We've mostly been sticking to the traditional jam recipes in the Blue Book this year, since we are novices. But we decided to try to add a little something to our peach jam to give it another flavor dimension -- vanilla bean.
We were able to peel the peaches with a peeler since they were firm enough to not bruise with the applied pressure.
You can add the pod as well as the seeds when you cook the jam down.
And of course the sugar that makes a jam a jam.
I have to say our dutch oven has been invaluable in making jam this year. I've always wanted a beautiful Le Crueset, but ever accurate and trustworthy Cooks Illustrated rated a $49.99 dutch oven by Tramontina at the exact same level as the Le Crueset that costs six times more. One of our top 5 kitchen purchases, hands down.
Sadly some of the vanilla beans get trapped in the foam that lays on the sides of the pan as it cooks down. Another important part of the jam that I should mention is the lemon juice. Sometimes canning recipes call specifically for bottled lemon juice and not fresh. This is because the citric acid in bottled lemon juice is more consistent than fresh lemons, which can vary. When your recipe's seal and safety depends on a specific amount of citric acid, it calls for bottled juice.
Next to the whole peaches we now have peach vanilla jam. One more type of jam to smush on these shelves...