Peach jam

Makes 3 litres (5 pints)

Peach jam is one of my favourites: sweet, chunky slices of peach suspended in syrup are delicious on crusty sourdough toast with lashings of unsalted butter.

2.5kg/5lb just-ripe peaches
The juice and zest of 3 lemons
1/2tsp salt
11/2kg/3lb caster sugar
3 vanilla beans

Wash and cut the peaches, then crack the stones of two and take out the kernels in the middle. Lightly crush the kernels to release their nutty flavour and set aside.

Place the chopped peach and the lemon juice into a saucepan. Add the salt – this will bring out the flavour of the fruit – and simmer very gently for 20 minutes. Add the sugar, stirring to combine.

Once the sugar has dissolved, turn up the heat and boil rapidly until setting point is reached. Once you think it might be ready, do the "wrinkle test". Place a spoonful of jam on a saucer in the fridge for a few minutes to cool. Run a finger through the jam: if the surface wrinkles, it's ready. If not, return to the stove and boil swiftly.

Add the cracked kernels and allow the jam to rest for 20 minutes for even fruit and juice distribution. Spoon into warm, sterilised jars.

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