August is National Peach Month, which means it’s time for peach muffins, peach shortcake, and spiced peach butter!
It’s back to my Canbassador “duties” this week as the peaches are ripe and luscious here in the Mid-Columbia. IMHO one can never have too many ripe peaches. They are my favorite fruit of all, and that is saying something because I could live on fresh fruit.
I have grown two kinds of peaches for years, but could not believe the peaches that the Washington State Fruit Commission sent. They were HUGE! Like baby bowling balls. So I got to work turning them into something great.
What is a Canbassador?
As a Canbassador my job is to make all kinds of wonderful preserved Washington fruit items and then write about them. I must say, it’s one of the best “jobs” I have ever held.
You can find out lots more about our wonderful Washington stone fruits over at the SweetPreservation site. There are instructions for canning and freezing fruit, all kinds of ideas for throwing a “preservation party,” recipes, tips for choosing the best fruit at the grocery store, and professionally designed labels to download. You can even get a copy of the “Of course I canned” badge for your own blog.
What is Fruit 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. Peach butter is delicious all on its own, but some years I also like to make a spiced version.
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.
- • 18-20 medium-sized ripe peaches
- • 4 cups sugar
- • 2 tsp ground ginger
- • 1 tsp ground allspice
- • ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 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 with an immersion blender or in a food processor.
- Return puree to pot - you should have about 8 cups of puree. Add sugar and spices.
- Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often until mixture has reached desired thickness. (about 45 minutes).
- Ladle into hot, clean, half-pint jars leaving about ¼ inch head space. Top with the two-piece lids and rings, and process in a water bath for 15 minutes.
Full disclosure: This recipe was made with peaches I received from the Washington State Fruit Commission
Some other fruit butter recipes you may like to try:
Spirited Apricot Cherry Butter
I use ginger in anything peach including peach pie, peach butter, etc. To me cinnamon, ginger and a dash of allspice enhance the peach flavor much better than any other combination. Cloves mask the flavor of peaches. I also bake peach butter in a slow oven, stirring occasionally until thick enough to spread. Put in small containers & freeze. So easy!!
Doris, Freezing is a great way to preserve fruit butters! As you can tell with the recipe, I like a little clove with peaches instead of cinnamon, but find cardamom or mace work well too. And of course ginger – nothing goes better!