How to Make and Can Peach Butter
Making peach butter is a great way to condense and preserve the nutrition and flavor of peaches for the long term. It makes for a tasty alternative to sliced peaches in syrup, and you don’t need as much sugar to. You can also pack more peaches into a smaller amount of space with this recipe. It’s very easy to make, and peach butter is a great alternative to jams and jellies in your food stockpile.
4 lbs of fresh, ripe and healthy peaches
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon of seasonings of your choice (optional)
The first step is to prepare the peaches. The easiest way is to use a food mill. Cut them in half and remove the pits. Cut the halves into quarters and place the pieces (skin-on) in a pot of boiling water for 15 minutes or so. Remove from heat once the peaches are tender. Place the pieces into the food mill over a stockpot to collect the puree. Remove the skins from the food mill as you go along.
If you don’t have a food mill, you can make it easier to remove the skin by cutting a cross across the bottom of each peach. Place them in boiling water for 30 seconds and immediately immerse in a cold bath. This will cause the skin to lift off and be much easier and time-saving to peel. Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits after peeling. Place the peeled peaches into boiling water until they become tender. Dump the water and put the pieces into a blender or food processor to puree. Place the puree into a stockpot.
Processing the Puree
We will use the same method to cook and process the puree no matter whether or not you used a food mill. Add the lemon juice and sugar to the puree and bring the mixture back up to a boil. Let cook for around 35-40 minutes, and stir occasionally to prevent scorching as the sugar dissolves. The mixture will thicken up as the cooking time ends. You want to aim for a level of thickness that will cause the mixture to retain its shape and not release a lot of water around the edges. You can test this by placing a dollop on a cool plate, using a spoon or placing a toothpick on top of the mixture. If the toothpick floats, then it’s done.
Immediately pour the puree into canning jars that have been pre-heating in a stockpot of hot water. Fill each one until ¼ inch of headspace remains. Wipe down the rims and clean any residue with a damp towel or cloth before attaching the lid assemblies. Process for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude, and make sure that you don’t start the timer until the water in the canner begins to boil.
Remove from heat, inspect the jars for any defects or a lack of vacuum pressure, and allow the properly-sealed ones cool on the counter until they reach room temperature. Check the condition of the seals again before labeling and dating them.
Try to consume the product within 6 months to a year, but some people say that peach butter can have a much longer shelf-life. However, if you make this recipe when peaches are in season, you can start a rotation that will give you a good supply that can be replenished every year. Try it out for yourself, and see how peach butter can be a great enhancement to your long-term food stockpile.