Friday, June 24, 2022

Peach Vanilla Jam Low Sugar Canning Recipe

This peach vanilla jam low sugar is a delicious way to preserve fresh peaches.  There are several peach jam variations, and this is a favorite because the vanilla complements the peach flavor.  Use this low sugar peach jam recipe on toast, biscuits, or to flavor oatmeal or yogurt.

Low Sugar Peach Jam Recipe

We've always grown vegetables at home, but we didn't get into fruit trees until we moved to the farm.  When we were walking around the first time, he showed us the orchard with peach trees.

Peach trees?  In Ohio?  That's a thing?

Yes, we can grow peaches!  We get them in mid to late August instead of early summer like the south, but we do grow delicious peaches.

We have about twenty peach trees, and I do not let them go to waste, much the the dismay of the local deer population.  

I make canned peaches, peach pie filling, and unique peach jam recipes.

My kids don't like peach jam variations, but I use them for desserts or for mixing in my oatmeal or yogurt.

For more low sugar jam and jelly recipes, check out these posts:

Why is There So Much Sugar in Jam?

In canning, sugar acts like a preservative.  For jams and jellies, sugar helps create a gel with the pectin.  However, you can use Sure Jell for Low or No Sugar Recipes to reduce the sugar in this peach vanilla bean jam.

Sugar does act like a preservative, so a low sugar peach jam recipe has a shorter shelf life than jam made with full sugar.  

After a year, you'll notice that the color and taste start to fade.  In addition, peach vanilla jam low sugar has a shorter shelf life once opened.

When you cook sugar, it thickens and binds with the pectin to make a gel to thicken the jam or jelly.  Low sugar pectin has calcium in it to bind to the pectin in addition to the lower amount of sugar.

If your peach vanilla jam recipe doesn't set well, it could be the pectin.  Learn about possible reasons jam or jelly didn't set up and how to fix runny jam.

You can also download a free printable with this information to keep in your canning journal.

Can I Put Less Sugar in my Jam?

The only way to reduce the amount of sugar is to make a low sugar peach jam recipe with Sure Jell for Less or No Sugar Needed Recipes.  

Using less sugar with regular pectin will simply not work because the pectin won't for a good gel.

You can also use Pamona's Universal pectin, which comes with calcium to make calcium water.  The recipe to use Pamona's pectin may be different, so check their directions.

Can I Use Honey or Maple Syrup Instead of Sugar to Make Jam?

If you use regular pectin, then you can not use honey or maple syrup instead of sugar.  You can, however, make chia seed jam with any fruit to make a sugar free jam and use honey or maple syrup to sweeten.

This makes a small batch and isn't for canning, but you can freeze extra jam.

Why Do You Add Lemon Juice to Jam?

Not all jam recipes call for lemon juice.  However, if the recipe calls for it, then you do need it.  This low sugar peach jam recipe does call for fresh lemon juice.

Lemon juice lowers the pH of your jam.  This neutralizes the negative charge on the pectin, which allows them to bind in a way that they create a gel.

In layman's terms, it helps the pectin create a better gel.  I cheat and use a bottle lemon juice.

What is the Best Peach for Jam?

Clingstone peaches are the best peaches for making a peach vanilla jam recipe.  These peaches are smaller, but they are softer and sweeter than freestone peaches.  You can often find them at farmer's markets.

Can You Leave the Peach Skin on for Jam?

You can leave the skins on when you make peach vanilla jam.  The skins give it more flavor and a deeper color.

That said, I peel my peaches.  It's very easy to peel them.  Simply boil water and dip the washed peaches into the water for 30 seconds.  

Then place the peaches in ice water.  The skills will slide right off.  If the skin don't come off, then the peaches are not ripe.

Can You Use Vanilla Extract When Canning?

Yes, you can use vanilla extract to make peach and vanilla jam.  Learn how to make vanilla extract from vanilla beans or make Instant Pot vanilla extract.

However, I recommend using a vanilla bean or vanilla paste.  If you use a vanilla bean, you will scrap the seeds from the vanilla bean.  Alternately, you can use vanilla bean paste.

Tips for Making Peach Vanilla Bean Jam

Here are some tips for your low sugar peach jam recipe:

  • You do not need to sterilize your jars since you are water bath canning this peach vanilla jam for 10 minutes or longer.  You can learn more in my how to sterilize canning jars post.
  • Follow the directions carefully and use the amount of ingredients called for in the recipe.  Using more or less of an ingredient can result in the peach vanilla jam low sugar not setting.
  • I love this serrated food chopper to chop fruit for jams and jellies.
  • Do not double this peach vanilla bean jam.  You can, however, make one batch and put it in jars.  Then make another batch and process both batches at the same time.
  • You can use fresh or frozen peaches to make peach vanilla jam.  I place frozen peaches right in the pot and heat them before proceeding with the recipe.
  • You do need to process this peach vanilla jam recipe in a water bath canner.  This is the only way to kill the germs inside the jar before it seals.  You can learn more in my canning mistakes that can kill you post.
  • If your canning jars didn't seal, learn about reasons for a false seal and how to reprocess your jam.
  • Check out my canning supplies for beginners to see what you need to get started.

Peach Vanilla Bean Jam Ingredients

You will need the following to make peach and vanilla jam:

You will also need the following equipment to make peach vanilla jam:

How to Make Peach Vanilla Bean Jam

Step #1

Wash the peaches.  Remove the skins if desired.  Crush them to get 4 1/2 cups of peaches.  Place them in a large saucepan.  Scrape the vanilla bean and add that to the peaches.  If you are using vanilla paste or vanilla extract, you can add that now.

Step #2

Measure the sugar and place in a separate bowl.

Step #3

Combine 1/4 cup of the prepared sugar and the contents of the Sure Jell in a small bowl.  Stir well.  Add to the crushed peaches and stir.

Step #4

Bring the peach and pectin mixture to a boil.  It should be a full boil that can't be stirred down.

Step #5

Add the rest of the sugar and stir.  Bring it back to a boil and boil for exactly 1 minute while stirring constantly.  You should not be able to stir down the boil.  Remove from heat and skim off any foam.  

Step #6

Ladle the peach and vanilla jam into jelly jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace.  Wipe the jar tims and add lids and bands.

Step #7

Place the jars into hot water on a canning rack in the water bath canner.  Add hot water as needed so the jars are covered by 1 to 2 inches of hot water.  Process jam for 10 minutes  When the time is up, remove the lid from the canner and turn off the heat.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Use a jar lifter to remove the jars and place on a heat proof surface.  Let cool completely before testing the seal.

This peach vanilla jam low sugar recipe makes 5 cups.

I hope you enjoy this peach vanilla bean jam!  

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