Bourbon Peach Jam with Vanilla Bean

I think bourbon is the perfect spirit to pair with peaches and this Bourbon Peach Jam with Vanilla Bean is a decadent start to the day! Serve it on toast or ice cream or even make a cocktail with it, it’s absolutely delicious!

Bourbon Peach Jam with Vanilla Bean

Forget the old adage of ‘When life hand you lemons, make lemonade.’ This month I’m going with ‘When life hands you peaches, make this Bourbon Peach Jam with Vanilla Bean.’ And life has handed me a ton of peaches! You want peaches…we’ve got peaches!

Not every year is a bountiful peach season in Colorado, they crop on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains can be subject to a late spring freeze and these peaches become like gold…hard to find and pricey to boot. But when the crop is good? They’re stocked at the local Sprouts at prices that are amazing…I sure love those years!

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Colorado Peaches

Maybe one of Colorado’s best kept secrets is our amazing peaches. Not produced in the abundance that Georgia peaches are, they are mostly shipped to all points in Colorado and though not heralded like their southern cousins, they should be!

Growing them on the Western Slope means they are subject to warm days and cool nights and that makes them sweet and juicy and seriously the best I’ve ever had. I decided to also include some Fireside Bourbon from Mile High Spirits; made in Colorado of course!

Peeling peaches

One thing that would typically keep me from making this Bourbon Peach Jam with Vanilla Bean might be the tedium of peeling 20 peaches. But wait!! Peaches (and tomatoes) are actually so easy to peel. Simply cut a crosshatch in the bottom and blanch them for 1 minute in boiling water.

Remove them from the water and dunk them in a big bowl of ice water to cool and voila…the peel will have started to curl back where it was cut and it’s as easy as just slipping that sucker off!

Bourbon Peach Jam with Vanilla Bean

When I was finished, I first tried my Bourbon Peach Jam with Vanilla Bean on an English Muffin and then I had English Muffins for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then I tasted some on vanilla ice cream. I believe swoon would be the word.

This week I’m going to use a jar to make the peach barbecue sauce in this recipe for smoked chicken. It was good with store-bought peach preserves; I can’t wait to try it with homemade Bourbon Peach Jam!

Bourbon Peach Jam with Vanilla Bean

I call them drip down your chin peaches; that pretty much sums up how they are eaten…unless you take a bit of time and make this A-MAY-ZING peach jam. How good is it? I made 6 pounds of peaches into jam and I swear I’m going to have to hide it from myself. I’m giving it away to protect the innocent (me) from finishing it all off in the first week.

Bourbon, vanilla bean and brown sugar are so perfect with peaches there simply are no adequate words…OK, maybe yummaliciousness works but still does not completely convey how stunning this jam is. The only problem is that it has caused some problems for some canners. I’ve never experienced the same issues but I’m making a couple of changes to help with success.

This recipe calls for simple ingredients; make sure  you have these on hand before you start (full ingredients and recipe at the bottom of the page):

  • 3 1/2 pounds ripe peaches
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons dry pectin
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 vanilla bean, 1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste or 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 3/4 cup bourbon, divided

Although my recipe calls for 3.5 pounds of peaches, I tried doubling it. I think that’s been a mistake, trying to cook down that much jam. This year when I doubled it, I used two pots; seriously made a difference. If you decide to make a bigger batch I suggest you do the same; it did make a big difference in cooking time.

They do not have to cook as long for the jam to start to firm up enough to be canned. The second thing I decided was to use powdered pectin instead of liquid; no sense in adding more liquid to a recipe that some were having trouble firming up!

The substitution means that for every packet of liquid pectin, the recipe will now use 2 Tablespoons of the powdered variety. When you use powdered,  you whisk it into the sugar before you combine it with the fruit; as opposed to adding the liquid ingredient at the end of cooking.

All I can say is that it went faster this year and the texture was great…cooking for so long last year almost made more of a preserve without any chunks of fruit and I do like it chunky! I hope these tips help you too…this is so fantastic that everyone should be making Bourbon Peach Jam!

While it is great for breakfast and on ice cream, one of my favorites has been this Bourbon and Peach Jam Smash Cocktail. I love using jams in cocktails but this one was especially good…cheers!

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Jar of Bourbon Peach Jam with Vanilla Beans
Jar of Bourbon Peach Jam with Jeweled Serving Spoon Filled with Jam
Bourbon Peach Jam with Vanilla Bean

Bourbon Peach Jam with Vanilla Bean

An amazing combination of peaches, vanilla, brown sugar and bourbon. You'll want to eat it with a spoon!
4.37 from 50 or more votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Jams, Jellies & Spreads
Cuisine American
Servings 100 Servings
Calories 68 kcal


  • 3 ½ pounds ripe peaches See Notes for conversion information if measuring by cups
  • 3 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 3 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons dry pectin
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 vanilla bean 1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste or 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • ¾ cup bourbon divided


  • Prepare the jars and lids: place six clean half-pint jars on a tray and put into a 225 degree oven; keep war, until ready to fill.
  • Put the bands and lids into a medium saucepan and cover with water. Heat over medium heat until the water is simmering, then remove the pan from heat and keep the bands and lids in the hot water until ready to use.
  • To Prepare the Peaches
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill another large bowl with ice water. Cut an X into the bottom of each peach and drop them into the boiling water and blanch for 30 seconds. Remove the peaches from the hot water and immediately plunge them into the ice water.
  • Once cool, pull off skin and chop the peaches. Transfer HALF of them to a blender and pulse just until they are coarsely pureed. You should have about 4 cups of puree.
  • Put a large pot for canning on the stove filled with water and heat on high.
  • Put both the pureed and chopped peaches in a large, heavy-bottomed pot.
  • Combine the two sugars and dry pectin and mix well. Combine with the lemon juice, lime juice, 1/2 cup of the bourbon, vanilla and butter.
  • Bring to a full rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Add the remaining bourbon and let boil for a few seconds.
  • Turn off heat and let mixture settle; skim any foam from the surface with a metal spoon. Test the jam on a cold plate to make sure it sets up; if not continue to cook and test until it does.
  • Discard the vanilla bean if used.
  • Remove the jars from the oven and ladle the hot jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars, cover with lids, and screw bands on until just barely tight.
  • Place the jars on a rack in the canning pot with boiling water and cover the pot. When the water in the pot returns to a boil, boil for 10 minutes for half pint jars and 15 minutes for full pints.
  • Turn off heat, remove jars from pot and allow them to rest undisturbed on countertop for six hours or overnight.
  • Preserved jam will keep for up to one year in a cool, dark place.
  • If you choose to not preserve the jam, it will keep refrigerated for about 6 months in the fridge.


If you don’t have a scale, use this information to help determine how many peaches you will need for this recipe:
I had more than six jars of jam; so I was scrambling to prepare more jars and lids. I would suggest you over estimate and have a couple of extra jars ready.
Also, don’t be intimidated by the notion of canning. I am a ‘small batch’ canner. Meaning I don’t have a lot of specialty equipment. I use a large stockpot for the canning process and I’ve simply bought a trivet meant for cooling cakes to put into the bottom of it to keep the jars stable in boiling water. Before I found them? I put a kitchen towel in the water and it worked too.
Get a jar gripper though and a funnel for the jars; they both do simplify the task of both filling the jars and getting them into and out of the hot water. Most grocery stores have a canning section with any supplies you would need including jars, lids and the SureJell pectin.. Try it…you’ll like it!


Nutrition Facts
Bourbon Peach Jam with Vanilla Bean
Serving Size
1 Tablespoon
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword bourbon, breakfast, jam, peach
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. This sounds delicious. I have a jar of aged bourbon vanilla that i made that would be perfect for this.

    1. I have not done it but yes I think you can substitute Frozen peaches. I would substitute almost the same amount, peach pits only weigh between .03 and .05 ounces, not a lot.

  2. I made this recipe last year and it turned out right and was AMAZING!!!! I made this year’s batch and canned it. I opened a jar last night and the jam did not set snd has a stronger bourbon taste. Can I recook the jam at this point and add more pectin and re-can? it??

  3. I just finished a batch of this (it seems to be setting as well as my strawberry freezer jam does) and my god is it to die for! I used Michigan peaches, and brothers bond. I did leave the butter out, and it did get a bit foamy on top, but I don’t mind (I gift my Jams often and several of my recipients are vegan) I can’t wait to try this on some homemade English muffins!

    1. I am waiting now on the delivery of 40 peaches so I’m behind you but hopefully will be following up very soon. This is one of those jams that I literally could eat out of the jar!

      Always love hearing that somebody else loves it so thank you.

  4. 5 stars
    Ingredients are amazing but the reason you are having such an issue getting it to set is because you are not working the pectin into the fruit properly.. there is one basic mistake you did in the processing..

    First off add all ingredients to the pot EXCEPT the sugar (pectin does not properly bloom with sugar in the water..) you have to get this sugar free mixture to a FULL hard boil for at least one full minute (a boil you cant stir away) then after this full minute of hard boil you add your sugar.. bring to another full HARD boil for 1 minute.. your results will be drastically different in terms of “having a hard time getting it to set”

    just a side note i would no add the bourbon until after the second “hard boil” because the 2 boil steps will just kill a lot of that amazing flavor.

    (liquid pectin does not “add water that would make setting the jam any more difficult” as you hinted at) it will work perfectly if done properly.

    Now if you want to use liquid pectin (just for anyone curious) you will use 1 box (both 3oz packets inside) but… the main difference is liquid pectin is added at the end after you got everything to a full hard boil (including sugar) you add your 2 packets of liquid pectin then return to a full hard boil for (you guessed it) 1 minute.

    I use dry for everything and only keep liquid on hand as a “fix” if i did not add enough dry (you can always add liquid pectin at then end of any recipe as long as you do the full hard boil for one minute) that why its a great way to repair any “oops” because we all oops…

    …hope this helps

    1. I thought the order of operations was off to. So I made it just like I would any other jelly. It’s turning out beautifully. I just finished it so it hasn’t set yet but the leftover in the bowl and pot jellied perfectly.

    2. I followed your advice on the order of ingredients. I doubled the recipe and added everything but the sugar and brown sugar. The first time I did it, it set. The second batch did not. Do you keep out the brown sugar as well as the sugar? I don’t know what I did differently, but everyone loves this jam, so I need to figure out what I am doing wrong. Please advise me and thank you.

      1. Have you seen all of the different comments and how everyone revises it in some way shape or form and then gets different results? You’re the perfect example of it worked one time and then it didn’t work the second. I can’t begin to tell you why that would have happened. I admit I have never had another recipe where there have been so many variations suggested and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t and I don’t like that and I hope to revisit it this time of year but I haven’t been able to so that.

        Try it the third time and hope it’s the charm?

    3. Thank you for clarifying this. Never had jam not set and was wondering what I did wrong here. Hopefully the directions get amended. We will just use it as sauce for ice cream and BBQ Sauce.

    1. I think that would be fine although I’ve never used it myself. With extract I’m thinking you’ll use less than the amount called for with the actual bourbon.

  5. I am confused with your recipe. Did you double peaches snd ALL ingredients in this recipe or just the peaches? Seems like a lot of sugar. Thank you.

    1. I doubled everything when I did it and regret it. Now I make two batches using the recipe as given using different pots or in two sessions. It was simply too much and took forever to cook down.

  6. Curious. What’s your altitude? I want to be able to adjust the recipe for proper processing time.

    We live in CO too and just got the last harvest of Palisade peaches and are big bourbon drinkers so this sounds perfect to us.

    1. I’m at 6200 feet but the instructions are for sea level; I don’t write just for high altitude so I might modify on my own but I don’t modify the recipes.

  7. our family LOVES this jam. for what it is worth, i added more dry pectin and cooked it down quite a lot. also eliminated a cup of sugar.

    1. The dry pectin seems to make a difference. I’ve not had a problem with the liquid but I’m using dry pectin now too! So glad you enjoy it!

  8. I plan to use this recipe tomorrow. I have read through the article and all of the comments. Wish me luck! One question…could I freeze this instead of water boiling?

    1. Sorry for the late reply Lori, I was out of my office for a couple of days. What did you do? I would think you could freeze it, although I’ve never tried it that way.

  9. Similar recipe that I have been using for quite some time. Only real difference is 1) brown sugar instead of white 2) About half the dry pectin that I use in my recipe 3) double the amount of bourbon.
    I love the brown sugar profile with the bourbon.
    The reduction in pectin increases the cook time to achieve a good set. The increase in cook time also changes the fresh peach flavor. In my opinion u lose a great deal of the peach flavor that makes this shine. It gets lost and melds in with the sugar and bourbon.
    I have to agree with a few other comments regarding the amount of bourbon. I love a good sipping bourbon, not my first choice of spirits but I do enjoy . This truly should be called bourbon peach jam. The peach gets lost in the bourbon. I have shared this with a number of people who literally expect the annual peach bourbon jam we make and they claim that they can’t taste peaches in it.
    I think that a lot of the issues people are experiencing with the “set” is also a lack of following the recipie as stated. Thanks

    1. Honestly John the original recipe worked perfectly for me and well, it was not too much bourbon. I started to hear so many different stories and decided to suggest dry pectin but I never personally understood the problem! It is called Bourbon Peach Jam for a reason…

      1. Does the alcohol in the bourbon cook off so that this can be used by people who don’t drink alcohol, but like the bourbon flavor?

        1. Since it is cooked to a boil, I’ll say yes, it should be. Does that mean I can guarantee that there is none at all in the mixture…I won’t go that far. I feel it’s safe for kids and adults who don’t drink though..

    2. John, would you mind sharing your modified recipe? I love this recipe, but would love to have a recipe that really has a heightened peach flavor with the bourbon as you mentioned yours does. I think they both have a spot in my refrigerator (and cupcakes..which is what I use this with!)

  10. I’ve made this recipe twice because everyone wanted a jar after I let them taste it.
    While making it last time I wondered if you could use the recipe and switch out the peaches for pineapple and the bourbon for rum?

    1. You can but I haven’t done it. Pineapple is more acidic, might do well with a bit less sugar. I would do a bit of research on canning pineapple, notice any differences and then substitute the bourbon amount for rum when adding it.

  11. This didn’t go well and I wish would’ve quit early into it. I weighed the peaches & followed the recipe strictly.

    It’s Brown colored and tastes like like I poured whisky into a ton of sugar. I can’t even taste the peaches. I can’t eat it it’s so sweet and tastes like whiskey. Other recipes call for 1-2 tablespoons and should’ve gone with that. I’m bewildered how this could appear like the photos and some have luck with it.

    I even added more peaches after I canned a batch to no avail. Maybe I could use some for the base of a BBQ sauce or something.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that Meagain. I make this every year and it’s always fantastic. I wonder if your peaches were not ripe enough and lacking in flavor…that’s the only thing I can imagine that would have resulted in your efforts not being successful and tasting as you describe.

  12. This is going to be my weekend project. I don’t usually use pectin, but rather shredded Granny Smith apples (cored but unpeeled) for the natural pectin In my jams. It doesn’t seem to add or take away from the star flavors. One small to medium apple per batch. I suggest experimenting. Once you learn it, you may not return to dry pectin. Though I use sure-gel for my grape jelly, but even that didn’t set right last time,

    1. Jeff you have got to let me know how that works because I would be really interested. As you can tell this has been quite the issue with this recipe. I’ve made so many jams in my lifetime but never one that I love so much that seems to have a problem with setting up like it does. I usually have pretty good success with it but I am distressed to see that other people do not. Please let me know!

  13. I tried this for the first time this past weekend. I have never made anything like this. My peaches were seeing their last days so they were extra sweet and I needed to figure out something to do with this huge batch of peaches I got from the Peach Truck. After reading the comments and trying to tweak some things, I think more tweaking can be done. While my jam isn’t exactly the consistency of jam, it is still thick for a spread. Things I would change about how mine turned out: 6 total cups of sugar instead of the 7. My jam is VERY sweet and I tried to cook it down as much as I could, about 35 minutes. My bourbon was a sweeter kind too, I probably could’ve used half because it also has an alcohol taste. I probably should’ve cooked down the peaches a bit with the pectin and then added the other ingredients after the peaches were warmed. I’ll have to see what my testers say about it, but I enjoyed making it and plan to do it again!

  14. Barb,
    Made this recipe last year with a friend—-made a number of batches. Some were runny, others set thick. We are making more this coming weekend–I hope that I have lots of runny syrupy type jam as it is so good on waffles, pancakes, or ice cream. I ate several pints of “syrup” with a half gallon of ice cream–and no I did not share or feel guilty.

  15. I made my first batch of this today and the flavor is outstanding! It is terribly runny and didn’t jell. Please help!!

    1. I have heard of some other readers having the same issue Melissa and all I can suggest is that you cook it down some more. I admit, that happened to me last year too but I had doubled the batch; it was entirely too much at one time.

      I saw a tip the other day that might work for you. Don’t try to cook it all down at once, the longer time in the pot will break down the fruit too much; try halving it and simmering it again until thick. I had hoped to make it again this year and test some more to see if I could recreate the problem but our peach crop in Colorado was decimated by a late freeze and I’ll most likely not bother until next year. Good luck…hope that helps.

      1. Hi so I made a similar jam in addition to other jams with liquor. The cause for this jam being runny is too much liquid for the cooking time. In particular the alcohol. Alcohol will resist the set and I have found that I needed to additional pectin in many alcohol based jams and jellies. I would advise using boxed dried pectin instead of liquid in the recipe as this will reduce the liquid content and eliminate the runny jam frequency.

        1. Thanks for adding to this conversation; it’s been a quandry for sure; I never had a problem until I tried doubling the recipe…and then I had to cook it way too long!

          But I’m in agreement regarding the dry pectin and have changed my recipe accordingly; it’s what I did this year too with better results. And suggested that anyone like me who wants to double a batch do it using two separate pots; I had much better results than when I put it all into one gigantic pot.

  16. I live in Littleton Colorado and decided to try this recipe because it looked phenomenal. I followed your directions exactly and it tastes amazing, but it did not set up. It’s a syrupy consistency. Any idea why?

    1. Honestly Roni that is THE big question. I’ve had it work perfectly for me and others and yet also return the same results you achieved too. I did a small batch a couple of weeks ago and I had to cook it down forever to get it to the right consistency, to the point that I felt the peaches had become more like peach butter than peach preserves.

      While I so love our Colorado peaches, they are so juicy I have to wonder if that is the problem…and I hate to call that a problem! I had a jar left from last year that was thinner than ideal and a jar from this year that I opened to use for a peach crisp I posted yesterday and quite frankly I prefer the thinner viscosity because of the presence of more peach pieces.

      I wish I had the perfect answer for you…but I’m not going to try my next batch til next summer. While I don’t like to add more and more pectin, I want to test a batch with dry pectin and I’m also considering cooking the peaches for a period and then straining them out while I cook down a lot of the liquid. I have a friend who is a canning expert; she packages and sells jams for a living so I need to confer with her first.

      Even the thinner version still works for me on toast and English muffins; I hope you get good use out of yours too!

      1. I asked my mom about it (since she makes a lot of jelly) and she told me to empty out my jars and re-boil for a while. I emptied two jars re-boiled the contents for an extra 5 minutes. Lo and behold…it worked! The jelly set up! I think that the extra 5 minutes may have been just a tad too long though. Will probably just re-boil the remaining batch for 3-4 minutes.

        I’ll be curious what you find next summer when you try the different methods you talked about. Thanks for taking the time to answer me!

        1. Well that was easy enough! I almost suggested you boil them again but I hate to give out advice for something I haven’t done myself.

          Thanks Mom!

          If you’re a cocktail person, do a quick search on the site, I make a cocktail that uses the jam for its flavor. I think it’s called a peach smash. Really really good.

      2. Hi Barb! I have been making Jams for years, my moms secret trick is to cook out some of the liquid with medium heat, remove from heat and add the pectin, put it back on the heat to dissolve, then add your sugar and full boil for 1 minute. Sets every time! Also if you add a tablespoon of butter, that foam goes away!

        1. Thanks! You know I had such great luck with the original recipe that I was dumbfounded with all the problems but I’m willing to give another method a shot. I had great plans this year and bought plenty of peaches but then I started to have one for breakfast, another for lunch…and son of a gun before I knew it I didn’t have enough to bother with canning!

          Does your mom use liquid or dry pectin in her method?

  17. I just finished a batch and I am absolutely in love with this receipt. I want to say thank you very much for sharing!

  18. I made two batches of this jam this weekend with my Colorado peaches. I cut the sugar down to 6 cups (split between the white and brown sugars). A vendor at our local farmer’s market sells maple-vanilla syrup so I substituted that for the vanilla. To go with the maple vanilla syrup, I bought maple bourbon – maple, bourbon and peaches – yes please! I tell you what – this is delicious. I LOVE the dark amber color that I got from using dark brown sugar and the maple flavoring is so darn good. I began wondering if I could use this recipe with other fruits – maybe dark red cherries?

    I did not have any trouble with this setting up as some of the comments indicated, but I did make sure that the boil was a FULL rolling boil (one I could not stir down). Thank you for this recipe!

    1. So good to hear you loved it too and now I want some maple bourbon! Thanks for letting me know what worked for you I know lots have had great success!

  19. I am getting ready to make this jam and have been reading how hard it is to get the right consistency for the jam,,,is it because of the different weight of the peaches?…3 1/2 lbs. is hard to measure when you do not have a weigh scale in the kitchen…so how many cups do you usually get out of 3 1/2 lbs…I am also using powder pectin not liquid…since I live in outer space and do not have access to it…ha…But I am so looking forward to making this.. Oh and these will be made with my peaches..I grow red haven…very sweet

    1. Honestly Tina I think the most important ingredient is patience. I have a friend who never uses pectin; it’s all about letting the fruit cook slowly enough to evaporate the liquid. The fact is that peaches should not really need it to set BUT because they can be so juicy when prepared, there is a whole lot of liquid. I would advise whatever you do, just test until it sets up. I typically just drop a bit on a plate I’ve put in the freezer to get cold. Once it sets up and doesn’t run, I start to put them in jars for processing.

      Here’s a handy page for determining volume without a scale. Good luck…it is truly wonderful; my twenty pounds of peaches are on the kitchen table just waiting to be made into jam!

      1. I live in Georgia so peaches are really our thing. I can tell you that sometimes they set up beautifully and sometimes they just don’t. This week has been a ‘don’t’ week. I now have about 20 half pint jars of canned peaches (half with serrano peppers and half with pie spices) that didn’t set up as jam, but will be used for other things. I saved all the extra ‘syrup’ and canned it, too – the serrano will pack a punch for cocktails and the pie spice will enhance punch and maybe a white sangria!

  20. Making today. I am going to put some spice in it. Maybe Chinese 5 spice or cinnamon, ginger, and clove.

  21. I was wondering how much I can reduce the sugar in this recipe without affecting the flavor. Some jams are just too sweet but i don’t want to ruin the recipe. What are your thoughts ?

    1. Reducing the sugar can also affect shelf stability. I know it’s a lot but the end result is so good. I wish I could give you expert advice but as much as I like canning some small batch fruits, I’m not expert enough to give you ratios either and because I’m at high altitude what I would try would not be the same as what you should do. Do you have a nearby city with an agricultural extension office that might have more information on canning in your area?

  22. I made the peach bourbon vanilla jam and sampled it from the leavings in my cook pan. it was delicious. Although the leavings in my cook pan and on my dipping spoon jelled, it has taken a long time for the jam to jell in the jars. I did the water bath and all sealed nicely, but the set up is quite slow. The recipe for made 13 4oz jars (I call these samples and gift basket jars) and 3 8 oz (jelly jars). Pleased with the yield. So far 4 of the 4oz jars and 1 of the 8 oz jars have jelled nicely. The others are at different stages, so I will let them sit longer. I made it almost two weeks ago. I’ve had this happen with peach and pear jam in the past, so not too disappointed in the set up process. It will jell a bit more when refrigerated though. My question is: My jam is more of a nice bourbon color, instead of the pretty peach color, which I am use to when I can peaches. Could it be because I used dark brown sugar, vanilla and also reduced the bourbon as suggested? It tastes divine. First time using the brown sugar and vanilla in a recipe for jam. Thank you so much. I have enjoyed reading all the comments and always do that before making a recipe. Happy canning!

    1. I think so much depends on how juicy the peaches are…and then using some common sense; if it’s too liquid it does need to simmer longer. I think the color you got is perfect because yes the sugar will make a difference as well the addition of even a bit of bourbon. I can’t wait for peaches this summer, I want to make jars and jars of it! Glad you enjoy it Jeanne!

  23. Vanilla beans are difficult to find and are expensive. Can I use pure vanilla extract instead?? If so how much, and when is it added??

  24. Barb, I made this recipe last year as a freezer jam. It got rave reviews from everyone to whom I deemed worthy of a jar—haha! Because I really didn’t want to give any of it away:)) So having visited Colorado again this year during their fabulous peach season (Palisades), I’m happy to be making it again. This time I may can it instead though per your instructions. Delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I just got 20 pounds of peaches and am ready to go at it again too; I did give it for holiday gifts and thinking it’s an expectation now too! Thanks a bunch for letting me know!

      1. 5 stars
        I’d give it 10 stars if I could. My God this stuff is so good! I used the low-sugar Sure Jel pectin, 5 cups of peaches, 1 cup brown sugar and 2 cups white sugar (following package directions). I stuck with the 3/4 cup of bourbon (Early Times) and 1 T vanilla bean paste from your recipe. Delish, not too boozy and plenty of peach flavor. I have not processed the jars yet and I hope this doesn’t affect the flavor or the gel as it it just about perfect. This stuff is going to be popular so I need to find more peaches!

  25. Good Morning, your recipes calls for liquid pectin I have powder pectin can that be used & how much do I use for this reciipes. Thank you

    1. Look in Step 6 Jen; it’s added with a bunch of other ingredients. I did include a note so it’s more clear that you should open the bean and scrape the seeds and put them in…and then throw in the bean itself too. You’ll remove the bean before starting to ladle the jam into jars.

  26. Just made this and it is amazing! I followed the recipe with the pectin and cooked it down for a while until thicker. I added an extra tablespoon of bourbon at the end to up the flavor. Perfection! Thanks for a keeper!

    1. Great to hear Teresa; you can see from comments it cause a bit of a stir! But it is worth every single moment. Waiting now for 20 pounds of Colorado peaches to make a bunch; they’re great holiday gifts for my friends who need nothing!

  27. This is my second year using your recipe. Last year I stuffed the jam inside of a vanilla cupcake and topped with a cinnamon buttercream. It won first place at our local fair! I choose to make it without the pectin. You have to cook it a little longer, but the taste is out of this world. Key also is using a good bourbon. Do not skimp on the bourbon! It creates a rich depth of flavor, and compliments the peaches so well. Thank you for sharing this recipe! Delish!

    1. That was fun to read…so glad you enjoy it. It has been the devil for some people to work with but bottom line you’re right; cooking it longer will eventually remove more liquid and thicken it up. Your cupcake sounds divine; I need to try it!

    2. The cupcakes sound divine! Would you mind sharing? If you are protective of the exact recipe, how about the general instructions?

      1. Nancy I would always share but I don’t recall making cupcakes with this jam! What I might do is make a plain vanilla cupcake and scoop out a bit of the center to fill it with jam and/or put some jam into the frosting for the cupcakes. Makes me want one though…I might have to do that!

  28. Just a quick question. You are using Colorado peaches and canning at altitude. Is the time adjusted for that too or do we need to add time?

        1. I can’t give you a definitive answer Jodie since I’ve never used one but I would think if you have an appliance just for that purpose that it would work; check and see if they have steps they might include that are unique but if it were me? I would go for it!

  29. Made this today, was taking forever to thicken and I couldn’t figure out why, eventually I put a spoon in the freezer and drizzled some on top. It was perfectly thick! Now I know for next time it doesn’t need to sit so long. Absolutely amazing! Can’t wait to share a few jars with the family.

  30. I just finished making this recipe and it is fabulously delicious!! Thank you for sharing it! I, too, had a couple issues, although minor, while making it. I honestly think it has to do with how juicy the peaches are- mine were crazy juicy. I must of had over a cup of extra liquid in the pot along with your ingredients. I also did not blanch the peaches since mine peeled easily. I really did a hard boil on the jam for about 10-15 minutes where mine reached a good temp of 225F. I think it would have set up, but I decided to add a pouch of SureJell liquid pectin to make sure and it worked! This recipe tastes so good. I am scooping out the leftovers with some fresh cantaloupe and I am in heaven! Mine made 8 1-C jars.

  31. Delicious however, coon time much longer and had to add pectin. It never did get firm,enough to pull spoon through but was thick enough,never the less. Delicious.

    1. 4 stars
      Made this recipe 5 times. Yes it’s brown, I suspect the batch in the picture was made with all white sugar.
      And yes, it’s runny. I’m not new to jam making and new to avoid the pitfalls: absolutely don’t add the sugar until you hard boil all the ingredients. Also, recipe requires additional pectin – especially if your peaches are really juicy.
      And yes, a longer cook time benefits the texture…. But you also lose the tidbits of peaches and some of the peach flavor.
      Bourbon amount is not too much, just be sure to hold back a bit as instructed.
      All in all a delicious flavor profile, but not quite jammy enough to call a jam.

      1. Thank Lisa! I have had this turn out like a jam…and be a bit too thin. I had planned to make a big batch this year to redefine everything because so many have added their info…but hurt my knee so no longer have it on my schedule. I’ve envious of you; I love this stuff!

  32. Ugh, I am so frustrated! I followed this recipe to a T, and like Cathy’s first comment above, I have mine cooking on the stove right now, and after almost an hour of it simmering, it is certainly sowhere near how thick it should be to see the bottom of the pan when you run a spoon on the bottom. I don’t have any pectin (since it wasn’t listed in the recipe) and have a 30 minute drive to get some. I will certainly be researching recipes more thoroughly in the future. Grr.

    1. Anything with an amount of liquid that is produced from a fruit like this has will take time. I have made this twice, with and without pectin and am dumbfounded that so many are having issues since I have not been able to replicate them. Truthfully, I had no problem just letting it simmer on the stove until it became thicker but I knew it would take some time, it’s a lot of peaches. There would be no sense in making that trip it seems Terry, just let the jam cook down during that time instead?

  33. Hi! After reading the recipe and the comments about consistency issues I still wanted to try this out because it sounded yummy! I decided to vear from the recipe a little and omit the lime juice (because I didn’t have any and didn’t want to go to the store) and I started out adding a box of pectin during my cooking process, right off the bat to avoid a thin product, but after processing and cooling my jars my jam was still on the thinner side so I re cooked and added a second box of pectin. After re processing my jars and letting them cool again the consistency was perfect! And it’s still so delicious! Hope this helps any future takers on of this recipe!
    I was going to post a picture but I don’t see a way to do that so you’ll have to take my word for it! ?

    1. Part of the reason for the lemon and lime is for acidity. For foods not naturally acidic, lemon, lime or vinegar must be added. In order to use a water bath canner for preservation, the food needs to be acidic, otherwise a pressure canner should be used for safe shelf stable food.

    2. It’s funny that you’ve basically gone back to my original recipe with two packages of pectin that did not work for other readers…just goes to show how recipes can vary from person to person and stove to stove!

      I did notice Kathleen replied before I could about your omitting the lime juice and she is right; without the correct level of acidity, the jam is not going to be shelf stable. You can refrigerate it and/or freeze it but it’s best if used relatively quickly…a couple of weeks at most. Honestly when I make it that’s not usually an issue because I give single jars away to a lot of friends but I still always include it just to be safe and because I now make a fairly large supply so that I can include some for holiday gifts.

    1. I hate hearing that Heather; I’m going to make it again and test my results because while mine could have been a bit thicker, it did setup and was a spreadable consistency. Can you cook it down a bit to firm it up?

    2. After reading two comments today Heather I contacted an associate who is a jam expert. She thought my quantities were good and my own results were fine so she gave me some tips to better insure success for readers. I left that information in this comment to another reader:

      Most importantly, she thinks you should be able to recook the product and thicken it on the stovetop. She doesn’t use pectin and I might quit but she doesn’t believe there would be a problem with that method to achieve desired consistency. I’m so sorry…I want readers to enjoy these recipes as much as I do and hope this will help! Barb

  34. Like Jess, my jam never set and I also followed the recipe exactly. I know the peaches weren’t too juicy because I strained them before I even put them on the stove. Flavor is great, but really, really disappointed about the consistency.

    1. Pam,

      I didn’t have the same problem but when several people have tried the recipe with the same results I feel I need to offer some additional information so I contacted someone I know who is a jam expert. She thought my recipe seemed fine and the end result consistency turned out good for me but there can be variables so she made a few suggestions that I’ll incorporate into the recipe.

      1. Reserve only 1 Tbsp of bourbon to add at the end; this should insure that the liquid is cooked down and doesn’t weaken the set when it’s added.
      2. She suggests adding an additional 5 minutes to the cooking time before adding the pectin. She doesn’t use pectin at all and prefers to cook down product to get consistency. I’m going to try that this week and test results. To assure the right consistency; simmer until you can pull a spoon across the bottom and see the pan. While it will thicken a bit as it cools; it needs to show signs of thickening before it’s put into jars.

      3. Use the widest pan you have to cook the fruit; the surface area can make a difference in how much the jam cooks down.

      All that being said she does not think it would hurt to redo it and just cook it longer to thicken it. I hate hearing that someone did not have success with a recipe and hope these tips helps. Let me know if you cook it down and how that works, would you? Barb

      1. Thank you for the suggestions, I do have more peaches so may try this again. I think I may also not puree any of the peaches. I think they’ll break down enough when cooking. That may help the consistency as well.

        1. I might try that too…if they don’t break down enough, I’m thinking we could always blend a portion of the mixture (I’ve got a stick blender but if you don’t, you can remove a portion and blend it) before canning it. I’m anxious to do these again too…while I changed the recipe in hopes that no one else will have an issue; I need to make it myself to confirm. That and well, it is SO good! Thanks for hanging in there Pam!

      2. am I crazy? I don’t see pectin in the recipe, but I see you talking about it in the comments. Mine is currently on the stove cooking, and has been simmering for over a half hour and is as runny as ever. The thin consistency is what brought me back to the comments to read and suddenly I saw pectin being discussed. I’ve used it before and so I was surprised your recipe doesn’t have it.

        1. No, not crazy. I had no problems with mine setting up when I used the quantities shown and two packages of pectin but when I started to hear from others that theirs was not setting up I contacted a friend I know who makes jam professionally for her advice; to see if I had done something wrong.

          She never uses pectin and advised me to revise the recipe and just have people cook it until it got thick and you could see the bottom of the pan when you swiped it with a spoon; we also added more of the bourbon to the mixture being made and only a small amount to the finished product to assure it would not make it too thin. So…I revised the recipe; trusting her much greater experience.

          So it might take some time to cook down. With some irony, a reader decided to use pectin anyhow and had my same successful results with the amounts I had previously called for in the recipe which certainly had me scratching my head. Wendy did assure me that there are factors that can affect results including pan size, humidity and just how juicy the peaches are. She never uses pectin and I do trust her judgement (even if I had always used pectin before). I hope you continued to let it cook and evaporate the moisture…please let me know, would you?

        2. After about an hour and a half of cooking, I started adding pectin. I kept wondering if it would just set up when it cooled, but honestly, I never would’ve seen the bottom of the pan. In the end I used about 6-7 Tablespoons or so of pectin powder, just stirred it in one tablespoon at a time. It’s delicious!

        3. Thanks Cathy…I have never in all the years of doing this blog had such varied results…but I’m glad you decided to do what you had to and got there because it is divine. I’m making a big batch tomorrow…time for further testing and tasting!

  35. I made this recipe following your instructions to the T, but sadly my “jam” is a chunky syrup. The favor is to die for but the consistency is not jam like. It was my first time using liquid pectin which made me nervous from the start but I figured your directions were pretty easy to follow. Yet somehow it didn’t turn out very well. Guess I will be gifting a lot of peach syrup instead! 🙂

    1. Gosh I hate to hear that…I think I mentioned that mine was a ‘bit’ thin but not to the point of syrup…we used it on toast anyhow. I’ll be making some again soon and see what I can do to firm it up more. If doing something like this in the future, I would certainly cook the product down a bit more to eliminate some of the liquid…maybe you just had the juiciest peaches ever?

      Gift it as an ice cream sauce and none the wiser but that flavor will have everyone rave?

      1. As for all “natural” pectin recipes, those are the ones with the most variance is success. Pectin is going to be greater in firm and sometimes under-ripe fruit. Nice, sweet, eating peaches often have a heck of a time “setting” and these things will help if you find yourself in that boat:
        The obvious, the addition of pectin.
        A little more acid, sometime twice the amount.
        The addition of “calcium water.”
        A higher amount of sugar.
        You need to go to the home economic schools at Georgia or Oregon State to ask the chemical reasons for all this, but they are things that have helped in various situations.

        1. You are right…and this one is a mystery for sure. I’ve not had a problem with either version I’ve tried, with or without pectin, but I also have been making jam for a long time…sometimes patience is the commodity that is the toughest to locate. 🙂

    2. After getting additional comments with the same issue Jess I decided to contact a friend with a jam making business; I’ve incorporated her suggestions into another comment reply here:

      She did think it could be cooked again to achieve desired consistency so I would suggest you try that. As I indicate in the comment information; I’m going to try eliminating the pectin altogether and just cook the jam until it has the correct consistency. I hope you will try it again…or is it all gone? Barb

    1. I wish I could say but since I used the liquid I can’t for sure. Maybe the Sure Gel website would help with that modification?

  36. Barb, this recipe just might be the one I choose to be my first venture into canning. Canning has always intimidated me and your instructions seem simple enough. I will make this over the weekend. I miss Colorado but I have to admit that I am enjoying life here in the Charlotte, NC area.

    1. Did you make it Liz? I’ve had some readers have some problems with consistency so I changed up the directions a bit. BTW…my daughter was in Charlotte until just recently! We moved here many years ago from NC; that’s where both of my girls were born. She met a guy there and they’ve moved to SC…wish it wasn’t so far away but it sure is a lovely part of the country. Take care…Barb

  37. Peak peaches here in St. Louis, too. We’ve been getting plenty of good local ones (from Eckert’s). Love the combo of bourbon and peach. This jam is, well, a peach of a recipe. Thanks!

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