Excerpted from Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin by Allison Carroll Duffy (Fair Winds Press, June 2013)
Allison says: “If I were to eat any jam by the spoonful (which I admit to doing, on occasion), this would be the one. I also love a big dollop of it on top of vanilla ice cream. It’s great in baked goods, too—as a filling for cookie bars, or even turnovers. The deep intensity of maple and vanilla, combined with the lusciousness of fresh peaches, is just heavenly.“
Yield: 4 to 5 cups
Before You Begin:
Prepare calcium water. To do this, combine 1/2 teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with 1/2 cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well. Extra calcium water may be stored in the refrigerator for future use.
Maple-Vanilla-Peach Jam Ingredients
3 1/4 pounds fully ripe peaches (See “Perfect Peaches!” tip below.)
1 vanilla bean
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 teaspoons calcium water
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 teaspoons Pomona’s pectin powder
Maple-Vanilla-Peach Jam Directions
1. Wash your jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring canner to a rolling boil, and boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize them. (Add 1 extra minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.) Reduce heat and allow jars to remain in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan, heat to a low simmer, and hold until ready to use.
2. Peel and remove pits from peaches, and then mash the peaches in a large bowl. (See “How to Skin a Peach” tip below.)
3. Measure 4 cups of the mashed peaches (saving any extra for another use), and pour the measured amount into a saucepan. Using a paring knife, slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Add the vanilla seeds and the bean pod itself to the fruit, along with the lemon juice and calcium water. Mix well.
4. In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup and pectin powder. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
5. Bring fruit to a full boil over high heat. Slowly add pectin–maple syrup mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve pectin while the jam comes back up to a boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat. Using tongs, carefully remove the vanilla bean pod from the jam and discard.
6. Can Your Jam: Remove jars from canner and ladle jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, put on lids and screw bands, and tighten to fingertip tight. Lower filled jars into canner, ensuring jars are not touching each other and are covered with at least 1 to 2 inches of water. Place lid on canner, return to a rolling boil, and process for 10 minutes. (Add 1 extra minute of processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level). Turn off heat and allow canner to sit untouched for 5 minutes, then remove jars and allow to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Confirm that jars have sealed, then store properly.
Tip: Perfect Peaches!
This recipe requires mashed peaches, so be sure that your peaches are fully ripe and soft enough to mash. If they’re not, however, simply place peeled, pitted, chopped peaches in a saucepan with 1/2 cup water. Simmer for 5 minutes to soften them, and then mash. (There is no need to drain the water after cooking—simply mash the peach mixture as is.)
Tip: How to Skin a Peach
If you are dealing with a small quantity of fruit, slice off peach (or nectarine) skins with a paring knife (pitting and quartering the fruit first). However, if you’re doubling the recipe and are working with a lot of fruit, you may want to blanch them to remove the skins instead. Simply drop peaches or nectarines one at a time into boiling water for about 30 to 60 seconds, then remove and immediately dunk in cold water. You should then be able to slip the skins right off.
For more inspiring recipe ideas, see Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin: The Revolutionary Low-Sugar, High-Flavor Method for Crafting and Canning Jams, Jellies, Conserves, and More by Allison Carroll Duffy and the Pomona’s Partners, published by Fair Winds Press, June 2013, and available in paper or ebook everywhere books are sold.
Pomona’s Pectin is available at your local natural food store, food co-op, and many farm stands. Find it also at Sur La Table and a growing number of more conventional grocery stores with natural food sections (Wegmans, Hy-Vee, Rosauers, Nugget Markets, Coborns, Fairway, and others). If you can’t find a store near you on our store locator, you can order from our website or many other online sellers.