Day 159–Peach Butter!


When I was little, I hated peaches. Would. Not. Eat. Them. It wasn’t the taste, I just couldn’t get past the fuzzy skin. I was a nectarine girl all the way. Then I moved farther south, where peaches grow everywhere and you just can’t resist the sweet fragrance coming from the market stalls. Fuzz you say? What fuzz? I am totally over it. When peach season hits, it’s like striking gold for me. Peach cobbler, peach ice cream, peach crisp and just plain ol’ peaches–the super ripe kind that drip juice down your chin and make you a target for every yellow jacket in the area.

If you’ve been following our blog, you know that eating locally means putting up the goodness of the season so that you can continue to enjoy locavore eating all year round without having to depend on just a few seasonal crops. I’ll be freezing peaches, for sure, but I found a recipe for peach butter that, judging from our taste of what was left in the pot, will be heaven in the middle of winter. Just open a jar and spread some summer on my morning toast. Yum. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

Peach Butter (makes about 5 half-pints)

2 c. water
1/4 c. lemon juice
8 lb. ripe peaches
2 c. sugar
1tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Combine the water and lemon juice in a non-reactive pot.

Peel and chop the peaches, adding the fruit to the water/lemon juice. Compost peach peels.

Bring the peach mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes (peaches will be soft). Puree with a food mill or stick blender.

Return the peach puree to the pot and add sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Simmer until thick (this took 50 min for me). Stir frequently so the puree doesn’t burn.

Store your peach butter in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or can using the hot water bath method.

Ladle puree into clean, hot jars (I used half pint jars), leaving 1/4″ headspace. Release trapped air, wipe jar rims clean and put lids on jars. Screw bands onto jars just to finger tightness.

Process for 10 minutes in a hot water canner (jars should be in boiling water 10 min). Open canner, turn off heat and let sit 5 minutes.

Remove jars and set aside 24 hours. Check jar seals and set aside in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months.