Recipe created by master preserver Allison Duffy.
This past weekend I bought a box of some really beautiful, local peaches. They were absolutely delicious—so juicy and sweet. But with many more than my family and I could eat, it seemed that jam would be a perfect way to enjoy them. I often use a lot of spices when cooking with peaches. But, since this jam is sweetened with pure maple syrup, I’ve opted to keep things simple and have left out most of the spice so that the maple flavor can really shine through. I’ve included just a touch of vanilla bean, which I think complements the maple nicely. It’s a simple and delicious way to enjoy late summer fruit!
Makes approximately 5 half-pints of jam
To do ahead of time
*If you are new to canning, please familiarize yourself with the safest and most up-to-date boiling water bath canning techniques. The Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving (often available where canning supplies are sold—make sure to get the most up to date edition) is a great resource for this, as is the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
*Wash and rinse half-pint jars, lids, and screw bands. Set screw bands aside until ready to use. Place jars in hot water bath canner, fill at least 2/3 of the way full with water, and bring to a boil. Sterilize jars for 10 minutes, then turn down heat and let jars stand in hot water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small pan, bring to a low simmer, and hold there until ready to use.
*Prepare the calcium water (included in the Pomona’s Universal Pectin package). To do this, combine 1/2 teaspoon white calcium powder with 1/2 cup water in a small, clear container with a lid. Shake well before using. Note that you will have more calcium water than you will end up using in this recipe, and can save it for later use
- 4 cups peeled, pitted, and mashed peaches (about 2 or 3 lbs of whole peaches)
- 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons Pomona’s calcium water (prepare ahead of time per directions above)
- 1 whole vanilla bean
- 3/4 cup Coombs Family Farms Grade A Dark Color, Robust Taste Maple Syrup
- 3 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin powder
Wash, peel, and remove pits from peaches. To remove skin, submerge each peach in boiling water for 30-60 seconds, or until the skin splits. Immediately dip the peach in cold water and slip of the skin off. Then, cut the peach as necessary to remove and the pit.
Place peeled, pitted peaches in a large bowl and mash.
Measure mashed peaches and place in a large pan.
Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and carefully scrape out the seeds. Discard the pod (or save for a later use). Sprinkle the vanilla seeds into the peaches and mix well to ensure that the seeds have been dispersed throughout the peaches.
Add lemon juice and calcium water to the peaches and mix well.
In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup and pectin powder and mix well
Bring peaches to a boil, then add maple syrup-pectin mixture. Stir vigorously for 1-2 minutes to dissolve the pectin.
Return mixture to a boil, then remove from heat.
Remove hot jars from canner and fill jars with jam, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and put on lids and screw bands.
Place jars in hot water, cover with lid, return to a rolling boil, and boil for 10 minutes. (Add 1 minute additional processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.)
Turn off heat and allow canner and jars to sit for 5 minutes. Then, remove jars from canner.
Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Then, confirm that jars have sealed. Enjoy your jam! Or, store properly for later use.
Photo of peaches © All rights reserved, Thorsten Kraska, 2009