Peach vanilla bean jam is chocked full with chunks of juicy ripe peaches suspended in their own juices that, when cooked down for over an hour with some sugar, thicken into a glorious and sticky jam. Perfect for slathering on fresh croissants or adding to cookies!

Peach Vanilla Bean Jam

I’m not going to lie to you. I’m not yet sick of all the peach recipes going on in my kitchen this summer!

Those roasted peach ice cream sandwiches were to.die.for. And that peach cake with dulce de leche frosting? Well, let me just say that that cake didn’t last for too long in my house.

In fact, after this peach vanilla bean jam, there may be one more recipe I’ll share before the end of the month (think pie). Peach jam, however, is something I’ve been dying to make for as long as I can remember and I decided that it was time to finally step up to the plate and make some. 

Since peach season is in August here in New England, we wait a loooong time for perfectly ripe, local peaches. I basically refuse to buy peaches from the grocery store for most of the summer since I’m almost never happy with the quality I find there.

Making Jam with Ripe, Fresh Peaches

So for this jam, as well with the peach butter and the salted brown sugar roasted peach jam I’ve also made, I made a special trip to a local farm stand to grab some peaches. And let me tell you something, it’s important to use the freshest and most ripe peaches you can when you bake, cook, or make jam.

Peach Vanilla Bean Jam

Why you should make jam with ripe, fresh peaches:

  1. Ripe peaches are more flavorful. Ripe peaches just taste better than unripe peaches do, don’t they? That’s because the sugars in the fruit have been given more time to develop as the peach ripens.
  2. Ripe peaches are easier to peel. Even though ripe peaches are softer than not-quite ripe peaches, they peel easier because the skins don’t cling to the fruit.
  3. Ripe peaches are often easier to pit. This is not always a guarantee because there some peach varieties are referred to as “cling peaches”. This means that the pits are difficult to remove. However, the pit tends to loosen a bit from the fruit as a peach ripens, making it a little easier to remove.
  4. Ripe peaches are more apt to be overlooked or thrown away. We all know that overripe fruit can be unsightly so why let your peaches get to that point? Use them when they are perfectly ripe to avoid tossing them out in a day or two after they’ve spoiled. It’s ok to use bruised peaches for jam! No one is going to see the bruises once you cut and cook them down.

peach vanilla bean jam

Jam with Vanilla Beans

Flecked with tiny vanilla bean seeds, this jam lived up to every imaginable expectation I had for what a homemade peach jam should be. And I realize that vanilla beans are an expensive ingredient.

But let me tell you, they are worth the price to make a peach jam like this one. You can buy them in bulk (through Amazon) at a much lower cost per bean than you can find in the grocery store. Freeze your leftover beans to extend the shelf life. And make vanilla sugar with the bean pods after you scrape out the beans!

Seriously, could this jam not be a more luxurious compliment to some fresh croissants? I’d say it was the perfect breakfast for this birthday girl this morning.

And as far as canning this jam goes, it helps that this week has been the perfect time to work on my canning skills since I’ve had some time off but if you’re uneasy about canning, you can make the jam and store it in the fridge or freezer for longer term storage. However, canning in general is a very simple process and if you’ve never tried it, this recipe is the perfect way to get you started.

 
Peach Vanilla Bean Jam

Peach Vanilla Bean Jam

Yield: 6 to 8 half-pint (8 oz) jars
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Canning Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Peach vanilla bean jam is chocked full with chunks of juicy ripe peaches suspended in their own juices that, when cooked down for over an hour with some sugar, thicken into a glorious and sticky jam.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 3 ½ cups sugar
  • 1-2 vanilla bean(s), halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, combine all ingredients (including vanilla bean seeds and pods) over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for about 1 ½ to 2 hours, until the fruit has softened and is partially caramelized with a dark orange color. Discard the vanilla bean pods.
  2. Using your preferred method (see canning guides in the Notes section below, if needed), can and preserve (boil for 15 minutes if your altitude is less than 1000ft above sea level) jam in sterilized jars. 

Storage: If canned properly*, the jam will keep in sealed jars at room temperature for up to 1 year. Alternatively, you can store the jam in clean jars and keep refrigerated for up to 1 month or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

*If your jar lids do not "POP!" within 12 hours of canning, transfer the jars directly to the refrigerator. This means they have not sealed properly and cannot safely be stored at room temperature.

Notes

Both of these canning guides include instructions for boiling times at other altitudes. [Home Canning Guide 1 | Home Canning Guide 2]

adapted from Tartlette via Everyday Annie

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  • August 19, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    Umm… yum!

  • Christine
    August 19, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    Looks great! I like the consistency of yours. I know you’ve got 6 to 8 cups as the yield, but I’m wondering how many jars or cups you ended up with?

    • smellslikehome
      August 19, 2011 at 11:55 AM

      Christine: I ended up with 6 full (with 1/2″ headspace) 8oz jars.

      • Christine
        August 20, 2011 at 10:37 AM

        Awesome! Thanks 🙂 Helps me plan my weekend canning… I’m running out of jars already, but this looks too good (and market peaches were on sale), so I can’t resist.

  • August 19, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    What an AMAZING photo! What is it about those lovely vanilla bean specks that make life so grand?!?!?

  • Meredith
    August 19, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    That looks absolutely Delicious!

  • August 19, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    oh boy, I just bought a bag of vanilla beans from Amazon and I cannot wait to try them in this Jam! My one canning effort this summer was an epic failure so I must, must make this!

  • August 19, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    Peach jam with vanilla beans – yum!

  • August 19, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    Tara, that looks amazing! I HAVE to make it!!
    My husband and I like canning things together and
    this is the recipe I choose. Can’t wait to taste it!
    Mika

  • August 19, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    Wow this looks absolutely fantastic! Love this 🙂

  • August 19, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    This is fantastic! I have been on such a peach kick and the one thing I haven’t made yet is jam. I was waiting for a rainy day to do some canning and I am hoping to this weekend. I look forward to trying this recipe!

  • August 19, 2011 at 11:58 PM

    I love the combo of peaches and vanilla beans…I might have to add this to my canning list 🙂

  • August 20, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    Oh, yummy….and such beautiful photos~

  • August 20, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    Oh goodness, I just want to grab that first photo and run with it! And eat it!!

  • August 20, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    Definitely a great start to your birthday. I had wanted to make this last summer and didn’t, so I’m happy for the reminder. It looks lovely.

    Happy birthday!

  • August 21, 2011 at 5:32 AM

    So lusciously adorable. I like its color, it’s envigorating.

  • Sheryl
    September 2, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    Made this jam today and it turned out wonderful. The smell in the house with the peaches and vanilla bean cooking was out of this world. Can hardly wait to make biscuits so I can have the jam on them.

  • amanda baker
    August 25, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    Hello,

    thank you for this delicious looking receipe! excuse my silly question; I’m new to the world of canning, but would a receipe like this require “pectin”? I see this item on the shelf with canning supplies but can’t decide if it is a requirement? thanks!

    • August 26, 2012 at 2:17 PM

      Amanda: No, this recipe doesn’t require pectin.

  • Troggy
    January 12, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    Hullo! I was wondering – when you were simmering the peaches, you put a lid on the pot or not?

    • January 12, 2013 at 7:39 AM

      No, because you want the mixture to simmer down and thicken. The only way to do this is to allow the liquid to evaporate.

      • Troggy
        January 12, 2013 at 12:16 PM

        Fantastic! Ta 🙂

  • February 18, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    Love how the vanilla grains contrast against the rich orange of the Peach. When peaches are in season I’m going to have to give this a try.

  • […] And a great little recipe to test out your newly acquired vanilla bean splitting skills. Peach Vanilla Bean Jam  […]

  • May 25, 2016 at 6:28 PM

    […] 3.5.3208 From Smells Like Home […]

  • Anna M Dyson
    August 29, 2016 at 4:26 PM

    I just opened a jar of this that I canned earlier in the Summer. AMAZING…

  • Lynne ungerbuehler
    August 11, 2017 at 9:33 AM

    Why do you have to keep it refrigerated?

    • Tara
      October 6, 2017 at 9:43 AM

      If you leave the jar sealed after canning, it doesn’t need to be. After you open the jars, however, you need to keep the jam in the refrigerator to prevent spoiling.

  • María. Taylor
    August 29, 2017 at 5:07 PM

    New to canning..how long does it last once canned?

    • Tara
      October 6, 2017 at 8:39 AM

      I’m sorry I missed your comment, Maria! Properly and safely canned, this jam should last 2 years on the shelf. You can also make the jam and freeze it if the water canning method isn’t your thing.

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