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One For Your Summer Bucket List: Honey Vanilla Peach Jam + A Giveaway!

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I’ve been so excited to share this post with you!

This past weekend, I was gifted with a gigantic box of gorgeous, sweet-as-ambrosia, Washington peaches.  I absolutely love summer peaches… there’s just nothing like em’ in this world!  (The peaches I buy at the grocery store, especially in the wintertime, are totally flavorless… I’ve basically given up on them.)  But tree ripened peaches grown in the summer are a different story entirely.  They are better than any candy I could possibly buy.  YUM.

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I knew I wanted to preserve that perfect taste of summer to pull out again during the colder months, so I knew I wanted to make a collection of special jams.  (That is, after we had eaten our fill of as many fresh peaches as we could possibly hold.)  So I went a little crazy perusing Pinterest and Sweet Preservation for inspiration for my jam extravaganza.  Have you ever been to the Sweet Preservation website?  It is a really neat site devoted to reviving America’s love for canning and preserving fresh produce… which I am all about.  Making jam, for instance, is actually much simpler than people realize (not at all the intimidating process you might suspect!)  The Sweet Preservation site has recipes, canning tips, amazing fruit for sale, and even a collection of adorable free labels you can print and tie around your jars.  (I especially love the TomKatDesigns and Scrap Bits labels.)  They even have suggestions for how to throw your own Preservation Party with friends, which I think sounds like a really fun idea!

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Honey Vanilla Peach Jam (Simple, No-Pectin Recipe!)

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I couldn’t help but lament the thought of dousing these perfectly sweet peaches with a ton of extra sugar… they really didn’t need it!  I just wanted to bottle up that summery taste in all its original glory.  But my usual jam recipe (tutorial here) requires a LOT of sugar so that the proper chemical reaction with the fruit pectin in the recipe can occur.  So I did my research and learned that you can actually make peach jam with no fruit pectin at all, and that removing the pectin from the recipe allows you to use as little sugar as you want (or even to substitute agave or honey in its place.)  That sounded really appealing to me.  Simpler ingredients, healthier finished jam… what’s not to love?

Next came the fun part…. dreaming up fancy flavor combinations!  I made a base recipe of Honey Vanilla Peach Jam (adapted from this no-pectin recipe from Erica at Buttered Side Up.)  Then I made a few gourmet spin-off jams, including Peach Lavender, Peach Basil, and Peach Ginger.  Oh my goodness, each one is so divine.  They would really make perfect gifts for friends, especially around the holidays.

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I’ve decided to give away a jar of of this lovely Honey Vanilla Peach Jam to one of YOU, just because I feel like sharing the love today!

The giveaway will last through this Friday (the 15th) at midnight, and you can come back each day to earn new entries if you want to be hard-core about it.  I will notify the winner at the end of the week and send you your yummy prize in the mail!

Here are all the ways you can enter…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, for those who don’t want to wait a week to see if you’ve won… I’m including the recipe for you in today’s post.  If you are already a pro at making jam, then feel free to skip right to the printable recipe at the bottom of this post!  However, if you are new to jam-making, I’m providing a step-by-step tutorial here just for you… to assure you that this process is not only totally doable but FUN!  You should definitely add jam-making to your summer bucket list.

You’ll need a few basic materials:

   –A deep soup pot (with lid)

   -6-8, 8 oz. canning jars with lids & rings

   -Something to lift the hot jars out of the pot with (a jar lifter is great, but tongs are a decent stand-in.)

   -A wide-mouth funnel, optional  (I actually did just fine using a small measuring cup and pouring carefully.)

   –Cute labels, also optional… but come on, they’re free!

Alrighty, start by peeling your peaches.  The easiest way to do this is to douse them in a bath of boiling water for about 30 seconds, and then just peel the skin right off!  (Watch out though, because they are very slippery once they’re naked.)  As you peel each peach, place it into a large bowl of cold water mixed with a few spoonfuls of apple cider vinegar.  You won’t taste the vinegar on the peaches at all, but it’ll help them keep their color and freshness while you get your peeling done.

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Honey Vanilla Peach Jam - Preserve a taste of summer!  |  prettyhungryblog.com

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Meanwhile, place 6-8 empty mason jars into a large, deep pot, and cover them with water… then bring the water to a simmer so that the are nice and warm when you ladle in the hot jam.  (That’ll keep them from bursting into shards from temperature shock.)  You’ll also want to put the jar lids into a small pot of simmering water as well.  No need to boil the rings though.

While the jars and lids are simmering gently, finely chop the peeled peaches.  You can even mash them with a potato masher if you prefer smoother jam… but I like mine chunky, so I just chopped up the peaches with a large knife.

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Honey Vanilla Peach Jam (Simple, No-Pectin Recipe!)

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Next, combine the chopped peaches, sugar, honey, and lemon juice in a medium/large pot.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and continue to boil for 20-25 minutes, until the jam reduces and thickens.  Note: As the jam cooks, you might need to skim off any foam that collects on the surface and toss it.  This will keep your jam from turning out cloudy.  (Another note: Don’t be like me.  I should’ve used a bigger pot than this.  As a result of it being too full, I had lava-bubbles of jam bursting all over my stovetop and arms.  Not cool.)

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Honey Vanilla Peach Jam (Simple, No-Pectin Recipe!)

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After the jam is cooked and thickened, remove it from the heat and add the vanilla, along with any additional add-ins you are using.  (Since I was using three different add-ins, I waited to add them once the jam was in the jars.)

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And that’s the jam!  So simple… so utterly scrumptious.  Next, use your jar lifter or tongs to remove a jar from the hot water.  The photo below demonstrates how to lift the jars out while allowing all the hot water to flow back into the pot.

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Honey Vanilla Peach Jam (Simple, No-Pectin Recipe!)

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Fill each jar with jam, using a small measuring cup or ladle and a wide-mouth funnel, if needed.  Make sure to leave about 1/2 inch of head space at the top (see photo below.)  This keeps the pressure inside the jars from getting too crazy during the next step.

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Honey Vanilla Peach Jam (Simple, No-Pectin Recipe!)

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Next, you can process the jars of jam in a water bath to make them safe for pantry storage.  (If you plan to store your jam in the refrigerator, it is fine to skip this step.)

Take your flat, rubber-lined lids from the simmering water and place them on each jar.  Then twist a lid ring onto each jar, being careful not to over-tighten at this stage.  Stop when you meet resistance.  (Basically, you want the jar well closed off so no water gets it in, but you don’t want the lid screwed on tightly at all.)

Place each jar back into the large, deep pot, and make sure the jars are covered by the water.  Then bring the water to a strong boil, place the lid on the pot, and allow the jars to boil in the water for about 12 minutes.

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After 12 minutes, turn off the burner and remove the lid from the pot, but leave the jars in the water for about 5 minutes to allow the pressure inside them to equalize.

After those 5 minutes are up, you can gently remove the jars from the hot water and transfer them to a towel-covered flat surface, where they can sit undisturbed for the next 24 hours.  Over the course of the next few minutes, you’ll likely hear the popping of the lids sealing, which is such a rewarding sound!  Today, my lids “popped” instantly upon being pulled from the water, so I know they got a good seal. :)

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A simple tutorial for Honey Vanilla Peach Jam (no-pectin recipe!)

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After 24 hours, you can unscrew the lid bands and check to see if the jars are all well-sealed.  You’ll know they’re good if you press the center of the flat lid and there is no give whatsoever.  If any seals don’t pass the test, just store those jars in the fridge.  After testing the seals, you can go ahead and screw on the lids as tight as you want.  You can also feel free to move the jars and wipe off any hard water residue they may have collected.  Oh and of course tie a pretty little bow and label around them if you want to give them away as homemade gifts.

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Simple tutorial for Honey Vanilla Peach Jam (no-pectin recipe!)  |  prettyhungryblog.com

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I hope you’ll give jam-making a try in your own home sometime soon.  It is an especially fun activity to do with a group of friends, and the rewards are oh-so-sweet!  I personally can’t wait to smear some of that Peach Basil Jam onto a cracker with some cream cheese.  Best.  Appetizer.  Ever.

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{This post was created in collaboration with The Washington State Fruit Commission and SweetPreservation.com.
Thank you for supporting the brands that make Pretty/Hungry possible!}

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One For Your Summer Bucket List: Honey Vanilla Peach Jam + A Giveaway!
 
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
 
This peach jam is scented with the luxurious flavors of honey and vanilla bean for an elegant and impossibly delicious treat. It is made without pectin to allow for a lower-sugar recipe.
Author:
Serves:: 6-8 jars
Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 4 lbs fresh summer peaches
  • ⅛ C. lemon juice
  • 2 C. granulated sugar
  • ½ C. honey
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
Directions:
  1. To peel peaches, blanch them in a pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds each. Remove from water and use your fingers to easily pull away the peels. Then place peeled peaches into a large bowl of water along with the 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar while peeling remaining fruit.
  2. Place 6-8 clean 8 oz. mason jars in a large pot of water, then bring water to a simmer to keep jars warm while you make the jam. In another small pot, place flat jar lids in simmering water as well (no need to boil rings.)
  3. While jars and lids are simmering, finely chop the fruit and discard pits. (If you prefer a smoother texture, use a potato masher after chopping.) Add the peaches and lemon juice to a large pot.
  4. Stir in the sugar and honey, then bring fruit mixture to a boil over medium heat. Continue to boil, stirring frequently, about 25-30 minutes until jam has thickened. You can test the thickness by dropping a little bit of jam onto a cold plate.
  5. Carefully lift a warm jar from the simmering water, pouring water out of the jar as you lift. Ladle jam into the sterilized jar, leaving about ¼ inch of head space at the top.
  6. Wipe around the rim of the jar to clean off any jam has spilled over the sides. (Note: at this time, you can stir in any additional herbs or spices for extra flavoring.)
  7. Place a lid onto the jar and gently screw it on with a metal band (Being careful not to over-tighten at this stage.)
  8. Repeat this process with all remaining jars. If you end up with extra jam, you can always store it in the refrigerator to be eaten in the next few months. The next step is only necessary for pantry-storage.
  9. Return filled/lidded jars to the pot of water and make sure they are covered by a few inches of water. Bring water to a heavy boil, place a lid on the pot, and process jars in boiling water bath for 10-12 minutes.
  10. When 10-12 minutes are up, remove the lid from the pot and turn off the heat, but allow jars to sit undisturbed for 5 minutes so that the pressure inside can equalize.
  11. After 5 minutes, carefully lift out the jars and place them on a towel in a place where the jars can sit undisturbed for the next 24 hrs.
  12. You will hear popping as the jars seal over the next few minutes or hours.
  13. After 24 hours, remove the screw bands from the jars and check the seals by pressing your finger in the center of the lids. There should be no give whatsoever. (If any jars are not sealed properly, store those in the fridge.)
  14. Then screw on the lid bands as tightly as you like, wipe any hard water residue from the jars, label (if desired), and enjoy!

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You might also enjoy these other delicious peach recipes!

 

1) Peach Balsamic Pizza with Goat Cheese & Fresh Mozzarella 

2) Cardamom Peach Pie Filling 

3) Peach Jam Shortbread 

4) Rainier Cherry & Peach Jam

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Note: This post contains affiliate links.  See my disclosure here.

 

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6 Responses so far.

  1. Liz says:

    Thank you for the nice jam recipe. Have a Great Week!

  2. […] one more day to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a jar of amazing Honey Vanilla Peach Jam!  You can enter here… it’s easy and free.  I hope you […]

  3. Susan Finn says:

    Carissa, my kitchen smells so good! Haven’t tasted this yet-too hot but I cannot wait! Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. […] Simple Peach Basil Preserves (sweetened with honey and […]

  5. […] and enjoy them year-round.  Last year, they sent me mounds of gorgeous peaches that I turned into Honey Vanilla Peach Jam with Basil (and yes… you most definitely need to go make that recipe as soon as you can get your hands […]

  6. […] the way, last year I made Honey Vanilla Peach Jam with my Washington peaches, and it graced my morning toast for months to come!  (I made some again […]