Better as Butter

I look forward to fall all year long. I love cozy sweaters, hot cider, and the changing colors of the leaves. When September hits I get especially excited because I know those delightful pleasures are right around the corner. So you will understand my surprise and frustration when it’s September 2nd and it is 90 degrees outside! Of course, I’ve loved all the beautiful summer produce at the farmers’ markets in NYC and the home grown varieties at some farm stands in the Poconos of Pennsylvania, but I really just want to bottle up the best of summer and move on to fall.

And so, I knew exactly what to do with the collection of just overly-ripe peaches sitting on my counter- make peach butter! I decided this would be a perfect way to put summer in a jar, but still get to enjoy its sweetness for a few weeks longer.

Peach Butter

  • 3 medium sized, just ripe peaches
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

IMG_0882The first thing you’ll want to do is add your water and lemon juice to a pot, preferably a non-stick, non-reactive pan. I do not have one myself, so I spent more time standing over my recipe stirring than one would otherwise, but that’s the way it goes. Into this pot, add your cubed peaches. Most recipes say to remove the skins by quickly blanching and then submerging the fruit in an ice bath to remove the skin, but I am all about cutting steps in the kitchen and am in the habit of not peeling to get all the good fiber. Let your peaches, water, and lemon juice cook for about ten minutes until the fruit is soft.

IMG_0883Puree the peaches with a hand stick immersion blender or transfer to a food processor. See, even with the skins mine has turned out nice and smooth. Next you’ll want to add a little sweetness and spice.

honey, cinnamon, nutmeg

honey, cinnamon, nutmeg

You could absolutely use regular sugar instead, but I like the rich flavor and natural quality of honey. Once you’ve added those it’s time to turn this baby into butter. Simmer your peach puree over medium-low heat for about 45 minutes, or until thickened. The test for thickness is to place a dollop of your butter on a plate (I used my jar lid). You are looking for a nice droplet that does not weep juice around its edges. Like this…

IMG_0885If your butter passed the drop test, congratulations, you have just made peach butter! You can refrigerate this delicious spread for three weeks or go ahead and can it to enjoy all year long. I personally want to eat it up, in the hopes of hurrying summer along just a little bit.

IMG_0886

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