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I have recently discovered the wonders of  Peach with Bourbon and Vanilla. After making some booxy peaches to serve with ice cream, I decided to make a jam version of those boozy peaches. Peaches and vanilla bean is a classic flavor combination. It brings out the sweetness and caramel in the bourbon. The jam cooks long enough that you lose the sting of alcohol but are left with the complex spicy sweet elements that just make this jam magical.

  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 -3/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Prepare the peaches by peeling and roughly chopping them. Place into the bowl of a food processor or blender, and pulse so you have a nice chunky puree.

Combine with the remaining ingredients, except for the vanilla bean,  into a large, heavy bottomed pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently. The mixture will foam a bit. Skim the foam and and continue to cook on a simmer until reduced in volume by about a third. At this time start checking for the gel. I like to take a plate and place it in the freezer. Drop a little bit of the hot jam onto the plate and hold it up. It should be slow moving and thick. If it is runny, keep cooking it down.

You can, optionally use a low sugar pectin of you like to make sure the jam is thickly set. I don’t have any issue with a thinner set jam. So I just go without. Most times my jams are thick and rich. The times they are a little thin, I use anyways! Never had a piece of bread complain yet. Also keep in mind that it will thicken as the natural pectin goes to work.

Ladle into hot jars and process*. (dont include the bean pod)

Makes about 6-8 half pints. Yield depends on how much you end up reducing to get to the gel point.

Processing jars of jam is easy. Be sure to refer to the USDA site for canning basics or pick up the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book of Canning. Its inexpensive and will take you through everything you need to know about safe home preservation!