Peach Butter – The Daring Cooks Challenge

Peach Butter – The Daring Cooks Challenge

This month’s Daring Cooks Challenge could not have been timelier since I have become the Dancing Canning Queen this Summer (the two are actually very similar!). The challenge was hosted by John from Eat4Fun and he wanted us to all do something related to Food Preservation. Since this topic is near and dear to my heart, I was ready for the challenge!

John chose this challenge because “It is a topic that takes advantage of the time of year where, in the Northern Hemisphere, our gardens and local farms should be harvesting an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. For this month’s challenge, I hope to whet your appetite on the vast topic of Food Preservation. Food preservation is a broad subject covering canning, freezing, drying, pickling, fermentation and jam making, but for this challenge the focus will be on freezing and home canning. The main recipe for our challenge will be apple butter. However, a couple additional recipes are provided for a little added variety.

Why Preserve Foods?
There are many reasons – save the harvest from our garden for later in the year, control the ingredients that go into our food, nostalgia (memories of our parents or grandparents), make gifts, satisfaction of making it yourself… etc. For me, it’s curiosity, controlling what I eat and just the satisfaction of making it myself.”

There is nothing better than your own Homemade Peach Butter!

I would definitely have to agree with John on all of the reasons for preserving foods. The Bunkycooks have nearly killed each other really enjoyed the canning and food preserving process this Summer. We have already decided to pop the top on many of the fruits, vegetables and jams that have we have canned this Summer! I can tell you that there is nothing better or more satisfying than eating foods that you know where they came from and that you have lovingly prepared and preserved.

Since I was on a roll with buying lots of peaches this Summer and put peaches into all sorts of things like Peach Freezer Jam, Brandied Peach Ice Cream, Peach Sorbet, Peach Cheesecake Pots with a Biscotti Crumble and a Summer Fruit and Berry Crisp…I figured why not one more peachy recipe! Since the South Carolina peaches were so plentiful and oh, so sweet this Summer, I made some Peach Butter!

Peach Butter takes a bit longer to make than a jam. You need to cook it and keep stirring it for a really long time. There is no pectin in this recipe, so you are relying on the natural pectin in the fruit and the sugars to thicken the mixture. Do not cut back on the amount of sugar called for in the recipe as this will affect the thickening and setting up process of the peach butter.

The bigger the biscuit, the more Peach Butter you need!

Also, be sure to not use overripe fruit. This will cause your final product to be runny. Patience is a virtue when making this one, but it will be well worth your time! The peach butter will be ready when it holds it’s shape on a spoon, which took me over an hour of cooking and stirring to get to that stage. Alternatively, to check for doneness, you can put a plate in the freezer. Drop a small amount of the butter on the plate when you think it is done. When the mixture no longer forms a watery ring around the edges, you are ready to can!

Peach butter is then processed in a boiling water canner for ten minutes. You will need to make adjustments in cooking times for high altitudes (which is considered anything above 1,000 feet). You can refer to this online tutorial on the Ball website to get more specific instructions on canning. There is also this PDF download that will explain more about high altitude adjustments.

Although canning may initially seem somewhat daunting, it really is very simple once you do it a few times and nothing will be better than what you prepare in your kitchen from your own fresh fruits and vegetables (or the Local Farmers’ Markets)! Thank you John for hosting this challenge and making more people aware of the benefits of canning. This recipe has the Mr. Bunkycooks stamp of approval, which means I will never buy peach butter again!

Now, go bake up a batch of big, fat, fluffy biscuits and plop a heaping tablespoon (or two!) of fresh Peach Butter on top (with a pat of butter, of course) and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

These are for me!

Peach Butter

Adapted from Ball, The Complete Book of Home Preserving
Makes eight 8-ounce jars

Ingredients:

4 1/2 pounds peaches, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup water
Grated zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups sugar

Directions:

In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine peaches, water and lemon zest and juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until peaches are soft, about 20 minutes.

Working in batches, transfer peach mixture to a food mill or food processor fitted with a metal blade and puree just until a uniform texture is achieved. Do not liquefy. Measure 8 cups of peach puree.

In a clean, large stainless steel saucepan, combine peach puree and sugar. Stir until until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and holds its shape on a spoon. (You can also test for doneness by placing a small amount on a plate that has been in the freezer. If the peach butter does not have a liquid ring around the dollop that is placed on the plate, then it is done). * Mine took over an hour to cook until the desired consistency. You also may need to turn down the temperature periodically to avoid scorching.

Prepare canner, jars and lids, as directed for sterilizing (refer to links above).

Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding more hot butter. Wipe rims with clean towel. Center hot lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met and is tight.

Place jars in canner and make sure jars are completely covered with boiling water and process for 10 minutes. Make adjustments depending on altitude. Wait 5 minutes, remove jars, cool and store.

* Be sure to follow proper canning and sterilization procedures for the boiling water canning process to ensure the safety of your food.

34 Responses to “Peach Butter – The Daring Cooks Challenge”

  1. 1

    Belinda @zomppa — September 15, 2010 @ 9:58 pm

    Mind to send a couple jars over? =)

  2. 2

    Sara — September 15, 2010 @ 10:52 pm

    Love the Peach Butter!!!Can you ship some to PA?!!! :)

  3. 3

    Anne — September 15, 2010 @ 10:58 pm

    Canning and dancing are both great skills to have :) As silly as this sounds, I never considered fruit butters other than apple butter. What a great idea!

  4. 4

    Denise@There's a Newf in My Soup! — September 15, 2010 @ 11:03 pm

    How did I know you would somehow pull this one off??? Now, will you please RELAX and put your feet up!

  5. 5

    Suzanne — September 15, 2010 @ 11:08 pm

    Yum I can almost taste it! I made pear butter that is really good too, I’ll have to post about it and give you the recipe to try out.

  6. 6

    alison — September 15, 2010 @ 11:17 pm

    peach butter is so good!

  7. 7

    Monet — September 15, 2010 @ 11:38 pm

    I have always adored apple butter…but I’ve never even thought about peach butter! You did such a lovely job explaining the process and tempting us with those delicious pictures of peach butter and biscuits.

  8. 8

    Conor @ HoldtheBeef — September 16, 2010 @ 3:24 am

    I’ve not come across peach butter before, but I think I’m in love.

  9. 9

    Jamie — September 16, 2010 @ 3:29 am

    Ha Ha! Love this post – yes, two people in the kitchen together all summer long and not wanting to kill each other at least once? Not possible! Husband and I no longer even attempt to cook together. One cooks, the other washes. And I have never canned (or jarred) but this peach butter looks and sounds amazing and I am imagining it on all sorts of things from scones to roasted chicken. Yum!

  10. 10

    penny aka jeroxie — September 16, 2010 @ 8:38 am

    I have not made any fruit butter before. Such an interesting DCC

  11. 11

    Becky — September 16, 2010 @ 8:41 am

    I want some biscuits and peach butter for breakfast! What a lovely post.

  12. 12

    Nancy/SpicieFoodie — September 16, 2010 @ 9:36 am

    Your photo with the biscuits and peach butter is making me really hungry. I have never tried this and would love to sounds really good.

  13. 13

    Sommer @ A Spicy Perspective — September 16, 2010 @ 10:42 am

    Holy peaches! I think I could drink that jar of peach-butter!

  14. 14

    Barbara | VinoLuciStyle — September 16, 2010 @ 10:57 am

    Makes my mouth water this looks so good! And glad to hear you and the Mr. survived the canning season; you’ll need help eating all those goodies, right?

  15. 15

    Julie M. — September 16, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

    I love the idea of peach butter! I really need get myself in gear and can some fruit butter and soon!

  16. 16

    Drick — September 16, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

    nothing finer in my opinion … great tip on the cold plate for testing stage of cooking … and the recipe sounds great, pure with a hint of lemon…

  17. 17

    Yumkid — September 16, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

    I have been thinking about making my own butter and now you have pushed me over the fence ;). Will have to try it out.

  18. 18

    Magic of Spice — September 16, 2010 @ 7:24 pm

    Wow, peach butter sounds amazing :)

  19. 19

    Kim — September 17, 2010 @ 4:18 pm

    Lol… you’re not kidding about having so many peach recipes this summer… but I love them all! :o) Will get to this one… right after I finish canning some peaches first!

    [K]

  20. 20

    Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen — September 17, 2010 @ 5:14 pm

    Yummy! I have always wanted to make my own jam and butters but I have always been hesitant because of the whole canning process. You make it look so simple…thanks for sharing! :)

  21. 21

    Roger (Mr. Bunkycooks) — September 17, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

    This recipe is a winner. More PLEASE.

  22. 22

    Evan@sweets — September 17, 2010 @ 6:14 pm

    I love apple butter, so I think I would absolutely ADORE peach butter! How yummy :) I’m in SC for a few weeks on bizz..maybe I’ll see if there are still a few peaches roaming around! ha

  23. 23

    marla {family fresh cooking} — September 18, 2010 @ 8:41 am

    I never thought I would be intrigued by canning but lately I really am. I have so many recipes that I create huge batches. I would love to pull jars of them out of the pantry at my whim. This peach butter sounds amazing. They are having a panel on canning at BlogHer food that I think I will attend. You share many great tips for me to learn from as well.
    Thanks for a great post :)

  24. 24

    {oc cottage} — September 18, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

    Oh my! Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my!

    m ^..^

  25. 25

    The Mom Chef — September 18, 2010 @ 5:33 pm

    Aaarghhhh! I wish our peach season wasn’t over. There were just a few measly looking ones last time I was at the produce stand near us and I wouldn’t have given them to the the raccoons let alone my family. Your peach butter looks so, so good!

  26. 26

    Devaki @ weavethousandflavors — September 19, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

    So wonderful especially with those fluffy biscuits. My goodness!! I have been missing your posts so I am glad to be back in the swing of things.

    I love your peachy posts! :)

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandlfavors

  27. 27

    Thea — September 19, 2010 @ 10:32 pm

    Your peach butter sounds wonderful, and I will try to give it a go in the New Year when the peaches arrive in the shops here. Your photos are lovely and fresh looking.

  28. 28

    denise @ quickies on the dinner table — September 20, 2010 @ 2:56 am

    Oh yes!!! Some over here please! And the recipe for those biscuits would be nice too :) You have the prettiest jam jars I’ve seen so far!

  29. 29

    Robyn — September 20, 2010 @ 9:07 am

    Your peach butter looks delicious. I made some this summer and just loved the flavor. It went fast let me tell ya. I should have made more.

    Looking forward to seeing you in San Fran for BlogHer Food!

    Thanks so much for joining in Mingle Monday! Have a great week!

  30. 30

    Priscilla - She's Cookin' — September 20, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

    I grew up watching my mom can tomatoes and green beans, make jams and apple butter, and generally slave over the hot stove all summer (she was always afraid of the pressure cooker). But we enjoyed the fruits of her labor throughout the winter. Thanks for an excellent post.

  31. 31

    Laura — September 21, 2010 @ 10:27 am

    Delicious! I made peach jam. What makes it peach butter? That it’s puréed?

    • bunkycooks replied: — September 21st, 2010 @ 10:30 am

      It is pureed and it cooks forever…like an hour of stirring and simmering. Also, there is no pectin in this. It is just the fruit and sugar that cooks down to make the “butter” consistency. It is just delicious!

  32. 32

    Lawyer Loves Lunch — September 21, 2010 @ 11:46 am

    I keep intending to do a Daring Cooks challenge but somehow, always miss it and then I see the lovely items people keep making and again, I think, next time I’m doing this! It’s a vicious cycle :) And I’m totally in awe of your canning adventures!

  33. 33

    Andreas — August 6, 2013 @ 8:58 am

    Yummy, definitely going to use today with one exception. Because of mobility issues I’ve been cheating with a crock pot on some of my jams and butters like plum butter this weekend. Basically take all the ingredients, stir, add to crock pot. Start on high for an hour, then set to low for the next 12-16 hours. Stir occasionally. When everything is liquid-y around the 3-4 hour mark, use knives/chopsticks/whatever to raise the lid so steam can escape. Around hour 12 use an immersion blender if you want smooth smooth butter. Chances are this will thicken to the right consistency. If not, leave a few hours more. Wash jars and prepare hot water process at this point.

    As a side not, pitted fruit with stubborn pits can be added with pits. The flesh will come off the pit which will float to the top for easy removal. Meanwhile the pit has added natural pectin.

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