A couple weeks back, I was on something of a peach tear (thanks to the folks at Sweet Preservation). I wrote about my Lazy Peach Preserves and my Honey-Sweetened Peach Chutney. I promised that I’d have one final peach jam for you and then I went and fell off the recipe map. However, I’m here to make good. Without further delay, my recipe for Honey-Sweetened Peach Vanilla Jam.
This is one of those preserves that has just a few ingredients and so depends on you getting the best-tasting players as you possibly can. Search out those super sweet end-of-season peaches. Find a light honey that won’t demand center stage. And please, please, use a real vanilla bean. I know they’re pricy at grocery stores and gourmet markets, but if you buy them online, they are quite affordable. Go in with a friend or two. The flavor just can’t compare.
Honey-Sweetened Peach Vanilla Jam
- 2 1/2 pounds yellow peaches
- 1 1/2 cups honey
- 1 vanilla bean
- zest of 1 lemon optional
- Prepare a boiling water bath canner and four half pint jars. Place lids in a small saucepan and bring to a bare simmer.
- Peel peaches and dice. Combine them with the honey in a medium bowl. Split open a vanilla bean and scrape out all the vanilla seeds with the blade of a paring knife. Add both the seeds and the split bean to the peaches and honey. Stir to combine.
- Let the peaches and honey sit for at least 10 to 15 minutes, so that the honey can help make the peaches juicy.
- When you're ready to cook, scrape the peaches, honey, and vanilla into a 4 quart Dutch oven. Place over high heat and cook, stirring regularly, until the peaches have broken down and it looks quite thick and jammy.
- Taste the jam and determine whether you think it could use the flavor balancing of the lemon zest (it will mellow it out if you feel it's too sweet). If you prefer it without the lemon zest, feel free to skip it.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Fish out the vanilla bean and set aside. Funnel jam into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes (don't start your timer until the pot returns to a boil).
- When the time is up, remove jars from the canner and place them on a folded kitchen towel to cool.
- When the jars are cool enough to handle (let them rest at last an hour or two), remove rings and test seals. Unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly. Sealed jars are shelf stable for up to a year.
My daughter is due on 9.18, and this whole pregnancy she’s been our “little Peach” ~ I’m so in the mood for anything at all containing those fleshy golden globes of goodness. I have a batch of peach butter bubbling away right this moment in the crock pot and a bunch of lovelies sliced and frozen for winter. I’ve made pies and crisps and eaten them dripping over the sink…I have the bottom of my third box awaiting a final recipe. This may just be it! Thanks, Marisa xx
Thank you!! Making this tomorrow morning!!
Just starting to think of apple butter…..this sounds great too! Maybe my Christmas gifts this year will be a jar of each!
When I ordered my vanilla beans on line I also received some vanilla powder. It did not come with an equivalent to vanilla bean. Do you have any ideas what 1 bean would equal in powder? I would like to use the powder in this jam.
I’ve never used vanilla powder, so I have no idea. So sorry!
*3 Vanilla powder – The Cook’s Thesaurus is a bit hazy about whether to use 1/2 or 1 teaspoon ground vanilla, probably because vanilla powders from various sources are so different. Ground vanilla could be crusty old beans or grade A beauties, who knows.
A simple experiment provides some helpful info: an 8 inch vanilla bean reduced to about 2 teaspoons of pulver in a coffee grinder.
I just made the honey sweetened peach and lemon jam from last week! Heaven in a jar! I’m making this one next. Must get more peaches ASAP.
The amaretto peach jam I made for my mother in law, turned out so yummy I kept half the jars for myself..hehe It would have to be my 2nd favorite jam. Which surprised me Ive never really cared for peaches except for fresh. Making it yourself sure does wonders for any food
Does this need to be more acidic? I was under the impression that peaches sort of dance around the danger zone of acidity.
Also, would it be safe to reduce the amount of honey slightly? I have only a cup currently and am unable to purchase more.
So, I haven’t made a jam without pectin before. I waited for 220 degrees to come and it never did. I tried the freezer plate technique and it seemed to set softly. And the spoon left a soft set on the countertop. And then when I finally felt “good” about it… I ended up with 2.5 half pints instead of 4! That’s okay… right? Or is the knife going to bounce off the top? It tasted delicious, I threw the tiniest splash of bourbon in there. 🙂
Tried making this tonight but my peaches never broke down at all.
Hi! this looks amazing! Wondering if I can double the recipe and still be safe for canning? Thanks!
Doubling batches of jam will not impact their safety at all. Safety is determined by acid content. However, doubling batches of jam can impact their set. Read this: https://foodinjars.com/2011/01/canning-101-why-you-shouldnt-double-batches-of-jam/
So I wasn’t paying close enough attention and used a mix of white and yellow peaches to make this jam. Now I see white peaches are on the edge for being able to process in water.
If I open the jars, can I add lemon juice directly to each jar, mix, and then put new lids on and reprocess? Do I need to take the jam out and heat it up again? All the way to 220?
Chances are good that the yellow peaches provided enough acid to carry the jam. However, you could open up the jars, empty out the jam into a pot, reheat it (just to a simmer), add the lemon juice, and recan it if you feel nervous.
How would this recipe be with apricots instead of the peaches? Thanks!
The lemon, as well as the acidic peaches in this recipe helped to remove what seasoning was in my cast iron dutch oven. Using the best peaches and honey available, combined with a $6 fresh vanilla bean should have resulted in the best preserves of the year. Instead, I have over $20 of product that turned nearly green in the cooking process, imparted a metallic taste to the jam and removed the seasoning from my dutch oven. Of the 5 recipes I’ve experimented with this year, this was the biggest and most costly failure I’ve had to date. I would suggest not using cast iron here.
Kent, you should never use bare cast iron or aluminum with acidic foods. Here’s a post on this topic: https://foodinjars.com/2010/09/canning-101-why-you-cant-cook-acidic-foods-in-reactive-pots/
Would it be safe to freeze this instead of canning? I do a freezer strawberry jam and it works out great, not that this would last long in a house with 5 young kids 🙂
Do I remove the skin of the peaches for this recipe? If so, how should I do that?
Like it says in the recipe, you do peel the peaches. You can do this either by blanching the peaches to loosen the skin or pouring boiling water over them (like in this blog post: https://foodinjars.com/2014/07/canning-101-easiest-way-peel-tomatoes-peaches/).
I am sorry for missing that part of the recipe. It must be really frustrating for you to have to reply to questions whose answers have already been laid out.
I was wondering if it would be okay to use raw honey in this recipe. Does it matter if I use raw or pasteurized honey? Thanks!
I made this a month or so ago and opened the first jar yesterday. We ate the whole jar. I used it as crepe filling topped with real maple syrup and real whipped cream. OMG! These peach preserves are so good. This definitely wont last long. I may have to make a second batch. Thanks for this wonderful recipe.
I have a TON of peaches (seconds) and, thanks to you and your jam recipes, I only have two half-pint jars left. Can I do this recipe in 12oz or pint jars? If so, how would I adjust my processing time? Would that processing time also work for your Peach Sriracha recipe? I wasn’t kidding that I have a TON of peaches.
You can definitely do this recipe in 12 ounce jars. There’s no change in processing time. As long as you don’t can in jars larger than a pint, the processing time remains the same.
Have you made a jam cookbook that is strictly honey recipes? If not, then perhaps you should! I would definitely buy it. Please consider my request, I haven’t been able to find anything out there like it. Thanks in advance
Kim, I’m actually currently working on a book of recipes where everything is preserved using natural sweeteners. It will be published by Running Press in spring 2016.
Awesome! It will be hard to wait patiently on that book. I took your advice and made my apple butter with honey, and it turned out great. And you were right, it is a treat on all its own. (Met you in Princeton this fall.) However, we have also loved it on pork tenderloin and Lefse made with white sweet potato, or as a dip for sweet potato fries! I will be trying this jam tomorrow, but because I need to avoid vanilla beans right now, I am going to try it with cinnamon or ginger. Thanks for sharing all your recipes and wisdom!
There are a couple of great questions here that I don’t see answers for. I am jamming more and more with honey and in your recipe you do not indicate rapid boiling for 1 minute or bringing to 220 degrees. Is this not necessary when using honey?
Is raw honey acceptable in these recipes?
Would this recipe work with apricots?
Thank you for your time and prompt response.
Cheryl, you’re not going to get to 220 degrees with honey. And you’ll need more than the 1 minute of rapid boiling that is required when you’re using pectin. You simply cook it until the liquid is mostly evaporated and the jam looks quite thick. The reason these small batches work so well is that you can see when it’s thickening because there’s so little in the pan.
You can use raw honey, but its many virtues are rendered moot in this situation, because you’ll be boiling it. I tend to save the raw honey for uncooked situations.
And it should work just fine with apricots. I’d also suggest you search my site for honey recipes, as there’s a lot of good information in them.
Thank you for your response. Now I understand why Jess’ recipe came out with so much less.
Looking forward to more!
When planning your canning day, you should plan for an hour and a half to an hour and forty five minutes for this recipe. This takes a long time to thicken but it’s well worth it. I wouldn’t pass on the lemon zest as it’s very sweet!!
Making this right now! I’m glad I read the comments as it took way longer to cook down than I anticipated. Also, by the time it wad properly jammy it had reduced to the point where my yield was only two half pint jars- and I agree to make sure you have the lemon zest on hand. It’s too sweet for me, but I have no zest, so I’m forging ahead.
Thanks for sharing it!
My new favorite! It’s pretty too! Thanks a bushel.
Tastes great! I got about 3 1/2 jars worth. I also used the lemon zest to cut the sweetness. I spread it over some toast that had fresh ricotta and it made for an amazing breakfast.
Is the weight of the peaches before peeling and pitting?
Weight is before pitting and peeling.