I’m a slow learner sometimes…
I’ve been canning for quite a while now, yet I always seem to inadvertently mop my floors right before starting a new canning project.
(And mind you–mopping does NOT happen frequently at my house!)
It’s like I subconsciously can’t help it.
This week, it was peach butter. Of all the things you can preserve, peaches are one of the stickiest, and I proceeded to splash that sticky peach puree all over my cabinets, countertops, stovetop, and yes, the freshly-mopped kitchen floor.
But it’s all good. The end result was totally worth it, and we’ve been enjoying the results of that sticky afternoon ever since.
What’s the Difference between Fruit Butter and Jam?
Sweet Preservation generously sent me a big box of peaches, so I was left with the agonizing decision: what do I do with them?
There are so many options when it comes to preserving peaches…
- Peach jam or peach butter
- Pies (or making frozen peach pie filling for later)
- Drying them in the dehydrator for snacks
- Canning peach halves with honey and cinnamon for those cold winter’s nights when fresh fruit is scarce
- Or just eating them fresh and letting the juice drip down your chin.
I finally settled on turning them into peach butter. Fruit butters are somewhat related to jams, but they don’t require pectin. They are thick and opaque and absolutely perfect as a spread on homemade bread, or flaky homemade biscuits, or crepes, or waffles, or… you get the picture.
Homemade Peach Butter Recipe
You will Need:
- Fresh, ripe peaches (roughly one pound of peaches per pint… roughly…)
- Sweetener, to taste (optional– I used a bit of sucanat (aka unrefined cane sugar) see notes below)
- That’s it! (Really!)
Start by removing the pits from your peaches and cutting them into quarters.
Toss them in your food processor or high-speed blender, and process until they are smooth. (Be careful not to liquefy them– we are wanting a smooth puree, not peach juice)
Now we need to cook the puree so it reaches the perfect consistency. You have two options: a slow cooker or a regular ol’ pot on the stove.
Slow Cooker Peach Butter Recipe:
This method takes longer (anywhere from several hours to all day), but requires less babysitting. Simply pour your peach puree into your slow cook, and set it on low. You’ll want to crack the lid open to allow the steam to escape. Otherwise, your peach butter won’t reduce and thicken.
Stovetop Peach Butter Recipe:
This method takes less time, but you need to be there to make sure you don’t get peach butter spewed all over your kitchen. Pour the peach puree in a large stock pot and set it on the stove over medium-low heat. Stir frequently to prevent burning (and splashing) and continue to cook until it reaches the desired consistency (30-40 minutes)
You’ll know your peach butter is done (regardless of cooking method) when it mounds up on a spoon like this:
Perform a quick taste test to see if you need to add sweetener– my peaches were pretty sweet already, so I only added about 1/2 cup of sweetener to my batch. It took the edge off of the sourness without ruining the fresh, peachy flavor.
At this point you can:
- Let the peach butter cool and eat it right away (enlist the help of friends and family members so you don’t engorge yourself with peach butter)
- Pour your peach butter into freezer-safe containers and pop it in the freezer for later
- Can it: Pour the peach butter into sterilized glass pint jars and leave 1/4 inch of headspace. Process the peach butter in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes. My Water Bath Canning Tutorial will walk you through the process if you are a canning newbie!
- Don’t you have to peel the peaches? You can, and many peach butter recipes call for you to start with peeled peaches, but I found it not to be necessary. You don’t even notice the peel once you puree, and it saves some time. I’m lazy… what can I say? 😉
- What sweeteners can I use? I used sucanat, an unrefined cane sugar, to sweeten my peach butter, but you could also use honey or any other granulated sweetener. Or, if you don’t mind a tart peach butter, just skip the sweetener altogether.
- Can I add spices to my peach butter recipe? Sure! You can add cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger– just taste the butter and add accordingly. I chose to skip the spices because I like the taste of pure peach butter, but you can definitely add your favorite spices to taste.
- Need more canning inspiration, recipes, or jar labels? Head over to SweetPreservation.com!
Homemade peach butter is one of the best ways to enjoy the taste of fresh peaches in the middle of winter. And as you are eating it, you can reminisce about how your bare feet stuck to the floor as you were making it in your sticky kitchen. 😉
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