the texture of mine jam at the end but that was nothing that a few pulses with the immersion blender couldn’t solve :) I still haven’t taken the plunge to actually try my hand at canning–I just put it in the fridge in mini containers to share with my coworkers tomorrow –but I’m hoping to try it one of these days!!

    And as far as sharing recipes….this isn’t quite a canning recipe…but it’s the closest I’ve ever gotten….

    http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/06/bread-and-butter-pickles/

    and if you like bread and butter pickles, these are GOOD ones!

  • jamie

    so far i’ve only tried freezer jam. but this looked soooo good that i went out and bought some peaches and borrowed my neighbor’s canning supplies. i do have one question though – is that 3 lbs of peaches before or after they’ve been pitted? thanks so much!

  • Melody

    I have three favorite jam recipes that I make each year: Peach Rosemary (http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/peach-rosemary-jam-10000000453748/)
    Strawberry-Balsamic (http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/06/strawberry-balsamic-thyme-jam.html) and Blueberry Basil (http://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2011/08/blueberry-basil-preserves.html) All three are delicious and unique. Although the addition of herbs sounds a little strange, they really just serve to bring out and highlight the flavors of the fruit. I’m excited to add your Peach-Vanilla Bean to my list!

  • Beth Roberson

    Annie – I just got a 20lb box of peaches today and can’t wait to make this jam, do you know if I can make it in multiple batches at one time? With the cooking time as long as it is I would love to only have to make it in 1 or 2 large batches instead of 6 small ones. Thanks :)

  • Annie

    I don’t see why not but haven’t tried it myself. Enjoy!

  • Annie

    Before pitting. Enjoy!

  • Stacie

    Made this over the weekend – one word FABULOUS! Thanks ever so much for the recipe :) My husband says the taste reminds him of peaches ‘n cream

  • Kristin Tucker

    I made this jam last night. Beautiful aroma filled the kitchen and it was very easy to cook. Looing forward to having it on scones.

  • free to be becky

    wow i really wanted to make this jam tonight. i have a big bag of locally grown peaches that my boyfriend bought this morning. now that i’ve clicked over and read through the link about canning i’m totally zonked and tuckered out from reading! dang, well, at least i know that when i do make this jam it will need to be in the morning when i am rested and feeling fresh and alert for the task of canning. i’m like you were. i’ve always wanted to can something, especially my own jam. i never like the store-bought kinds. they are either too pureed or too sweet or something. i will let you know how my venture goes when I make this jam! #fingerscrossed

  • http://milktruckblog.com/ Milktruckblog

    If I make this and keep it in the fridge instead of canning and sealing it, how long will it last in the fridge??

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page regarding food storage. Thanks!

  • Kati

    Do u cover the peaches while its simmering?

  • annieseats

    No.

  • Cindy

    Strawberry Freezer Jam!! Quite easy, no cooking involved if using pectin for freezer jam, and no canning required. I use plastic freezer containers, and it is as fresh-tasting and ‘strawberrilicious’ a year later as it is the day I make it! Sooooo good on homemade biscuits!

  • Erin Chewning

    I’ve ordered a water bath canner, all the utensils, and pint-size jars. I’m going to a local farm tonight to load up on peaches, and cannot wait to try this out this weekend!! I’ve wanted to try canning for a long time, but have always been intimidated by it. You’ve inspired me to give it a go!

  • Pamela Spers

    I just made a half batch of this because I didn’t have enough peaches to make a full batch and was impatient. lol. I also didn’t have a lemon so I used a lime instead…. Wow!!!! I am blown away with how good this is!!! Thanks for sharing!!! I will be making a large batch to share soon! :)

  • Jen

    I made some of this in the summer, and just cracked open the jar this morning. What a wonderful taste of summer even though its 14 degrees here in St Paul!! So glad I took the plunge and started canning! It makes me feel so proud to open jars of my own applesauce from the orchard down the road. It really is worth it! I also made lemon plum jam and plum pie filling this summer as well as my own sriacha sauce (that I just put in the fridge)