I love fresh, ripe peaches. And South Carolina peaches are some of the best around. I recently got a huge basket of them. My first thought of what to make was Vanilla Peach Jam.
Jam is surprisingly easy to make. And now, with all the fresh fruit around, is the best time to do it. The best way, in my opinion to peel peaches is to blanch them, placing them first in boiling water for a few minutes, then dropping them into an ice bath. The skins come off easily then, and you don't waste any fruit.
To prepare the jars, you can either run them through the dishwasher, or put them in another pot filled with boiling water. You don't need to boil the lids, just heat them with a little water in a small saute pan.
Vanilla Peach Jam
4 c. peeled, sliced, and slightly smushed peaches
1 box low sugar pectin
3 c. sugar
1 T. vanilla
2t. lemon juice.
Put peaches with lemon juice in a large stock pot (it will seem like over kill, but trust me) and stir in the pectin. While stirring constantly, bring peaches to a full boil. Add the vanilla and sugar and boil for another minute.
Pour into prepared jars, leaving 1/4 in. head space at top. Put on lids, then process in boiling water for 10 minutes.
I got 1 pint jar, and 5 half pint jars from this recipe.