Until the summer of 2007, the only peaches I knew were aggressively fuzzy and yellow-fleshed. I was perfectly content with those peaches, until I encountered Beechwood Orchards and their white peaches. Fragrant and floral, without any of the pucker that comes with yellow variety, I was sure and well hooked. I’d buy and consume a full quart of those perfect fruits each week. At nearly $5 a box, they were almost always my most expensive farmers’ market purchase each Sunday (this was when I was in grad school and operating on a very slim margin).
As far as eating out of hand goes, this summer I’ve swung back towards the acidic yellow peaches of my youth. But when it comes to cooking with stone fruit, I’m having something of a love affair with the white peach. You see, they smell like the best, most heady version of the peach-scented lotion I used during my teenage years, and I love how they take me back in time. They also taste terrific and I just can’t get enough.
In an attempt to capture some of that flavor and fragrance, I halved and peeled nearly 10 pounds of white peaches and cooked them down into a vanilla bean-flecked, slightly sweetened sauce. I got ten pints of sauce from those ten pounds of peaches. Seven pints were processed just as they were (with the addition of 1 tablespoon of lemon juice per pint for acidification – white peaches are in the grey zone as far as safe levels of acid) and the remaining three were cooked down using the slow cooker technique into four half pints of butter*.
I’ve yet to open one of these jars to taste the post-process product, but going into the jars, it was smooth (I did use an immersion blender during the final stage of cooking to get everything to an even consistency), easy on the tongue and containing the very essence of summer flavor. I look forward to opening one of these jars come January and stirring this sauce into yogurt or just eating it directing out of the pint with a spoon.
*The sauce that was cooked down into butter was also acidified, to ensure safety. I did some research and found that when the average white peach is tested for acidity, it has a pH of 4.5. This is in the canning grey zone and is similar to modern tomatoes (which we also acidify). Yellow peaches have a greater amount of acidity and so could be made into a sauce without need for additional acid.
And now for the giveaway part (you didn’t think I was going to forget that, did you?). The folks at Nielson-Massey have given me three tubes of vanilla beans to give to my readers. Each tube contains two vanilla beans of the very highest quality. Entries will be accepted through Wednesday, August 18th at 11:59 p.m. Just leave a comment on this post and include your favorite way to use vanilla.
White Peach Sauce
- 10 pounds of peaches halved and peeled (I peel my peaches by cutting them in half and then blanching them in boiling water for 45-60 seconds. Once the peaches are cool enough to handle, the skin should just lift away)
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 vanilla bean split and scraped
- 10 tablespoons bottled lemon juice this is 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons
- Cook the peaches down in a large, non-reactive pot, using a potato masher to help them break down and release their juice. Add the vanilla bean seeds and the pod so that the vanilla flavor will infuse all the peaches.
- After approximately 20 minutes over medium heat, the peaches should be fairly well cooked down. Remove the vanilla bean from the pot (making sure to squeeze all the goodness from it). If you like your sauce chunky, leave as is. If you want a smoother consistency, puree with an immersion blender.
- Taste and add sugar to achieve your desired sweetness. I found a happy, flavorful place at 3 cups, but depending on the innate sweetness in the peaches, you might be able to stop at 2 cups. Or you might need to add more. It’s up to you.
- Pour peach sauce into pint jars, leaving a bit more than an inch of headspace. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to each jar and stir in with a chopstick or plastic spoon. Wipe rims, apply lids and process for 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.
- If you want to make butter from some of the sauce, reserve 6-8 cups of sauce and cook down in a slow cooker (making sure to add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for every two cups of sauce at the beginning of cooking).
I keep a jar of raw sugar with a vanilla bean sunk in the middle. I use it for tons of things.
My favorite way to use whole vanilla beans is in any kind of ice cream, I love being able to see the flecks. I’ve always wanted to make my own vanilla extract though; that’s next on my list.
I love making my own vanilla extract. I use it it everything from cookies to french toast to homemade perfume/ spritzer.
mmmm! I definitely want to try the vanilla white peach butter…. it seems like it would be amazing on crepes, which I LOVE to add fresh ground vanilla beans to!
I have just recently discovered the idea of adding vanilla to jam, and I love it! It instantly takes a good jam and makes it great. Yum!
I love making vanilla bean cupcakes! But really I love anything with vanilla in it. I once visited a restaurant solely because they had vanilla mashed potatoes.
I am gaga over peaches right now and that silky sauce is calling to me. I love making creme brulee with vanilla beans, but my FAVOURITE part is sticking the leftover bean in my sugar jar.
I have not had a lot of experience adding real vanilla bean to recipes, only to a cake recipe once when my mother gave me some vanilla bean to try. As vanilla is a great favorite of mine, I’d love to try making vanilla ice cream to go over peaches. 🙂
I’ve never tasted the white peach and always skipped by them at the Farmers Market….not now!
I love to make it in vanilla bean ice cream, it makes it so much better! I’ll have to try adding it to jam though, that sound good!
Oh my GOSH– this looks incredible!
In strawberry jam! This was my first year canning and I made a couple batches of vanilla strawberry jam. Delicious!
There are so many delectable uses for vanilla beans! Some of my favorites: poke into a jar of coarse, raw sugar and let it mingle for awhile to make delicious vanilla sugar (great on muffins, breads, scones, cookies…); do the same with a jar of kosher salt and use in a grilled watermelon, fresh mint, feta salad (with sweet balsamic dressing) or as a rub on salmon for the grill; scrape the seeds into batter for pound cake, pancakes, muffins, scones, or shortcake for amazing strawberry shortcake; scrape into a saucepan of milk and add fresh grated nutmeg and cinnamon – warm and enjoy in a cozy mug on a brisk, winter night! Vanilla beans are black gold in my book! 🙂
Rhubarb vanilla jam is heavenly. However, my favorite thing is homemade vanilla extract. Just let some beans steep in some booze for a few weeks and you have an unlimited supply of extract. You can just keep topping the jar up with alcohol as needed. I also put scraped vanilla pods (after using the seeds for a recipe) into a jar of sugar to have vanilla sugar on hand.
I love vanilla in everything…Especially a light vanilla bean cake with vanilla bean butter cream.
I make a lot of nut creams, since I’m vegan, and added a vanilla bean makes them taste heavenly and rich.
Wow, that peach sauce sounds amazing! I like to make ginger butterscotch sauce with vanilla beans. And then eat it with a spoon.
One of my favorite ways to use vanilla beans is in a refreshing non-alcoholic drink. It is very simple and is just wonderful with some fresh mint as a garnish. Take one gallon of water add 1-2 oranges (sliced) add a vanilla bean cut length wise but do not scrape the seeds out. Cover and place in fridge overnight. Like an orange creamsicle in a glass.
Peaches are not a strong Minnesota crop, but darn does that look good. I will have to look for some.
For my summer jamming & canning recipes which involve vanilla, I like to use vanilla infused organic sugar rather than the plain stuff. Flavored sugars, such as vanilla and lavender, are lovely additions to my canning.
I made a Peach Bourbon Vanilla Jam last week that was AMAZING.
This is going to be a canning weekend for me, as I’m planning to put away a large amount of tomatoes and pickled jalapenos.
My favorite way to use vanilla though is in any thing that I’ve added chocolate too…and most frequently vanilla goes into my lighter and cheaper version of a frappacino. I blend about five frozen cubes of coffee (made using the cold brew method), about a cup of milk (generally 2%) a splash of good quality vanilla extract, and maybe a wee bit of sweetener. Good, fast, and much cheaper than an Sbux addiction.
I wish I had read this before freezing the flat of peaches I got last weekend. I guess the next batch will become peach butter.
That sauce looks amazing – may have to try a batch. I use vanilla beans in a whisky fig/vanilla infusion
I adore vanilla in my oatmeal!
I will be making vanilla extract this fall using a bottle of brandy I just acquired.
Since falling in love with vanilla bean ice cream at Lenny’s across the street from my elem., school, P.S. 164 in Brooklyn, it has remained my favorite flavor. It is the flavor and the quality of the bean that I test out all ice cream and gelatos(sp.) around the world. It is the first ice cream flavor I make for the summer. Love the audacity of the idea to extend the experience with the peaches and whipped cream.
Vanilla makes just about everything better, but my faves are homemade vanilla ice cream and my new discovery, homemade vanilla yogurt. (No reason to ever go back to commercially prepared yogurt!)
Big surprise – Vanilla Bean Ice cream!!! Although I just got done with only my 5th canning attempt, and I made your Vanilla Rhubarb jam… WOW, that was good on yogurt, toast, and ice cream!!!
I’d love to receive some vanilla beans. I’ve actually never cooked with them, b/c when I look at the cost of a bottle of vanilla, and the cost of one vanilla bean (somewhere around $11 here in Spokane WA when you can find them), I always cheap out and opt for the extract. That said, I would totally make this sauce with them if I won (and some vanilla ice cream). Peaches are in my top five favorite fruits, and I can a couple of boxes every year. Yum.
Goat’s milk dulce de leche WOULD be my favorite use for it, but after 3 attempts at 3 stores this weekend, I gave up and used extract.
I like to use in ice cream!
I would love to use vanilla to make some homemade ice cream
Right now, vanilla should definitely be going right into some homemade ice cream!!!
I was just wishing I had some vanilla pods to make ice cream with my new ice cream maker! Yum.
Vanilla beans are definitely going into homemade vanilla ice cream.
First of all – YUM. I canned 13 pints of peaches myself yesterday, and was thinking how lovely they would be with vanilla, if only I had a recipe… Guess I know what’s next on my canning list!
And thanks for the tip about peeling – I was blanching them pre-halving yesterday and had a heck of a time not bruising them. Mine were ready to cool and peel after only about 10 seconds in the boiling water, though.
And I will add vanilla to just about anything, but my favorite application is probably in blueberry syrup for pancakes. To die for!!
I’ll be making The Pioneer Woman’s Petite Vanilla Bean Scones. Yum Yum
ooh, definitely vanilla ice cream
just love vanilla
Oooh, homemade vanilla ice cream!
I made vanilla “buttercream” (vegan) with vanilla beans once, and it was fantastic! So far, my favorite use for vanilla beans.
Also: why didn’t I think to make peach sauce with the half a bushel of white peaches that I had a few weeks ago?! I’m kicking myself.
My favorite use of vanilla is in chocolate chip cookies – love those cookies!
In vanilla frozen yogurt!
A few months ago I bought all the bulk vanilla beans the local HFS had. They were pretty dried out [I should have asked for a disc.], but they broke apart easily into 1 inch sections. So with $38 in beans, and 4 months soaking in an $8 bottle of locally brewed vodka, I have a practically never ending supply of vanilla extract! I use it in everything! My favorite recipe is 2tsp in a quart of strained Water Kefir left to ferment another day on the counter. The best “cream soda” ever!
Do you have a substitution ratio for using powdered citric acid vs lemon juice? In the event my lemon juice goes bad [we never get through the whole bottle before it expires] I bought a bottle of the powder specifically for canning.
Thanks for posting this recipe! This looks delicious! Been wanting a good recipe for canning peaches!
hmmmm….I love liquid vanilla in ice cream and vanilla beans to infused vodka….
Definitely vanilla ice cream with all my Georgia peaches.
I use vanilla beans to make vanilla ice cream. Now that I started canning, I can’t wait to top my ice cream with my canned peaches.
Ooh, vanilla sugar!
I love using vanilla in french toast or other delicious breakfast things
In ice cream.
Homemade Vanilla ice cream.
I am anxiously awaiting peaches here. I love to use Vanilla in my sugar canister. Nothing beats baked goods with vanilla sugar.
I love ice cream of all types and guess which is my favorite…vanilla of course. This afternoon I’m making a basic vanilla recipe and adding chopped elberta peachs.
After reading this I cannot wait to get to the farmers markets this week for some flats of peaches. I love to store away some organic sugar in glass jars with vanilla beans. It just gets better as time goes by. It’s the best for special desserts especially poached fruit and I love it in coffee also.
Sounds delicious! I have actually never used a vanilla bean, although I love vanilla and have been contemplating experimenting with it.
When I was a kid I thought that vanilla flavor meant plain, but now I appreciate vanilla so much more! My very favorite thing is vanilla scented fragrances, but for cooking I like vanilla in a mixed fruit compote served with cream.
Homemade vanilla ice cream, for sure! Simple and classic.
That peach sauce sounds fantastic. I like to put a vanilla bean into a jar of sugar for vanilla sugar.
I haven’t actually used real vanilla beans yet. I would love to win some so that I can start!
Do I Dare say I have never used vanilla……only the cheap extract stuff! Would love to try some though!!
Thanks for the gievaway
favorite use is for creme brule (seeds) and the pod i’ll turn into vanilla sugar for baking and what-nots
Vanilla bean ice cream, of course! <3
We have a yummy recipe for vanilla ice cream that I love!
Great timing – I’m canning my wedding favors, and this recipe sounds like it would be perfect.
yummy, sounds wonderful!!
I love to bake and that is really the only way I’ve used vanilla so far but as I get more comfortable in the kitchen I keep trying new things so who knows what’s next.
I must admit that I haven’t caught the white peach love; they just seem to me to be less flavorful than yellow peaches. I can understand the love of a more subtle, more floral peach; but when I have white peaches here they just seem…less. I inevitably go back to my standard, smack-you-in-the-face-with-peach-flavor yellow peaches.
I do love vanilla bean in canning; of course they are great in baked goods, but the flecks of bean can look so beautiful in a jam or preserve where the extract would just add a tinge of brown. One of my favorite marmalades is pink grapefruit with bourbon vanilla bean. Yum.
I love to make bread pudding with vanilla. Yum! And cookies, of course. Thanks for this awesome blog.
I love to use vanilla in a delicious creme brulee! Next I will try a vanilla peach creme brulee!
Homemade slow-churned vanilla bean ice cream!
I love vanilla in my french toast and in my coffee! Plus my body wash is called Fresh Vanilla!
I like to make a cinnamon vanilla sauce as a fruit dip.
I have become such a vanilla bean addict, I’ll try pretty much any recipe that involves one! I don’t know if I could pick a favorite, but in our household, the vanilla bean dishes that reappear time and again are vanilla rice pudding and creamy squash soup.
Oops, I commented earlier but didn’t include my favorite way to use vanilla.
I love vanilla and add it to almost everything sweet or baked. I finally figured out that vanilla was the secret ingredient missing in my home-made chai lattes.
But my favorite use for a vanilla bean (which I don’t splurge on that often) is definitely homemade vanilla ice cream.
yummy! I just found your website a few weeks ago and love it! I think one of my favorite ways to use vanilla is to make myself a cup of warm/steamed milk with vanilla. I grew up in europe where they have vanilla sugar so i usually use that.
Please enter me in the give away. I would love to try vanilla beans I sure it would surpass extract by a mile.
Nothing in the whole world can beat the taste of homemade vanilla bean ice cream!
We use vanilla beans to make homemade vanilla (vodka). WAY better than store bought!
I’ve done peaches once. I really don’t like doing them. I hope the ones I did make it worth the trouble. LOL
How about vanilla ice cream. Or vanilla pound cake or it’s endless.
Honestly, my list is ongoing and endless. I go through vanilla extract and beans like water. Due to my toddler son’s severe food allergies I make everything from scratch. So it would do into jams, veggie/fruit muffins, granola, sunbutter gluten-free oat bars, and gluten-free garden cake.
I’m fairly new to canning (boiling water canning and pressure canning). One of my first batches of jam was strawberry/vanilla jam and have to admit it was delicious!!! Just a hint of vanilla makes such a big difference. I’ll definitely be saving this recipe as I LOVE peaches!
behind my ears!
I just finished making a massive batch of peach jam with a half bushel of beautiful Red Haven peaches I got last week. It went into 3 variations: peach & lemon ginger tea, peach butterscotch & peach chardonnay.
As for the vanilla beans, if I could afford enough of them I would put them in just about everything! And often did when I worked as the executive pastry chef of some restaurants (hey, I didnt have to pay for them … just fill in the order request). But for my own use – nothing beats homemade vanilla bean ice cream. Not to mention with enough base you can make any number of other ice cream flavors from it. I also like to grind the beans to either use as a paste or make my own extract.
I love peaches!
In rice pudding, which is my favorite dessert.
I have a jar of confectioner’s sugar that I keep a couple split vanilla beans stuck down in it…makes wonderful vanilla sugar for special baking projects, or for sprinkling over french toast 🙂
I bought some pineapple-vanilla jam once which was like perfection in a jar, and I’ve always wanted to re-create it. Here’s hoping!
Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee, my favorite dessert
I too love the white peaches for eating. I’m about to buy more peaches, so I’ll have to look for the white’s and make this sauce. Sounds delicious.
I’d love some vanilla beans. I bake A LOT and use A LOT of vanilla extract, and I recently found some instructions on how to make your own and would love to try it.
I would use the beans to make vanilla sugar and vanilla extract, as well as vanilla pudding. Thanks for the chance to win!
Dulce de Leche! this was one of the first recipes I tried after subscribing to your blog and it made for excellent holidays gifts and many pans of caramel-swirl brownies.
I’m slightly embarrassed to say I’ve never cooked with vanilla beans – I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. But I would love to make my own vanilla extract, vanilla sugar, flavored liqueur… the trouble would be knowing where to start!
I love white peaches too. I would love to try your recipe for white peach with vanilla. By the way, I tried your slow cooker blueberry jam and it was really good. I used to know only store bought vanilla extract and it was all right, but then I had baked goods made with real vanilla beans and what a difference. I love using vanilla in my eggs for french toast and for my coffee. Thanks for the canning inspiration.
I recently discovered your site and have been so intrigued by canning that I’m vowing to do some next summer. My favorite way to use vanilla beans is in a pastry cream/sauce that I layer over berries, it reminds me of a beautiful dessert I used to get at a steakhouse (before I moved to the middle of nowhere). I use NM vanilla extract all the time, but their vanilla beans, my goodness, I imagine it to be luxurious.
I will lovingly use a vanilla bean to poach some pears with cranberries, vanilla, and cinnamon. This started out as a Thanksgiving dish, but now it’s something that I enjoy all through the year (thanks to canned pears and frozen cranberries) over vanilla yogurt.
My favorite user for Vanilla (surprisingly) is in rice. I love the sweet flavor of vanilla rice and it pairs wonderfully with a savory meat.
My favorite way to use vanilla is in simple baked egg custard. Now that I’m thinking about it, I may have to go make some now…