Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Peach Butter

I saw this recipe for peach butter on the smitten kitchen website last week.  I also vowed to make slow-cooked black beans, and Ina's tomato and goat cheese tarts.  The black beans I will not mention because they were disappointing at best. The tarts - well, we just talked about that, remember?

This is my life - I read a recipe and then obsess over it.  I plan it in my head, dream about how it will taste, and count down the minutes until I can create.  Everyone has their thing - this is mine. 

Anyway - back to the peach butter.  I've never even tasted peach butter.  But when I saw an english muffin slathered with it, I could think of nothing else. 

Even though the recipe promised a quick cooking time, I found that I needed to cook mine way longer.  I doubled the recipe and probably tripled the cooking time.  I'll give you the smitten kitchen recipe and you can see what you think.  I utilized her measurements and tools to determine when the peach butter has reached the consistency it should have. 

We really love it.  We've enjoyed it on english muffins, peanut butter sandwiches (makes the perfect packed school lunch), and on plain yogurt. 

This is the time of year when you can buy seconds of peaches for a great price.  I think I pay $3.95 for a 1/2 peck.  This is neither a time-consuming task nor complicated.  Make some today and surprise your family with an english muffin slathered with peach butter for breakfast tomorrow!

Peach Butter (courtesy of smitten kitchen)

Yield: 4 cups
4 pounds (1.8 kilograms) peaches
1 cup (237 ml) water
2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
Juice of one lemon
Without a food mill: Cut a small “x” in the bottom of each peach. Dip each into a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds, and then into a bowl of cold water for a minute. The peels should slide right off. [If you have a food mill, skip the peeling step and I'll tell you where to use it in a moment.]
Halve your peaches and remove the pits, then cut each half into quarters (i.e. 8 chunks from each peach). Place peach chunks and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer until peaches are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure they cook evenly. If you have a food mill, run them through it to puree them and remove the skins. If you don’t have a food mill — i.e. you already peeled your peaches — you can puree in a food processor, blender or with an immersion blender. I like my peach butter very smooth, but feel free to leave any amount of texture you prefer.
Return the peaches to the large pot, add the sugar and lemon juice and bring the mixture to a good strong simmer/gentle boil, cooking them at this level for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally in the beginning and more often near the end, as it thickens up and the fruit masses risk scorching on the bottom of the pot.
There are several methods to test for doneness: You can drizzle a ribbon of sauce across the surface; when that ribbon holds its shape before dissolve into the pot, it is done. Some people use cold or frozen plates; dollop a spoonful in the middle of one and if no water forms a ring around it in a couple minutes, it is done. Others use a spoon; if the butter remains rounded on a spoon for two minutes, it is done. You can also check the pot itself; the butter is usually done when a wooden spoon leaves a clear train when scraped across the bottom.
Let peach butter cool, keep it in an airtight container in the fridge. It should be good for at least two weeks.


  1. Looks wonderful! I have the peaches, I just don't have the time today. Thanks for the recipe. It's going in the "Save and Try" pile for next week. ☺ Happy Tuesday!

    PS...I made 2-ingredient Vanilla Ice Cream this AM. Oh.My.Golly. I wonder if I can wait until this evening to eat some. I plan to serve with Peach Crisp.

  2. I'll have to wait for peaches to make a proper appearance here before I give this a crack. I love peaches and this looks a lot easier than making jam!

  3. Yumm that looks great. No peaches here yet either.
    Half a peck? Whoa that is soooo not metric! I have heard of a peck but have absolutely no idea of how big (or small) a peck is.

  4. That does sound delicious! I've never heard of it before either.