29 August 2018

Vanilla Peach Jam Recipe With Whiskey

Add whiskey to this vanilla peach jam recipe to enhance the vanilla flavor.  

When we moved to the farm almost six years ago, we were thrilled that it was established with an orchard and several different type of edible plants and trees.  In addition to the 200 fruit trees, we have rhubarb, asparagus, strawberries, and nut trees growing on the farm.  

At the front of the property, there is a large orchard with peach, apple, pear, plum, and cherry trees.  The trees were planted with canning in baking in mind because there are different kinds of each tree, each selected for a different reason.

Want applesauce?  We have apples for that.  Apple pies?  Yep, that too.  

There's one white peach tree here, and it gives us delicious fruits.  I have no idea what the rest of the peach trees are, but I do know that they are yummy.


We don't get peaches every year.  In Ohio, sometimes the winter is just too harsh for the trees to produce fruit.  We got a good crop last year, and this year is an excellent crop.  

I started picking peaches last weekend.  Dakota and I made 7 quarts of sliced peaches in a light sugar syrup on Saturday.  Sunday, we made vanilla peach jam with whiskey.  
When more peaches get ripe, I'll make spiced peach jam and peach pie filling.  

I think it's important to teach my kids how to can foods.  It's a dying art, but it shouldn't be.  Home canned food is so much more flavorful. 

It also saves a lot of money in our budget.  We can also eat healthy food all winter to get essential vitamins and minerals.  

VANILLA PEACH JAM RECIPE WITH WHISKEY


The first year we were here, we had bushels and bushels of peaches.  I canned I think 28 quarts of peaches and still had peaches left.  My kids aren't real big on peach jam, so I got creative with it.
I found a recipe for vanilla peach jam that called for whiskey.  I was intrigued!


If you've made chocolate desserts, then you've probably added coffee or espresso.  The coffee enhances the flavor of the chocolate and makes it richer.  

That's what whiskey does for vanilla.  

You can omit the whiskey, but your flavor won't be as rich.  Don't worry; the alcohol cooks off, so it's safe to use.  

But still, I know that people have reasons for not using alcohol in recipes or having it in the house. In that case, just follow the recipe without the whiskey.  

Before we move to the recipe, I'm going to assume that you know how to can food.  If you don't, just post a comment with questions or email me.  I can do a Canning 101 post with full instructions in the next few weeks if there's any interest.


This vanilla peach jam can also be frozen.   I have a stand up freezer that is almost full, so I like to can food.

If you do want to freeze it, just follow the directions until you start to fill the jars.  At that point, fill up a freezer container and leave about 1/2 inch headspace for expansion and freeze it after it sits for 24 hours. 

This isn't a low sugar peach jam recipe, but it could be.  To make it a low sugar recipe, follow the directions for low sugar Sure Gel to make 8-10 pints of jam.  Add the vanilla and whiskey after you boil the jam and just before you ladle it into jars.

JAM MAKING TIPS


My grandmothers both made jam and canned it, but I didn't learn from them.  By the time I was old enough to help, they had really slowed down on how much canning and preserving they did.

I got my jam making knowledge from experience and from reading reliable sources.  I'm fortunate to be close to an extension of the Ohio State University, so I've attended a few of their canning talks and gotten information from them for safe canning.

Always use a larger pot than you think you'll need.  The jam boils up, and you don't want a spill.

You need to get your jam to a full boil.  You should not be able to stir away the boil.

Jam should be firm.  If it doesn't get hot enough, it could be runny.  This won't affect the flavor, and it's fine to eat.

I use a thermometer to make sure I get the jam up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit after I add the sugar.  This is the temperature at which the pectin binds with the sugar and the sugar starts to gel.


You can also do a drop test.  When you start making jam, put a plate in the freezer.  Before you spoon the jam into the jars, take the plate out of the freezer and put a spoon of jam on the plate.  Put it back in the freezer for two minutes.  Then test for doneness.  It should form a skin on the top.  When you touch it, it should wrinkle.

Personally, I like the thermometer method, but the freezer method works well, too.

When you're working with pectin, it's very important not to alter the recipe.  Don't use more or less sugar because there's a delicate balance between the sugar and the pectin.

When you're done making jam and take them out of the canner, let them sit on cooling racks up to 12 hours before you move them.  While you can eat it right away, it won't be fully set for up to two weeks.  

INGREDIENTS



  • 6 cups peaches, peeled and chopped (about 7 large peaches)
  • 5 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 box Sure Gel or 1/3 cup bulk pectin
  • 1 tablespoon whiskey or bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

EQUIPMENT 


DIRECTIONS


STEP #1

Wash and peel your peaches.  If you want a smooth jam, use a food processor to chop the fruit.  I don't mind chunks, so I use a serrated food chopper.

STEP #2

Put 6 cups of chopped peaches, lemon juice, and pectin in a dutch oven or heavy sauce pan.  Cook on high until it reaches a full boil.  Stir constantly.  You should not be able to stir down the boil.

To prevent clumps, sprinkle half of the pectin on the peaches and stir.  Then sprinkle on the other half.


STEP #3

After it comes to a full boil, pour in the sugar and keep stirring. Let it come to a full boil that can't be stirred down for one minute.

I used a candy thermometer to test my jam. You can also do the plate test as mentioned above.

STEP #4

Remove from heat.  Add vanilla extract and whiskey.  Stir well.


STEP #5

Ladle into hot jelly jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Use the bubble remove to scrape the sides and remove air bubbles.  Wipe the tops of the jars, place a clean lid on it, and tighten a band.

Use your jar lifter to transfer the jars into the canner.  I would have been able to fill the canner, but I saved one jar to eat right away.

If your canner isn't full, fill an empty jar with water and place it in the canner.  This stops the jars of food from falling over and risking leaking.

STEP #6

Process in a water bath for 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat, take off the lid, and let the jars sit for 5 minutes.  Remove jars and let cool for 12 hours before storing.

The first time I made this, I swear I heard angels singing.  It it that amazing!

I don't each much bread, so I don't use this on toast or bread.  Instead, I use it to flavor my homemade yogurt.

It's also amazing on vanilla ice cream, especially homemade ice cream.

Make an appetizer dip by putting a block of cream cheese on a plate.  Spoon this vanilla peach jam recipe over the cream cheese.  Spread on bread, crackers, or even pretzels.  It makes a unique and interesting dip for guests.






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Cari Dunn
Cari Dunn

Cari lives on a small farm in Ohio with her husband, three kids, two dogs, two cats, five goats, several chickens, and homing pigeons. She loves Gilmore Girls, coffee, and her kids. Not in that order.