September 22, 2012

Confiture de Pêche à la Vanille (Peach Vanilla Jam)

Since peach season is nearing an end, what better way to capture the taste of summer by making peach jam?   

Recently, one of my co-workers brought in several pounds of ripe peaches from her peach tree.  I started making jam this past year, and it is such a simple process.  So, I knew peach jam would be outstanding--especially since they were from fresh local sweet peaches just bursting with juiciness.

I love using vanilla beans when cooking and baking.  The vanilla bean adds depth and even more flavor.  The vanilla bean seed speckles just add to the appearance.  Scraping the vanilla bean bods can be pesky, but it is so worth it.  It just makes any dish grand!  This jam has the right amount of chunks of peaches to make this jam peachy and spreadable.  It smelled so fragrant while cooking.  Because this jam tasted way fancier and much better than basic peach jam, the French name seemed fitting.   

Before I know it, Jack Frost will bring some snow to Colorado.  On one of those frigid mornings when Colorado is blanketed by snow, I think a perfect post-snow shoveling (totally counts as a workout!) breakfast will be a warm croissant with this jam and a big cup of Earl Grey.  

Until then, farewell Summer, and hello Fall.  Winter, be patient. 

Confiture de Pêche à la Vanille (Peach Vanilla Jam)
Yields 8 cups

3 pounds peaches, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
1 1/2 pounds granulated sugar
2 vanilla beans, cut lengthwise (with seeds scraped out)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

In a large stockpot or French oven, place the peaches, sugar, vanilla beans (with seeds and pods), and lemon juice.   Reduce to heat and simmer for 1-2 hours until the fruit becomes a dark orange and is nearly caramelized.  Stir often to prevent the bottom of the peaches from burning.  Remove the vanilla pods.

After the jam is finished, can and preserve the jam in prepared jars, using the method of your choice.  Alternatively, you can also put the jam into jars to refrigerate.

Note: No pectin is needed for the jam.  It forms the perfect consistency without pectin.

Source:  Adapted from Tartlette 

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