After a busy week of baking for various family festivities (Imagine 250+ decorated sugar cookies, and 100+ frosted cupcakes, plus 40 hours of dentistry…I am so tired from all the fun!), it was nice to spend my evening at home making some jam to enjoy this week while we prepare for our next big event: my sister’s graduation party! It smells so delicious while you make it, that it’s difficult to be patient until it is ready to enjoy.
Credit: The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook by Tom Douglas and Shelley Lance
2 1/2 pounds peaches or nectarines, peeled or unpeeled
1 1/2 cups sugar, preferably superfine
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
2 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin (available at Williams-Sonoma, Whole Foods, or Amazon.com)
1. Remove the peach flesh from the pits and roughly chop into about 1/4- to 1/2-inch chunks using a chef’s knife. (You should have about 7 cups chopped fruit). Put the chopped peaches in a bowl with 1 cup of the sugar, the corn syrup, and the lemon juice.
2. Use the tip of a paring knife to scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add both the scrapings and the pod to the peaches Stir to combine everything well.
3. Put the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the pectin in a medium bowl ad whisk to combine. Set aside.
4. Put the peach mixture in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and bring the liquid (peach juices, corn syrup, and dissolved sugar) to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed and stirring occasionally. (There is no need to skim the foam even if you see some.)
5. Add about a cup of the hot peach mixture to the bowl of pectin-sugar mixture and whisk to form a paste. Scrape the paste back into the saucepan of peaches,return to a simmer, and simmer for 4to 5 more minutes, stirring frequently.
6. Remove the jam from the heat and ladle it into jars, removing the vanilla pod. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the jam in each jar (to avoid forming a skin) and allow the jam to cool to room temperature. When the jam is at room temperature, remove the plastic wrap and screw the lids on the jars,then place the jam in the refrigerator until set, at least 8 hours.