Peach butter is smoother and less sweet than peach preserves, resulting in a purer peach flavor. Spread on toast, muffins, or pancakes; or on a sandwich, use it to fill a cake, or as filling in a pie.
I'm not much into pickles, or pickled vegetables. I'm still iffy my ability to safely can homemade tomato sauce or salsa. I settled on peach butter.
What is peach butter?
It's somewhat of a misnomer because there is no butter in the recipe. The "butter" part of the name comes from the texture of classic fruit butter, which is incredibly smooth (when making your own, however, you can leave it slightly chunky if you prefer).
Fruit butter is thickened puree, lightly sweetened with sugar. Most people are probably more familiar with apple butter, which is available at many farmers markets and pick-your-own pumpkin farms in the fall.
Peach butter is less sweet than fruit preserves, so fruit butter has a much purer (is that a word? should it be "more pure"?) fruit flavor. Lemon juice is added primarily to increase the acidity level of the mixture for canning, but also to cut some of the sweetness. If you don't intend to go through the canning process, you can halve the amount. If not canning, you can pour it into a storage container and keep it in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 weeks.
What can you do with peach butter?
Aside from eating it straight from the jar (I won't judge, I do it, too!), you can use it in place of preserves, such as spreading on toast, bagels, pancakes, waffles, muffins, etc. You can use it in place of jelly in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
You can spoon it over ice cream. You can put it in pie filling. You can spread it between layers of a cake. If you have any other ideas, leave them in a comment below!
- 2 lb peaches
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- Juice of one lemon
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. The water should be deep enough to cover a layer of peaches with one inch of water over top.
- Cut a small “x” in the bottom of each peach. Dip each into the boiling water for 30 seconds, and then into a bowl of ice water for a minute. The peels should slide off easily. If not, return to the boiling water for 15 seconds, then into the ice water for a minute.
- Halve your peaches and remove the pits, then cut each half into 4 pieces. Place the peach chunks and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer until the peaches are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure they cook evenly. Puree the peaches and water in a food processor, blender or with an immersion blender to your desired consistency.
- Return the peaches to the large pot, add the sugar and lemon juice and bring the mixture to a strong simmer (not a rolling boil), and cook at a simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally in the beginning and more often near the end.
- While the mixture is cooking, place a plate in the refrigerator. At the 30-minute-cooking mark, drop a dollop of the beach butter onto the chilled plate. If no water forms a ring around the dollop, the mixture is done. If a ring does form, continue cooking.
- Also while the mixture is cooking, bring a 20-quart stock pot of water to a simmer and place a round rack at the bottom. Wash two 8-ounce (or four 4-ounce) jars and their lids with hot soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and place in the simmering water.
- Divide your hot peach butter between your jars, leaving a ¼-inch of headspace at the top. Wipe the rims and threads clean with a dry towel and cover the jars with their lids. Bring the stockpot of water to a boil.
- Submerge the jars in the boiling water for 10 minutes, then use tongs to remove them. Let cool completely on towels overnight. If canned properly, the peach butter should last indefinitely at room temperature.
Slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen
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