What can I say about Peach Butter? First of all for all you novices out there.. and don’t be shy.. you are not alone … this is not actually butter…. how or why fruit butters are called butter is beyond me.. probably because it’s spreadable.. but then again we don’t call jellies and jams butter… so go figure…
So just what is it? Basically in a nutshell… it’s fresh fruit peeled, cut up and cooked slowly over very low heat with some sugar… not much sugar….. you can add spices like cinnamon or allspice if you prefer.. then pureed.
Now that we know what it is… do you realize just how easy it is to make it?... No?... I thought so…
I like to use my crockpot… it’s easy and quick to set up … and I let the crockpot do the work… it really is that simple.
Last year I wrote a post all about peaches… it really is helpful… I’m always surprised that most people don’t know there are two kinds of peaches.. Clingstone peaches and Freestone peaches.. most people have heard of Cling peaches but really have no idea what it means… and grocery stores usually don’t post the name in the sign.. that’s probably because they have Cling peaches and don’t want you to realize it until you get them home.
Cling peaches have pits that actually cling to the peach.. cutting them out is a pain in the tookus.. and there are hard bits of peach around the pit.. so you have to really make sure to cut it all out… I suppose if you’re eating one.. it’s not a big deal.. but making jams, jellies and peach butter.. you have to do it to an awful lot of them.
Now Freestones.. I bet at this point you can figure out the meaning.. are a snap to get the pit out and the area around the pit is soft.. no hard bits to find and cut out.
Ask your produce manager before buying them.. if he doesn’t know.. he will cut one open to see… at least that’s what my produce department did last year.. this year.. idiot that I am.. I forgot to ask.. and you guessed it… I got them home and started putting up the peaches in the crockpot… and they were Clingstones… UGH!
For other information about peaches see my post All About Peaches.
Back to the Peach Butter… you can make massive quantities of the stuff and can them… follow your normal canning instructions or consult the information on your canning materials.
If you’re like me and want just a little… I use about 8 good size peaches.. I weighed each one this year to see just how much I had.. they each weighed ½ pound… so 4 pounds or so will make a batch for you and make about 1 pint.
A post about How To Peel Peaches Easily with step by step pictures is here.
I use ½ cup sugar for 8 peaches… and it really does pretty much multiply out well… 16 peaches get 1 cup etc.. Peaches in season tend to be sweet so ½ cup is fine… you can always taste it later and adjust it if you want it sweeter.
I didn’t add cinnamon or nutmeg or allspice this time… just peaches and sugar went into my batch.. you can add whatever spices you feel like.
Water… a lot of recipes add water.. and one recipe even added a full cup.. and like a fool… I tried it.. all I can say is don’t.. the peaches have water in them and will extract it while cooking. … you really don’t need it but you can add ¼ cup so there’s liquid on the bottom if you feel more comfortable.
If you added water and find it very watery… you can scoop out the excess water (before you puree them) .. just remember some of your sugar is in that water so if you do that you will need to adjust the sugar… not a big deal.. just add it according to your taste.
You can make this on top of the stove, but be prepared to stay there and stir… also definitely add the ¼ cup water… and make sure your heat is very low.. you don’t want to scorch it. The crock pot is seriously the best method.
You can cook the peaches cut up and puree them later… I do it about 6 hours or halfway through cooking… or puree them before you cook them…. I find it better to cook them first because they’re softer… but either way does work.
I use an immersion blender to puree them.. if you use a regular blender be sure to be careful and have a towel over the top of the blender top. Stop periodically and lift the top off to let the steam out otherwise the top could pop off and the hot peaches can burn you.
Store the Peach Butter in an airtight jar in the fridge.
Recipe: Peach Butter
All you need:
4 pounds of peaches
½ cup sugar
Spices (optional) *See Tips
The Juice of one lemon
All you have to do:
Peel, pit and cut up the peaches. Place the cut-up peaches in the crock pot. Give it a good stir... smell the them...ohhhh ahhhh
Then add the sugar in a crock pot and another stir....
Add the lemon juice.
Set the crockpot on low.
Cook for 4-6 hours, then puree them. Pour it back into the crockpot and cook until it has the thickness you want… I cook mine about 10 hours. Stir occasionally.
Cooking time will vary with how thick you like it, how many peaches you’re cooking, your crockpot and how soft the peaches are when you cut them up.
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