Saturday, April 2, 2011

Peach Butter

There is no butter in Peach Butter.  The name "butter" comes not from the ingredient list, but from the texture.  "Butter" when associated with a fruit is basically a lightly sweetened fruit puree that is cooked down until it is quite thick with a very smooth texture: supposedly reminiscent of actual dairy butter. 

I'm not so sure that when I have this Peach Butter I recognize the texture of real butter.  But I do recognize the taste of awesomeness. 

I had never had this stuff before...but had heard of it.  Back when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade and completely and totally obsessed with everything Laura Ingalls Wilder, I think that my mom and I made some Apple Butter.  As much as I wanted to love it back then (because, Laura wrote of it fondly...and I was oh-so-fond of Laura), I was not "wow-ed".   But when, in preparation for some summer canning escapades, I read the recipe for this Peach Butter I knew I had to give the fruit butter another shot. I had some frozen peaches left over from last summer in the freezer so I didn't even have to wait until August.  And I'm very glad that I tried this.

So, what does one do with Peach Butter?  Use it like you would any jam or jelly.  Have it on a PB&J ( this case would it be a PBPB? Or perhaps a 2PB?).  On toast.  On freshly baked bread.  Or...on some ice cream.  This was fantastic.

This might...just my new favorite spread.

Peach Butter
adapted from: Put 'em Up! A Comprehensive Home Preserving Guide for the Creative Cook
                       by Sherri Brooks Vinton

2 C. water
1/4 C. bottled lemon juice
8 pounds ripe peaches
2 C. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Combine the water and lemon juice in a large pot.  Skin the peaches (drop them 2 at a time into boiling water for about 30 seconds then immediately into an ice bath; the skins should slide right off). Cut the peaches in half and remove the pit, then squeeze them (over the pot with the water/lemon mixture) to crush and add to the pot.  Simmer the peaches for about 10 minutes, until they are soft, then puree.  A stick blender works great for this, but you could also transfer to a food processor, blender, or food mill, and then put it back in the pot. 

Add sugar and cinnamon, then simmer over medium-low heat until reduced and thickened, about 45 minutes.  The mixture is done when you can put a small dollop on a plate and no water "weeps" away from the perimeter.

This makes about 6 cups.  You can refridgerate, or can (boiling water method, 1/4 inch headspace, process 10 minutes).

1 comment:

  1. I will have to find you my friend's recipe for peach caramel sauce. It's on my list of things to can this summer. i opened a jar of peach butter earlier this week and I plan to thicken it just a bit and use it for homemade poptarts.