Fortunately, we found the cat, so I can share this deliciousness with you. Honestly, it's pretty phenomenal stuff. And the recipe is so simple, it's a bit unbelievable. I was inspired by this post on Smitten Kitchen, you can check out the original for more in-depth analysis of the peach butter phenomenon, and probably also better directions as well. If you're interested, here's a peach and lemongrass butter that also sounds intriguing.
Ingredients: peaches, the best you can find (optional: sugar and lemon juice, but I used neither). Pretty simple, right? Just fruit, nothing else.
|Mmmm, delicious window light.|
Cut your peaches into eighths, and put them in a big pot.
|These are not eighths, these are halves. I trust you to know the difference.|
Add a little water (about a cup, maybe a little less). Cover the peaches and cook over medium low heat for about ten minutes, until the peaches soften up and start to release some of their own juices.
Then uncover your pot, and cook the peaches down for a while. Depending on your stove, and how ripe the peaches were when you started, this could be anywhere from 15 minutes to half an hour.
|After a few minutes.|
|After about half an hour.|
I probably cooked my peaches down a bit too far this time, but I don't think it made a huge difference in the finished product.
Then either puree the peaches in a blender, use an immersion blender, or put them through a food mill. (I used a food mill. This one, if you're interested.) Once the peaches are blended, return them to the pot and continue to simmer them on medium low heat, stirring frequently. Your goal is to get rid of as much water as possible from the peaches so you're left with only pure peach essence.
Your peach butter is done once it gets thick and sticky, and a spoonful of it on a cold plate doesn't form a ring of water around it. If you're making a small batch over higher heat, this might happen fairly quickly (30 minutes or so). If you're making a larger batch or cooking over lower heat, it could take a while. A couple of hours, maybe. Be prepared to wait it out, because trust me, it's worth it.
Once it's done, you can can it by boiling it in a hot water bath for ten minutes and then setting the cans on the counter for 24 hours. Or you can just put it into a container and make sure you eat it quickly. Or you could freeze it. It's up to you. Make sure to test the seals if you can it. Also know that since there's no added sugar it's probably only shelf stable for a few months instead of the year that most other jam products can last.
|Then put some cute stickers on the jars. This is an essential step.|
Then enjoy! It's great stirred into yogurt or spread on top of a biscuit. And it's divine on waffles. I think it would also make a very gourmet pb&j.
Peach season is almost over, but this is perfect for very ripe fruit. Let me know if you try it!