One of my favorite memories from my childhood was picking fresh peaches from my grandparents’ peach orchard. My cousins and I would head out to the orchard with baskets and try to fill them up with fuzzy, ripe peaches. My grandparents would sell some of the peaches at the local farmers’ market but my grandmother would also preserve and can many of them so they could enjoy peaches all year-round. Naturally, peaches are my favorite kind of fruit butter! I love using peaches for fruit butter because they are sweet, tangy, and pair well with so many other flavors.
The most important consideration in food preservation is food safety. And – unless you have a serious microbiology lab in your kitchen – that means you have to follow tried and true recipes, which is not exactly my style. Because I like to experiment with fruit butters I make smaller batches and store them in the fridge as a perishable item. I do, however, refer to the tried and true recipes – like Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving – when I experiment so that the butter texture is consistent.
5 medium peaches (fresh & at the peak of ripeness)
1 lemon (juice & zest)
2 whole sprigs of fresh mint
1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup of sugar
Roughly chop the peaches into 1 inch pieces. Put the water, peaches, lemon juice, lemon zest, and sprigs of mint into a smaller saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir frequently so the fruit sugars do not burn on the bottom of the saucepan.
Remove the sprigs of mint and use an immersion blender (or a food processor) to puree into a uniform texture.
Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Return to heat to bring the mixture to a boil and simmer until the mixture thickens (most people use the spoon test to determine when the desired texture is reached).
Use a funnel to pour into the mason jars. I used four 4 oz mason jars.
Enjoy this tangy fruit butter with just-from-the-oven baking powder biscuits or with granola and yogurt. Yum!
P.S. Food preservation can get a little messy but I’ve found some handy tools that I love:
Tovolo Silicone Spatula – Cotton Candy
Microplane 46720 Premium Green Zester/Grater
Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick 2-Speed Immersion Hand Blender, Brushed Chrome
Norpro Bamboo Citrus Reamer
Norpro Stainless Steel Wide-Mouth Funnel
And always keep a moist dish towel handy for any spills!