Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Peach Butter

Part of my recent adventure into the world of canning has already included the putting up of some beautiful local peaches.  There's a small town called Porter near Tulsa, where I live, and Porter is famous for its delicious summery, fuzzy fruit.

I purchased a few more pounds recently, intending to put up more jars of peach halves.  However, I procrastinated and several of the peaches wound up a little too soft and bruised for that.  Never fear!  Fruit butter to the rescue.

I looked to a blog called Food In Jars for help.  Their site has some general instructions, but no specific recipe, so if you're also a canning n00b, do as I did and venture forth at your own peril.

It all starts with fresh peaches, relieved of their skins by a brief dip into boiling water.  This is best accomplished by making a small X in each peach's bum with a sharp paring knife, dunking a few of them at a time into a roiling stockpot, and removing them carefully with a wire spider or slotted spoon.  When they've cooled enough to handle, gently slip the skins off and discard them.  Better yet, throw them in the compost bin!

Nekkid peaches!  :O

Next the fruit is cubed.  There's no need for anything close to perfection.  You'll be cooking the bejeesus out of these babies, so whack away.

A small amount of water is added and the pot is brought to a boil.

After a thorough boiling, the whole mess is moved to a crock pot for slow cooking, which will reduce and thicken the peaches without the hassle of monitoring the stovetop.  Prop open the lid with a wooden spoon to allow the steam to escape.  My crock pot is old, so I turned it to high.  Most newer ones will work on low.

I cooked mine for a good part of the day, but I'm bad about timing so I can't tell you how long it took to wind up like this.  You'll just have to judge for yourself!

One more reason why I need an immersion blender.  This stuff is super hot and I was very careful when transferring it in and out of my regular blender to puree it.

After pureeing, I added sugar, cinnamon, ground ginger, and some lemon juice to my taste, filled my jars, and processed them.  Since my batch was smaller than the one on Food In Jars, I had to wing it.

Purty orangey-brown goodness for my toasty and waffle-y enjoyment!

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