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19Sep/100

Vanilla Bourbon Peach Jam

I received about 6 pounds of peaches from a friend’s trees, and decided to look for something to do with them. You can only gorge on fresh peaches so long!

I tried this recipe, adapted from Blondie’s Cakes and Things, which was in turn adapted from Bean Town Baker. Wacky!

Here are the values I used:

Vanilla Bourbon Peach Jam
  • 6 pounds of peaches, or 5 pounds after peeling and pitting
  • 1 package Pectin for low-sugar recipes
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 vanilla beans – split with the tasty gunk scraped out of the inside – reserve the shells
  • 6 Tbsp Kentucky Bourbon
  • 1 Tbsp Frangelico Liqueur (hazelnut)
Equipment Needed
  • 8-10 twelve ounce canning jars with unused canning lids
  • water bath canner (or just a very large pot)
  • large pot
  • immersion blender (or potato masher and strong arms)
  • jar lifter
Process

Begin by peeling and pitting all the fruits. Some recipes call for blanching the fruits in boiling water to aid peeling, but these peaches peeled by hand very easily. You can scale the rest of the recipe based on your final fruit weight. Don’t worry about brown spots or bruises, but do remove anything that looks moldy or truly “gone bad”. While peeling I toss the fruits into a bowl with the lemon juice, tossing occasionally, to limit browning.

5 pounds of peaches, broken down!

Add the fruits, lemon juice, sugar and honey to a large pot and put over medium-low heat. Mash everything up with the masher or immersion blender to your desired consistency, and stir well to combine. Taste the sweetness level – my peaches were very ripe so I used less sugar, you may need more.

A southern treat - booze in everything!

When the mixture has come to a boil, add the package of dry pectin, mix well to prevent clumping, and return to a boil for 1 minute. At the end of the minute, remove from heat, add your vanilla bean gunk, bourbon and liqueur and mix thoroughly.

I put a short chunk of the vanilla bean itself into each jar, then ladled the mixture into the jars to 1/4″ from the top of the jar. Put the canning lids on the jars, and tighten the rings to finger-tight only. Place the jars into a large pot or water-bath canner with at least 1″ of water covering the jars, and boil for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the jars, and allow to cool at room temperature. Any that do not seal their lids (they shouldn’t “pop” when you press on them) after cooling should be put in the fridge and used first.

The completed jam! I got about 8.5 12oz jars worth.

Note: When water bath canning, you should read up on the recommended times for your region. Different altitudes call for different canning times. Your local university extension office probably has a whole page on canning, and the USDA publishes lots of useful information as well! Familiarize yourself with the basics of water bath canning before diving into it. It is very easy to do, but you want to make sure you are doing it right to prevent the spread of disease.

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