How to make peach butter in six easy steps.
Note: This updated post was originally published on my older, Hestia’s Kitchen blog.
Our Red Haven Peach tree is overladen with ripe peaches this week. There are so many peaches that I am having trouble picking them before the very well fed neighborhood squirrel gets more than his fair share! Most of this first picking went into the freezer, but I also made a batch of peach butter. Unlike jams and preserves, butters are cooked slowly for a long period of time. Butters are pretty easy to make and it’s difficult to screw up a batch, but they are a little time consuming.
Although you may be most familiar with apple butter, fruit butter can be made from almost any fruit. I’ve made blueberry butter, cherry butter, plum butter and apricot butter. Since our #1 grand-daughter prefers peach butter to all others, I make sure we have several jars in the cupboard.
- 18-20 medium-sized ripe peaches
- 4 cups sugar
- Peel and slice the peaches.
- Place in a large pot and cook over low heat until soft, adding small amounts of water if necessary to prevent scorching.
- Puree peaches in a blender or food processor.
- Return puree to pot - you should have about 8 cups of puree. Add sugar.
- Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often until mixture has thickened.
- Ladle into hot, clean jars leaving about ¼ inch head space. Top with the two-piece lids and rings, and process in a water bath for 15 minutes.
How to Make Spiced Peach Butter
Add 1-4 tsp of warm spices per 4 cups puree. Ground allspice, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves all enhance the peach flavor. For this particular batch, I added 1 tsp each ground allspice and ground ginger, which give the butter a light spicy taste. Add the spices when adding the sugar.
How to Make Honey Peach Butter
Replace half of the sugar with an equal amount of honey or maple syrup for a different, but equally delicious, taste.
How to Peel Peaches
Most directions tell you to scald the peaches first and the skins will “slip off” but that has never been my experience. I find it’s just as easy, and a lot less work, to peel the peaches with a paring knife and forgo the scalding. However, some peach varieties do respond well to the scalding method. Drop the peaches into boiling water for about 30 seconds. Remove and immediately plunge them into ice water. Drain and voila, the skins can be easily removed. If you are lucky!
How Long Should You Cook Peach Butter?
It’s really important to keep stirring the puree/sugar mixture as it will burn very easily. While peach butter is a wonderful thing, burned peach butter is a frustrating waste of time and money – I’ve made this mistake so you don’t have to! Constant stirring isn’t necessary but frequent stirring will lead to better results.
As the butter thickens it will become a deep, rich, orange-yellow color. This process takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more. This batch took about an hour to thicken as much as I like.