Accidentally Cooking

Documenting my mistakes in the garden, kitchen and pantry


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Peach Butter

A day after making the first batch of the Peach and Cherry Jam with my peaches, another wave of peaches came ripe. These included almost all the rest of the yellow peaches, which wasn’t very many. I’ve been wanting to make a big batch of peach butter in the crock pot, and this was the perfect opportunity. I would call it “White Peach Butter”, but because a few yellow ones got involved I feel like the more general title is better.

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Crockpot Peach Butter

  • Peaches, pitted and sliced thick[1]
  • Sugar [2]
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Put the peaches into the crockpot. Cover with sugar and lemon juice. Toss. Cook on high for 6-8 hours, or until the butter has reached the desired consistency [3]. Somewhere in the middle, hit it with a blender [4] to make it smooth and chop up any big pieces of skin. Ladle into prepared jars and process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes [5].

Results

…That’s the theory, anyway. The recipe I was following said that you wouldn’t need more than 6-8 hours in the crockpot, on low heat. I had mine on high heat, and cooked the batch for 10 hours before giving up for the day. I transferred the slurry to a sealed container and refrigerated overnight. The next day, I tossed it in a large stock pot and cooked over medium-low heat for another hour or so before it reached the right consistency.

I only used about 1 cup of sugar total, so the butter wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet. I would call the flavor things like “mature”, “deep” and “complex”. I tossed around the idea of adding some cinnamon or pie spices, but decided that the pure peach flavor was more than enough for this particular batch of peach butter (and Dana strongly agreed).

The final product is relatively thick, but not as thick as some of the driest butters I’ve seen before. It’s a deep brown color, and could easily be mistaken for apple butter. I got 7 jars (8oz) of the finished product. Here’s a picture of my completed jars of peach butter (on the left) with some jars of Jelly I’ll discuss in a different post.

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Notes

  1. I used just about enough peaches, a mixture of (mostly) white and yellow, to fill the crockpot. It wasn’t quite full.
  2. In jams, you need sugar to thicken the final product. With butters, you are thickening by boiling away water and cooking the fruit down into a goo. I used about 1 cup of sugar to start. Some sugar helps to liberate juice from the fruit and prevent it from browning. As the peaches cook, taste it and adjust sugar levels as necessary (you can always add it, you can’t take it away). For the entire batch of peaches, which filled the crockpot, we used about a cup or so of sugar.
  3. I’ve seen fruit “butter” be anywhere from a syrup-like consistency down to something thick and firm. The more you cook it, the less “fresh” taste you’ll have and the more caramelized rickness you will have. It’s all about personal preference. I tend to like apple butters thicker, but since I’ve never made peach butter, I stopped a bit earlier.
  4. We have an immersion blender, which makes things very easy. Using a regular blender would require scooping the peaches out of the crockpot, blending them in batches, moving the blended ones into a bowl while you blended the next batch, etc. If you have an immersion blender, use it. If not, definitely price a few out.
  5. I actually did this particular batch in my pressure canner, because I did another recipe at the same time and had more jars to process than would fit in my biggest stock pot. I followed all the instructions from the manual, and processed the jars at 6lbs of pressure for 15 minutes.
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