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Bourbon-Poached Peaches

Summer's sweetest fruit is perfect when you simmer it in a heady bourbon syrup and pack it into jars. Spoon these peaches and syrup over vanilla ice cream, sweetened sour cream, waffles, or pancakes.

  • yield: Makes five 12-ounce jars
Photography: Joseph De Leo




  • 4 pounds peaches (about 12)
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped, pods reserved
  • 1 cup bourbon

Cook's Note

Peaches can be refrigerated for up to 1 month. Canned peaches can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 months. For canning instructions, visit


  1. Step 1

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare an ice-water bath. Cut a small X into the bottom of each peach. Boil peaches for 1 minute.

  2. Step 2

    Transfer to ice-water bath. Let cool slightly. Peel and pit peaches, and cut into 3/4-inch-thick wedges.

  3. Step 3

    Bring 4 cups water, the sugar, and vanilla seeds and pods to a boil in a large saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add peaches and bourbon. Simmer until peaches are tender but still hold their shape, 5 to 7 minutes.

  4. Step 4

    Transfer peaches to a large bowl using a slotted spoon. Cook syrup over medium heat until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Pour over peaches. Let cool completely.

  5. Step 5

    Divide peaches among five 12-ounce sterilized jars using a slotted spoon. (Jars can be sterilized by boiling in water, submerged, for 10 minutes.) Pour syrup over tops. Add vanilla pods to jars if desired. Seal jars, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Martha Stewart Living, August 2011



Reviews (6)

  • 28 Jun, 2012

    You can can these poached peaches by processing in a water bath for 25 min after filling and sealing. They keep for at least 1 year ...if you can even wait that long

  • 5 Oct, 2011

    This recipe works well with pears as well. I am particularly enamored with the reduced poaching liquid, which has a slight hint of butter and caramel. This recipe is a keeper.
    Please see my complete review here:

  • 30 Aug, 2011

    I third that request- I think this would make a great Christmas present but want to know how to prolong the shelf life.

  • 26 Aug, 2011

    I would also like to know if this recipe can be canned? or could I use frozen fresh peaches?

  • 15 Aug, 2011

    This a fabulous and so easy. Our NC peaches are wonderful this year, so I mixed yellow and whites. The taste with the fresh vanilla beans and bourbon is heavenly...can't wait to surprise friends when I serve this with homemade icecream. Lovely jars with the strip of the bean for gifts also.

  • 21 Jul, 2011

    I have a question: is there a way to make this recipe last longer than 3 months after it is canned (the article in the magazine listed a 3-month shelf life if canned)? Or can I use frozen peaches for this recipe? I'd like to make this for Christmas gifts but would have to do so while they are in season.