Mexican Vanilla Peach Jam


I have great memories of watching my grandparents make jam together. My grandpa chopping the fruit (usually apricots or strawberries) and my grandma manning the massive pot on the stove, stirring and scooping off the inevitable foam as the fruit boiled. Once everything was in jars and several had been given away, the rest were relegated to the fruit cellar under their basement stairs. There they sat until a fruit basket was made up for someone or until they fell prey to my grandmother’s insatiable sweet tooth and love of toast with jam.

About a year ago I got it in my head that I wanted to try my hand at making some. I’m not sure what took so long, but I finally got around to it last Sunday. Peaches were on sale ($1.07 a pound!) and I made it to the hardware store to pick up some adorable half pint Ball jars. It was 108 degrees outside, so what else would I do other than fire up the stove for an extended period of time and put the AC to its limits?



Mexican Vanilla Peach Jam
• 5 lbs yellow peaches (about 10 cups)
• 5 C sugar (I used 4, next time I’ll use 2)
• 2 tsp lemon juice
• 3 Tbsp Mexican vanilla (or 4 Tbsp regular)
Yield: 6-7 pints


1. This is the most time-consuming part, peel and chop up all of your peaches. I used a potato peeler to remove the skins, but you can also drop them into a boiling pot of water for 2 minutes then use a paring knife.


2. Combine the cut up peaches, sugar, and lemon juice in a glass bowl. Allow it to sit for an hour, stirring occasionally. This allows all of the juices to come out of the fruit.


3. Transfer everything to a large stainless or enamel pot and add the vanilla. Bring everything up to boiling and set your timer for 25 minutes, stir occasionally.


4. Now you’ll need to prepare your canning jars. In another large pot place all of the jars, lids, and rings. Fill the pot with water, covering everything with at least one inch. Bring the water up to a simmer, then turn off the heat. Remove and dry the lids and rings, but leave the jars in the hot water. This will keep them from cracking once you put the hot jam inside.


<Insert photo of bubbling pot that I got too distracted to take>

5. After about 15 minutes of your jam mixture boiling, get out a potato masher and have at it. The pieces should be more or less cooked and “mash” fairly easily.


<Insert photo of finished jam in pot that I got too distracted to take>

6. Around 20-25 minutes in your jam should start to reach the jelling point. You’ll know because it actually starts to resemble – what else – JAM! Turn off the heat and get out a ladle.


7. One by one remove your jars from their bath, dry and carefully ladle the hot jam into the jar leaving 1/4″ of breathing room. If you get any on the outside take a second and wipe it off. Put on the lid and the ring, and turn the jar upside down to rest at room temperature for the next 24 hours. (Some people like to put the jars back into a boiling bath for 10 minutes.)


* Please note that because this jam is pectin-free it has a shorter shelf-life, about a month in the refrigerator once the jar’s seal is broken.

 All subpar photos copyright of Kelly Beall/Design Crush

  • adele

    July 26, 2011 at 10:27 am Reply

    It’s really funny, but I never eat jam, don’t know why, cos I like it!!!

  • Kerry @ Paper Dahlia

    July 26, 2011 at 10:50 am Reply

    This looks SO yummy! I think I could eat just the peaches covered in sugar 😉

    • Kelly

      July 26, 2011 at 10:51 am Reply

      I may have sample a few. 😉

  • Jana

    July 26, 2011 at 10:51 am Reply

    So weird! I just said to my husband last night that I wanted to make peach jam! (I’m not the cook, he is)Thanks for sharing, I’m going to try this out this week.

  • Addie

    July 26, 2011 at 10:55 am Reply

    I never realized jam didnt have to be a huge process… I might have to try this!

    Can you give a few details about why you are using less sugar next time? Was it too sweet overall or just for you? Curious

    • Kelly

      July 26, 2011 at 11:04 am Reply

      It was a little too sweet for me, but I have to admit the second day the sugar seems to have blended with the other flavors rather nicely!

  • Mrs C

    July 26, 2011 at 11:02 am Reply

    Wow!! This looks heavenly and not too difficult! Would love to try…thank you! I’m sure this smells the whole house and you have some great memories of that!
    Recipes Fashion Marriage

  • Mauimandy@The Grains of Paradise

    July 26, 2011 at 3:12 pm Reply

    This looks delicious! Always wanted to try canning fruit esp. during mango season over here! One of these days!

  • Uncle Beefy

    July 26, 2011 at 8:50 pm Reply

    Holy peach pits, Batman! That looks uh-MAZING!!! Eep! Well done, Miss Kelly! 🙂

    • Kelly

      July 26, 2011 at 8:52 pm Reply

      Thanks, Bradford! For my first attempt it turned out really well.

  • kim

    July 27, 2011 at 5:08 pm Reply

    Just thought you’d like to know – the USDA does not recommend the turn-your-jars-upside-down method because it carries a botulism risk. Food safety in canning is something you should never mess around with.

    If you’d like to learn more, this is a good resource:

  • baron

    July 29, 2011 at 9:43 pm Reply

    yeah I clicked comments to make the same remark as kim- so I’ll second it. It only takes ten minutes more, and botulism is the gnarliest way to go (ugh). Basically water processing brings the temperature of the food inside the jars to a certain point, then sustains it long enough to kill whatever’s lurking inside. If you’re worried about a “cooked” flavor, you can add natural fruit-derived pectins to your jam and cook it for a shorter amount of time. I’m totes gonna try this recipe though!

  • Becky

    August 4, 2011 at 8:05 am Reply

    I am making this as we speak. I cannot wait to try it!

    • Kelly

      August 4, 2011 at 8:43 am Reply

      hope you enjoy it!

  • Becky

    July 10, 2017 at 9:41 pm Reply

    I just want you to know six years later and I am still referring back to your recipe every year for jam. Went peach picking this past weekend and I’ve spent all day processing canned peaches, syrup and now jam. Thanks for the delicious recipe.

    • Kelly

      July 11, 2017 at 11:15 am Reply

      Oh, that makes me so happy Becky! Happy canning. 🙂

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