Easy to prepare Small Batch Vanilla Peach Jam is one of my favourite summertime preserves. Prepare this jam when peaches are in season for the best results. All you need are peaches, sugar, and a drop of good vanilla extract. This recipe will make two jars, so there’s no need to worry about canning, because the jam will keep safely in your fridge!
Like all good things in life, there’s a time to go all out and prepare large amounts of jam for long-term storage. But, there are also times when just one or two jars are all you need. Preparing jam in small batches is the best way to go if you want to forego dealing with canning and preserving. My Small Batch Vanilla Peach Jam recipe is for you! All you need are three ingredients, a little patience, and a craving for delicious homemade jam!
I hope I’m not too late with sharing this recipe with you, Dear Reader! I know that locally grown fresh peaches are in stores right now, but that’s in Ontario. The harvesting season could be earlier or later where you live. The good news is that even if it isn’t peach season, you can buy fresh peaches year-round, although they might not be locally grown.
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SMALL BATCH RECIPE – MAKES 2 CUPS!
This Small Batch Vanilla Peach Jam recipe is so simple and easy, and needs very little of your attention. Canning is something I love, but storage is always an issue. Most of the jam recipes that I found online yielded 6-8 500ml jars. In most cases, I need to make just one or two jars. The recipe you see below will yield two cups of jam.
I like to place that jam into two separate jars because we don’t consume jam very quickly. Usually, it’s just on the weekends with a freshly baked scone.
Sometimes, during the week in the summer months, a little dollop of jam can be stirred into some good vanilla ice cream, but usually, that’s the extent of our jam consumption. Which, Dear Reader, is why I need small-batch recipes – like this one!
DON’T LIKE PEACHES?
Don’t worry if you don’t like peaches, because you can use this same recipe for almost any stone fruit. I have used this same recipe with plums – both yellow and red – and I’ve also used it for apricots. Depending on the fruit you choose, the cooking process will vary. For example, I found that the plum jam was ready to be packed in jars in less than an hour, but the peach jam and the apricot jam took a bit longer to cook down to the consistency I was looking for.
I’ve prepared jams before that have taken three hours of cooking time. Blackberry jam takes especially long because it has so much water content. You see, Dear Reader, unlike most jam recipes, this recipe does not use any added pectin, so to get a thick jam, it is necessary to boil the jam longer to get more water content out of it. As the water evaporates, the jam thickens. So, if you want a really thick jam, you will need to practice some patience.
Yes, you can use frozen peaches for this jam recipe. However, if you use frozen peaches instead of fresh peaches, the cooking time will be longer. Before the jam starts to become thick, the water content in the frozen peaches will need to be cooked off first, so allow yourself more time for that.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO PREPARE THIS RECIPE
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare this recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post.
- Peaches – Cut the peach in half and remove the stones and discard. You can remove the skin if you want. Dice the peaches into a small dice. It’s tedious, but the smaller the pieces, the faster the jam will thicken.
- Vanilla Extract – You can make this jam without vanilla, but the hint of vanilla flavour is so delicious with fresh peaches.
- Sugar – I have only ever tested this recipe with regular granulated sugar.
CANNING METHODS ARE NOT NEEDED
As mentioned previously, you do not need to process this Small Batch Vanilla Peach Jam. If you are making a large batch, then please employ a safe canning method to ensure proper long-term storage. For small batch jams, you do not need to apply any canning methods at all. I have made two jars of jam at the same time with this recipe. I have not used the water bath method, but simply made sure the jam was piping hot. Be sure that your jars are super clean and that you are using new sealing rings.
Pour the hot jam into the sterile jars, place on the sealing ring and screw on the cap. Let the jam jars sit – completely undisturbed! – for at least twelve hours. After the first 30-60 minutes, you’ll hear little pops coming from your kitchen.
This occurs when the temperature of the jam begins to cool, which condenses the air in the jar, which in turn, creates a vacuum, and pulls the lid down. The popping or dinging sound is the sound of your sealing rings telling you that your jam is secured and safe.
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HOW TO MAKE SMALL BATCH VANILLA PEACH JAM
This recipe is for small batches of jam only. If you double or triple the recipe to make a larger amount, you will need to employ a canning method unless you are sure you can consume all of the jam within a month or so. Here’s how to make the jam!
Add the peaches and the sugar to a medium-sized, deep saucepan and turn the heat to medium until the mixture begins to bubble. Then, reduce the heat to simmer and stir. Allow the mixture to cook and the fruit to naturally break down. Be sure to stir every 20 minutes or so, even more frequently when the jam begins to thicken.
When the jam has reached the consistency you desire, remove the saucepan from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Stir well to combine and then carefully pour the hot jam into clean and sterile mason jars. Be sure the rim of the jar is clean and jam-free, wipe the lid with a damp cloth, place on the seal and tighten the lid until a slight resistance is met.
Carefully place the jar on a kitchen towel where the jar will not be disturbed for twelve hours. Once the jam begins to cool, the seal will create a popping sound, assuring you that the jar is sealed. Refrigerate for immediate use and keep refrigerated for up to six months.
PEACH FUZZ ON OR OFF?
I personally know some people who think that eating the skin on a peach is just gross. I think the fuzziness of the peach turns them off a little. But, there’s a way to get rid of that peach fuzz! Don’t wash the peach first!! Use a kitchen towel and gently wipe the entire surface of the peach with it. The fuzz will come right off. Once you’ve done that, you can go ahead and wash the peach.
If you want to remove the skin completely, you can do that too. First, you can peel each peach with a paring knife, but that takes too long and you remove too much of the peach. The best way to do it is to score the skin on the bottom of each peach. This basically means to cut an X-shape into the flesh of the peach – not too deep! You’re just cutting through the skin.
Place the peaches in a large bowl and completely cover them with boiled water from a kettle. Let them sit for a minute or two while you fill another bowl with cold water. Use a slotted spoon to fish the peaches out of the hot water and submerge them into the cold water. After a minute or two, you can easily peel the skin from the peaches using the X at the bottom to pull away the skin.
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Small Batch Vanilla Peach Jam
- 3 pounds peaches, about 12 peaches, pit removed, peach flesh finely chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Add the peaches and the sugar to a medium-sized, deep saucepan and turn the heat to medium until the mixture begins to bubble.
- Then, reduce the heat to simmer and stir. Allow the mixture to cook and the fruit to naturally break down. Be sure to stir every 20 minutes or so, even more frequently when the jam begins to thicken.
- When the jam has reached the consistency you desire, remove the saucepan from the heat and add the vanilla extract.
- Stir well to combine and then carefully pour the hot jam into clean and sterile mason jars.
- Be sure the rim of the jar is clean and jam-free, wipe the lid with a damp cloth, place on the seal and tighten the lid until a slight resistance is met.
- Carefully place the jar on a kitchen towel where the jar will not be disturbed for twelve hours.
- Once the jam begins to cool, the seal will create a popping sound, assuring you that the jar is sealed.
- Refrigerate for immediate use. Once sealed, jam will keep refrigerated for up to six months.
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