Peaches are a favorite summer fruit and preserving them for the off-season is a great way to enjoy them year-round.
Every summer we can lots of peach slices in 1 Quart jars (1L) for those snowy winter months. I also make vanilla peach jam every summer and it’s delicious. Adding vanilla to peach jam just adds that extra wonderful aroma & taste.
If you’ve never canned before I highly recommend you read up on the basic safety of canning before diving in.
There are things like altitude and sanitizing jars that are important. You can read up on basic canning safety on this site.
If you have freestone peaches they will come off the pit easily.
If you have clingstone or semi-free stone peaches then it’s harder to get off the pit. Not a problem if you’re canning jam, only if you’re doing slices.
I often make peach jam by using the pulp around the pit when I’m canning peach slices that aren’t freestone.
This is a great & frugal way to can peach slices you end up with lots of pulp left for jam.
The vanilla flavor is better if you use real vanilla beans or real vanilla extract. I recommend that over the vanilla ‘flavor’ extract.
(the latter being cheap but poor in taste quality). I often use something in the middle, single vanilla extract in bourbon. I definitely recommend you taste test (before adding the pectin) for your desired vanilla flavor.
This recipe makes 3x 1 Pint (500 ml) size jars or 6 1/2 pint (250ml) jars of jam. I often double or triple this recipe.
- 5 cups of peeled, pitted & chopped peaches. (about 3lbs)
- 3 cups/600 g of granulated sugar
- Zest & juice of 1 lemon – about 3tbsp
- 1 vanilla bean pod scraped or about 2-3 Tbsp (taste test how much you want as there are different vanilla quality grades)
- 1 (3-ounce/85ml) packet liquid pectin
- Prepare water bath canner and get the jars & lids ready (be sure to know your basic canning safety). Need a water bath canner? We bought this set and it’s perfect for beginners!
- Combine the peaches & sugar in a large non-reactive pot. Cook on medium heat allowing peach juices to release. Slowly bring to a boil and add lemon juice and vanilla.
- Let the sauce cook over med-high heat for 15-20 mins stirring frequently until it looks syrupy. I use a hand blender at this stage to break up the peaches so it’s not chunky (be careful it can splatter & it’s hot)
- Add the pectin and bring to a strong boil for 5 mins or so until it’s thick and shiny. (be sure to read your pectin instructions as they differ in method).
- Remove the pot from the heat & ladle the jam into the prepared jars. Wipe the rims, apply the lids & rings and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 mins (be sure to know your basic canning safety and adjust the time with altitude).
- How to Blanch Peaches & Prepare Peaches: boil water then gently add peaches into the pot with a slotted spoon. Boil for 2-3 mins and immediately place into a bowl of cold water. Using a knife make a small cut across the skin then put knife aside. Peel off the skin with your hands and discard into compost. If the peaches are still hot run them under cold water to do this. You will need to change the cold water bowl every few batches to keep is cold.
- I make jam on the same day that I can peach slices and use the pulp around the core as the bulk of my jam pulp. It’s easy to squish the pulp off the core and it’s a nice small size for the jam. I also add some whole peaches so it’ s not just the core pulp.
- If you wish to just have a peach sauce omit the pectin entirely. This is a cheaper option and it’s wonderful on crepes, baked into sweet breads or put over pancakes etc.
My name is Isis Loran, creator of the Family Food Garden. I’ve been gardening for over 10 years now and push the limits of our zone 5 climates. I love growing heirlooms & experimenting with hundreds of varieties, season extending, crunchy homesteading and permaculture.