I love peaches! I want to shout it from the roof top… I. Love. Peaches!
Summer is nearing its end, which means peaches are nearing their end, too. I hate to admit that peach season is almost over, but I have to come to terms with it. The fear of not having fresh peaches at my disposal is torchering me. I’m not ready to give up peaches, so I made a quick decision and decided that canning them at their peak of ripeness was the next best thing to having fresh, juicy peaches. What better way to preserve them than to make a peach butter? It’s summer in a jar. Pure peach flavor in the form of a smooth, velvety butter. Yum!
I made enough to last all winter. All I have to do is pop the top off the ol’ mason jar and spread the peachy love all over my morning toast, or drizzle it over my yogurt or ice cream.
Now, I know some people like to add cinnamon to their fruit butters, however, I wanted to keep this butter simple and preserve the pure flavor of a fresh peach, as if you’ve picked it right off the tree.
It took me a long time to get over my fear of canning. The word “botulism” scared the bejeezus out of me, and I sure as heck didn’t want to go spreading that around.
Once I overcame my fear, I found that canning is really, very easy. Just knowing that I have a stock pile of fresh produce preserved at the peak of ripeness in my pantry, makes me all giddy on the inside, with a touch of pride. It’s like Tom Hanks in Castaway, “I made fire!” Instead, “I preserved fruit!” It’s a very rewarding feeling.
Don’t worry, I’ll hold your hand through the process. Make sure you’re on the straight and narrow. Get the job done right.
You can do it! I, Jennie, believe in you.
If you need some help along the way, the Ball company provides amazing tips on canning and preserving fresh produce. Their site was a life saver for me when I first started my canning journey. If I got stuck or had questions, I’d find myself on their site searching for the answer. They are canning pros, over there. I know canning can be scary, but I’m here to help. Just shoot me an email titled “HELP!” and I’ll be all over it.
Here’s why you need this peach butter in your life:
1. It tastes like a fresh picked peach straight off the tree.
2. It makes for an awesome gift. Shh, don’t tell, but I’m giving away some of these jars for Christmas.
3. You can put this fruity butter on anything: biscuits, yogurt, pancakes, muffins, french toast, cheesecake, cottage cheese, etc. Let your imagination go wild. Heck, I eat it right out of the jar with a spoon.
Now, to teach you how to make it.
5 lbs. peaches
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
10 8 oz. mason jars
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the peaches to the boiling water for 30 seconds, then remove. The skins will slide right off with the tug of your fingers.
Slice the peaches right off the pit and cut into fat chunks. Add the peach chunks to a large pot, then add the sugar and water. Simmer until peaches are tender, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you have an immersion blender, puree peaches right in the pot until very smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth, then add the mixture back to the pot.
Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, and cook for 30-40 minutes, allowing the mixture to thicken. Stir frequently to ensure the mixture doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pot. The butter is done when there is a visible trace left with your finger on a wooden spoon.
Wash your jars, lids, and rings in hot soapy water. Rinse well. Sterilize the jars and rings by boiling them in a large pot of water for 10 minutes (the water should cover the jars completely). Add the lids to a clean bowl and add a ladle of boiling water to the bowl. Remove the jars and rings onto a clean towel, placing the jars upside down to remove any excess water. Remove the lids from the bowl onto the clean towel. Divide the hot peach butter between the jars, leaving about a 1/2-inch space at the top. Wipe the rims clean with a paper towel and cover with lids and screw on the rings. Submerge the jars in the pot of boiling water, either in a removable basket (I recommend the basket. It makes the process easier, and you’re less likely to get burned) or with tongs. Make sure the jars are fully submerged and covered with at least 1 inch of water. Boil for ten minutes. Remove the basket or dip out individually with tongs. Let cool completely on the towel, leaving them there overnight, untouched (do not touch the lids or push on them). You’ll begin to hear a popping sound a few minutes after the jars have been removed from the hot water. This is completely normal and a good sign that you properly canned the butter. The next morning, check the lids by making sure they don’t make a popping sound when pressed with your finger. If they’re canned correctly, the lids won’t budge or flex. If they do flex, place the jar in the fridge and use right away. Label and date the jars and store at room temperature.