I’m a bit sad to see strawberry season pass us by yet peaches are here and I am enjoying sweet juice dripping down the chin summer eating! Seasonal sales of 98 cents a pound beckon. But with so many peaches in house, ripe only lasts so long. What’s a girl to do? Make peach butter. I wanted to last year and decided to give it a go this year.
I used my favorite (ever!) canning book ~ Preserving
This is a Timelife classic…one of those buried-in-the-library kind of books that no one ever thinks to check out. And then you do and a gem is found. I am a visual learner and this book has literally every kind of preserving technique with step-by-step color photographs detailing everything you ever wanted to know. And the back is filled with a plethora of recipes from all kinds of old-time random sources.
Here is the recipe I adapted:
- 3lb ripe peaches (8-10)
- 1/2 C water (I used just enough to cover the bottom of my pot…about 1 cup)
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
Put the peaches in an enameled, tinned or stainless-steel pan and pour in the water. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Put aside to cool. Lift the peaches out of liquid, do not discard liquid. Slip off peach skins and remove pits. Puree pulp and measure (should be about 5 cups). For every 1 cup puree add 1/2 cup sugar. Add sugar and 1/2 cup cooking liquid back into puree.
Now comes the part where I adapt the recipe to fit my needs. Who has time to sit at the stove for 2 hours and watch peach puree simmer down? I discovered with apple butter that the crockpot is your friend in times like these…especially in the heat of the summer. I barely just had time enough to simmer the suckers and quick puree. Time to dump them in with the delectable seasonings and let it go till morning on low.
After you wake up in the morning wondering what that funny smell is and quickly run to your crockpot opening the lid to uncover a gooey dark mess that looks like you’ve completely burnt and screwed up the recipe…
Take a deep breath, stir it and scrape the sides. Relax and realize everything is okay. Fill 3 pint jars or 6 1/2 pints and water bath or freeze or, if you’re like me and are planning on using this stuff in yogurt and yogurt pops and oatmeal and PB&J and toast and biscuits, just refrigerate and gift a pint. It will be used up in no time anyway! 🙂