Vanilla Peach, Blueberry, Strawberry Jam

I should name this postĀ Adventures in Jamming! I must admit I went on a bit of a jamming bender this year and I don’t think it will be stopping any time soon. There is such a wide variety of fruits and berries coming into season, that are crying out to be made into jam. It all started when I started digging into the Hubby’s mothers’ recipes and he reminisced about his mothers canned peaches. I may try my hand at canning peaches as well, but thought I’d post my recipes for jam in the meantime.

Vanilla Peach, Blueberry, Strawberry JamThe first to start off the process was blueberry jam. Blueberries are found in abundance in the region and I probably have bought about 25 pounds. Some were eaten, some were frozen whole, and a large portion was made into blueberry jam and a combination of blueberry butter and jam. The jam was made sugar free and the butter jam was made with very limited amounts of sugar. Both taste like mashed blueberries.

I prefer to use Bernadin No Sugar Needed Pectin, as it drastically cuts down on the sugar required and lets the taste of the fruit shine through. I followed their recipes as well.

Next on the docket was taking care of the 10lbs of beautiful local strawberries. These jars were made with zero sugar and again just taste like mashed up strawberries. Slightly tart, but oh so good and was like biting into a plump strawberry itself.

EDIT: It’s been a few weeks since I made the strawberry jam and I finally cracked a jar. I have to say I am not impressed. It really did need sugar and it’s almost bland now. Another change I’d make is to skim off any of the foam from the cooking process. It made a weird thin layer on top and does not look appealing. I am very tempted to chuck the whole batch. It tasted great when it was fresh, but definitely loses something afterward.

After those two successes I wanted to make vanilla peach jam. Here is where I have a few changes planned for the next batch. One is to buy freestone peaches. I bought Red Haven peaches, which meant cutting around the stone versus cutting in half and popping the stone out. The second is to let them ripen more. Putting the peaches to the side for a week or so to ripen as much as possible will make a big difference. This will not only lends to a stronger peach flavor, but also make the skins easier to peel off. The third is a small minor change – buying a fresh vanilla bean. I had two pods that were a bit old and I couldn’t slice open to get the seeds out. As such, I had to throw the beans in whole and then add a wee splash of vanilla extract. I’d prefer having a fresher pod and scraping the seeds out, next time.

strawberry and vanilla peach jamNot that the peach jam was horrible. Actually, both the strawberry and peach tasted delicious in their own way!

The strawberry was a bit tart, bursting with strawberry flavor. The peach jam was a bit sweeter, with a nice vanilla ending note. As I didn’t use super ripe peaches, the taste of the peaches isn’t as strong as I’d like, but still there and still delicious on a piece of hot buttered toast.

Have everything ready to go!

  1. A jar lifter, a ladle, a whisk, wooden spoon, and a large-mouthed funnel and a small plate to rest the funnel on in between filling jars.
  2. Have some paper towel pieces ready to wipe the rims of the jars clean.
  3. A deep enough pot so that the jars are covered in water. I like to boil my jam jars in the water while everything is being prepared. This way you’ll have the correct volume of water ready and boiling for the water bath and will clean and disinfect your jars at the same time.
  4. An odd item for when your jams are very thick is a large skewer or stir stick to give the jam in the jar a little stir, removing any air pockets. My jams (so far) have been quite liquidy and this step is not really needed. The jam has set up like a dream, very solid.
  5. A fine sieve spoon. This is to skim off the foam – very important when making jelly to keep it nice and clear.
  6. A pair of wee tongs, to lift the cap and lids out of the water.
  7. I like to recruit the Hubby to screw the lids on tighter to keep the assembly line going.

tools for making jam

The Recipes

Both the Hubby and I are not fond of super sweet jam. Because the strawberries were sweet enough on their own this is a truly sugar free jam.

Strawberry Jam
Print

Strawberry Jam

Ingredients

  • 12 cups crushed strawberries (approximately 9 pounds)
  • 3 cups unsweetened apple juice (or white grape)
  • 3 49g packages BERNARDINĀ® No Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin

Instructions

  • Place a canning rack or rubber trivets in the bottom of the canning pot. Fill the canning pot full of water (with jam jars inside) and bring to a boil.
  • Place the lids and rings into a pot and cover with water. Bring the pot to a boil and then turn down to a gentle simmer.
  • While the pots of water heat up, clean and hull the strawberries, slice thickly and put into the food processor.
  • Crush the strawberries into a thick pulp. Once there is 12 cups worth, put into a large sauce pot.
  • Add the juice and pectin and whisk to combine.
  • Bring to a boil, stirring with the wooden spoon.
  • Boil for 3 minutes, continuing to gently stir with the wooden spoon.
  • Remove from heat. Using the jar lifter, pull a jar out of the boiling water.
  • Using the funnel, ladle the jam into the jar until 1/4 inch from the top. Wipe any drips off with the paper towel.
  • Use a small pair of tongs to lift a lid and ring out of their pot and place on the jar. Screw tightly and set aside.
  • Once all the jars have been removed from the water, use the jar lifter to place the filled jars back in and bathe for 10 minutes.
  • Once done in the water bath, removing using the jar lifter and set aside to cool.

Notes

I used Bernardin No Sugar Needed pectin and the recipe on their website.
If you'd like to make the jam extra sweet, once the strawberry mixture has been brought to a boil, add a cup of granulated sugar at a time testing for desired sweetness. Then bring to a boil for 3 minutes.

Due to the fact I did not use super ripe peaches, the jam wasn’t overly sweet. I added 1 cup of granulated sugar to the mixture, and it made it just sweet enough.

Vanilla Peach Jam
Print

Vanilla Peach Jam

Ingredients

  • 8 cups crushed peaches
  • 2 cups unsweetened apple juice or white grape
  • 2 49g packages BERNARDINĀ® No Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (if needed)

Instructions

  • Place a canning rack or rubber trivets in the bottom of the canning pot. Fill the canning pot full of water (with jam jars insidand bring to a boil.
  • Place the lids and rings into a pot and cover with water. Bring the pot to a boil and then turn down to a gentle simmer.
  • Blanch the peaches in boiling water until you see the skin begin to split, remove immediately with a slotted spoon and put in an ice bath. The skins should easily slide off or be quickly removed using a paring knife.
  • Remove the pit and rough chop the peaches and put into the food processor.
  • Crush the peaches into a thick pulp. Once there is 8 cups worth, put into a large sauce pot.
  • Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod and add along with the juice and pectin to the sauce pot. Whisk to combine.
  • Bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon.
  • Boil for 3 minutes, continuing to gently stir with the wooden spoon.
  • Remove from heat. Using the jar lifter, pull a jar out of the boiling water.
  • Using the funnel, ladle the jam into the jar until 1/4 inch from the top. Wipe any drips off with the paper towel.
  • Use a small pair of tongs to lift a lid and ring out of their pot and place on the jar. Screw tightly and set aside.
  • Once all the jars have been removed from the water, use the jar lifter to place the filled jars back in and bathe for 10 minutes.
  • Once done in the water bath, removing using the jar lifter and set aside to cool.

Notes

I used Bernadin No Sugar Needed Pectin and followed the recipe from their site.
If the mixture is thick, swirl the bamboo skewer in the jar to remove any air pockets.

I’ve already entered the recipe for the Blueberry Maple Jam. Please find it by clicking on the picture or the link.

Blueberry Maple Jam

JAM (STRAWBERRY, VANILLA PEACH, BLUEBERRY)

Post navigation


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *