My Aunt Sue, a true peach lover, traipsed out into the peach orchards of Ohio…wait, Ohio has peach orchards? Georgia be darned…we Ohioians know how to grow some peaches. And peaches, my aunt did pick. My aunt ended up picking some 1 + 1/2 to 2 bushels of peaches. For herself. One women. 2 bushels of peaches. Why and how were my first questions.
Why did she pick so many? She is just one woman.( I do not think my uncle shares in her fanatical love for peaches – however, if she had been picking from chocolate trees, he would have had her pick 3 bushels!) Her love for fresh, juicy, ripe peaches mixed with a decent drive to the peach orchard lead her to picking so many. I have fallen into this trap with apples and strawberries…so I will not poke fun. It happens to the best of us.
And how was she going to eat 2 bushels of peaches. By herself? She chuckled at this as she explained how she was eating a peach with each meal and in-between meals (that is 6+ peaches per day if you were counting) and that she was sharing them with every soul she encountered. And yet, she would still need to slice and freeze what remained before they invariably became overripe, mealy, and well…rotten. And lucky enough for me, I was one of those fortunate souls to score a large bag of Ohio peaches. Well my mom was the actual recipient, but I was able to steal a few from her grasp…And by a few, I had 5lbs. of peaches when it was said and done.
And finally, the what landed square on my shoulders. What was I going to do with 5lbs. of peaches? I, too, was only one woman and I am not a 6 per day peach eater…But, I do love a good fruit butter. Probably more so than the normal human being. I, mean, yeah I could have made a pie or crumble or ice cream, but peach butter would allow me to enjoy the peaches for weeks to come (OK, days…lets be serious, I have been eating it by the spoonful). I like it best slathered on english muffins, toast, pb sandwiches, or my favorite…saltines.
There are a gazillion different methods for making a fruit butter. Crockpot, stove-top, oven…if it conducts heat, you can make a fruit butter in it or on it. I chose the stove top, since I was making a rather small batch and didn’t have the patience to wait 6+ hours for the final product (crockpot) nor did I feel comfortable sticking it in the oven. This is a rather time consuming project, but doesn’t need to be watched constantly, just checked in on every ten or so minutes and more often towards the end….however, I found it quite satisfying and worth the time when it finally thickened and the flavor and texture matched what was in my minds eye. Moments like this are what keep me coming back for more.
- 3 pounds Fresh Peaches (about 12-14 medium peaches), peeled and pitted
- ¾ Cup Water
- 1 + ½ Cups White Granulated Sugar
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- ½ Teaspoon Cinnamon
- Slice peeled and pitted peaches into uniform slices/chunks.
- Add peaches and water to a large pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until peaches have softened, about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and place peaches in a food processor and process mixture until smooth. An immersion blender or regular blender would also get the job done. ( I like a smooth butter, but feel free to make it chunky!)
- Return peach pulp to the pan and stir in sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon.
- Place over medium heat and bring mixture to a slight boil and continue to cook for an additional 60-75 minutes (this time may vary depending on the weather, level of humidity, amount of water in peaches, etc...so be prepared for this to take more or less time), stirring every ten or so minutes and more often towards the end to prevent scorching. The butter will be done when a heaping teaspoonful keeps its shape and remains rounded.
- Allow peach butter to cool before placing in jars with tight fitting lids. Store in fridge. It will keep in fridge for upto 2 weeks. You are more than welcome to can this peach butter, however I am not a canning expert.