Peach & Vanilla Jam

I didn’t realise that when I posted the photos on  FB yesterday, it would be so popular!! But Christmas has officially arrived in my household and my hampers are officially open!

This year, I thought I’d try my hand a jam, a summer jam, in the middle of winter because, well why not? The colour and texture of the jam is adaptable enough for you to be able to add some festive flare.

I admit peaches, decent peaches at that are pretty hard to come by, I was lucky that my parents visited York last weekend and they had a glorious farmers market in which they bought back peaches, but if you’re patient enough, store bought peaches to ripen in the bowl will be just as good.

I found the recipe in the September issue of Sainsburys magazine.

You will need:

750g (about 7/8) ripe peaches

juice of 2 lemons

550g of jam sugar

1 vanilla pod

a knob of unsalted butter (optional – I didn’t use this)

Firstly, skin the peaches by scoring a X at the bottom and place in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 1 minute. Drain and cool in cold water before peeling skins with a knife.

Cut each peach in half, remove the stone and cut each half into two or three pieces. Put in a large pan with the lemon juice and two tablespoons of water. Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes, or until the fruit is tender. Meanwhile, heat the jam sugar in a heatproof bowl in the microwave for 5 minutes. You can use an oven if preferred.

Split the vanilla pod open lengthways scrape the seeds out. Cut the split pod into two or three pieces and add to the fruit along with the seeds, sugar and if using, butter.

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Pop a jam thermometer into the pan and bring to the boil, stirring regularly. Boil until the jam reaches setting point (105 degrees) and then take off the heat.

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Set aside for ten minutes before pouring into sterilised jars. You will have a very runny jam to start, but persevere as it will eventually set into a beautiful, tasty – if a little sharp jam!

Now, the best bit was making the jam that little bit more festive. I added edible gold glitter to the jam as it cooled and when they went into the jars, they gave off this very festive sparkly effect! Imagine having that on your toast on Boxing Day morning? glorious!

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