Try it mixed into some homemade yogurt, or on top of ice cream.
It is still too early in the season here for freestone peaches, but there are some good deals at the farmers market on some luscious, ripe non-freestone varieties. And for jam, these are perfect!
When making jam, the easiest way to crush your peaches, especially non-freestone varieties, is to take the whole peeled peach in your hand (over a large bowl) and squeeze. If your peaches are ripe, which they should be for a good jam, the peach flesh will be crushed through your fingers, leaving you with just the pit in your hand. Kids love this job!
To get as much vanilla flavor in this jam as I could without overcooking the peaches, I combined the crushed peaches with some lemon juice, 1 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp stevia in a large bowl. Then I added the vanilla bean (cut the bean in half lengthwise, then use the tip of a knife to scrape all of the seeds into the bowl with the fruit); stir in both the seeds and the vanilla bean halves. Let peach mixture sit for 2-3 hours, or overnight (in the refrigerator).
Leave the vanilla bean in while cooking the jam, removing it just before filling your jars.
I love vanilla bean flecks!
Low Sugar Peach Vanilla Jam
5 cups crushed peaches (about 4 1b)
1 ¼ cups sugar, divided
1/2 tsp powdered stevia
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 vanilla bean
1 box low-sugar pectin
Combine peaches, 1 cup sugar, stevia and lemon juice in a large saucepan or bowl. Split vanilla in half lengthwise. Scrape seeds into bowl with peaches. Stir in vanilla bean. Let sit for 2-3 hours or overnight (refrigerate if leaving overnight).
Mix pectin with 1/4 cup sugar. Stir into peach mixture. Bring to a hard boil (boiling doesn’t stop when stirred) over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove vanilla bean.
Ladle into jars, leaving 1/8” headspace. Wipe rims of jars. Place lids on jars.
Place jars in a boiling bath canner or steam canner. Return water to a gentle boil. Process 10 minutes. Cool on a towel on kitchen counter for 24 hours. Check seal.
Yield: 5-6 half-pint jars