You may remember that I picked 20 pounds of peaches last weekend. Yes, it may have been a bit excessive on my part, but deep down, I enjoy a bit of excessiveness in the kitchen… Especially when it comes to fresh, local produce! I knew that if I picked 20 pounds of peaches, I would be forced to use 20 pounds of peaches, and I was up for the challenge.
As we hauled our peaches out of the orchard, my mom and I were discussing what we would be doing with them (although she showed more restraint than I did and had less than 15 pounds)… She mentioned making peach butter, and I was immediately intrigued. When we got home from her house, we checked her copy of Rodale’s Stocking Up to see what the “rules” for canning peaches were. The book indicated that up to 1/2 cup of honey could be added for each quart of peaches and that they should be processed for 20 minutes for half-pint or pint-sized jars. Easy enough, right?
So, when I got home, I quickly got to work peeling and dicing my peaches to make some spiced peach butter. I used a bit less honey than was allowed because I didn’t want it to be too sweet. With fresh ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, my kitchen (and most of my house) smelled absolutely amazing as the peach butter simmered away in my slow cooker. I was planning to give my jars of peach butter away as gifts, but I might have to keep a few for myself. I know it will be amazing with a slice of pumpkin bread later this fall, and I can’t wait!
Spiced Peach Butter
Yields 8 half-pint jars
- 12 cups peaches, peeled and diced
- 1 cup honey
- 6 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker (crock pot). Cook on low heat for about 12 hours. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until smooth. Cook for an additional hour or two, until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. (You may want to remove the lid on your slow cooker for a little while to let some of the steam escape and give the peach butter a chance to thicken up just a bit.)
Ladle the peach butter into hot, sterilized jars (half-pint jars worked well for me). Wipe the rims and then fit with sterilized lids and bands. Process for 20 minutes, once the water has come up to a boil.