Peach Butter is like apple butter, but made with peaches. So it’s not the same, but as I said at the start, different. Something else about peach butter is that we use the whole peach minus the pit. But we use the peach pit when boiling the peaches. This gives you more natural pectin. We leave the skin on; this gives more flavor than you would expect. It is a simple recipe that can be easily done. Believe me when I tell you that once you make peach butter, you will make it every peach season. Another side benefit when you make peach butter is you get more peach juice for your jellies and syrups. Just wait till you taste it!
Start with 1/2 bushel peaches which is about 24 cups. You can do a smaller batch with 12 cups of peaches. Cut the peaches up with the skin still on, but cut off any bad spots. Do not peel the peaches.
The peel gives the butter a great taste. It is more peachier (if that is a word). Cook peaches in water up to about half the volume of peaches. Put the peach pits in a cooking bag or make your own with a piece of muslin tied. Cook for about 30 minutes on low heat, stirring to keep mixed and not sticking. Cook till the pieces are very soft. Strain to remove as much liquid as possible. Save the liquid for other recipes.
Put drained peach pulp through a food mill. If you don’t have a food mill you can purée the pulp in small batches in your blender. If you use a blender, wait til the peaches cool off, so you won’t get burned.
Mix 8 cups purée with 4 1/2 cups sugar and 2 tablespoons cider vinegar (Yes I said vinegar). Pour mixture into crock-pot and cook 8 to 10 hours or until desired consistency After 6 hours check and if it is too watery, cook the next 2 hours with lid off.
Carefully ladle into 8 ounce prepared canning jars (you can use 16 ounce if you wish). Fill jars to within 1/2 inch of top, clean the rims with a damp paper towel, place sterile drained domes on followed by rings. Process in boiling water bath 15 minutes. A little different from our other recipes. Remove from heat and let set overnight. Check for unsealed jars to be reprocessed.
You now have Peach Butter to use on anything you would use Apple Butter on. Great on an English muffin, awesome on ice cream, or even a spoon. Just let your imagination go wild.
If you want another peach butter idea; substitute 8 ounces of honey in place of sugar and 2 teaspoons lemon juice in place of vinegar. This will be a thinner spread, but the honey and peaches taste just great. This is obviously called Honey Peach Butter. Two ideas for the price of one. Not a bad start.
Now we will use some of the peach juice you got from the strained peaches to make a wild and crazy item called Fuzzy Navel Jelly.
Yes you read right; it is made with rum. This also uses orange juice concentrate. You need 12 cups peach juice, 1 can OJ concentrate, pectin, rum as well as rum flavoring, and sugar. Mix the juice and concentrate and the pectin. Bring to a boil and add 1/4 cup rum and 1/8 cup rum flavoring and 14 cups sugar. Mary Lynn used the Rum Flavoring because she didn’t want to add that much alcohol. The flavoring more than made up for the lower volume of rum.
Stir while mixture comes back to a roiling boil. Remove from heat and let set a couple on minutes. Skim and ladle into prepared jars, then clean tops with damp paper towel. Seal with sterilized, drained domes and rings finger tight. Process in water bath 10 minutes. Remove from heat let set over night. Check for unsealed jars to be reprocessed. You now have Fuzzy Navel Jelly. This can be used anywhere you use jelly, but remember the rum. All of the alcohol may not boil off. You may not want children to have any. You can use 1/2 cup of the rum flavoring in place of the rum if you have any doubts.
Peach Rum Raisin Jam is up next. Mary Lynn made this just for me.
As I was growing up (I have never grown up, no fun). When I went to the ice cream shop I got two scoops. The first scoop would be peach and the second scoop would be rum raisin. When I ate them together I got Peach Rum Raisin. I walked into our shop one day and an awesome aroma just about floored me. I ask what Mary Lynn was cooking and she told me she was making my favorite ice cream. Well I knew right away she was not making ice cream because she was standing at the stove (sometimes my mind works real fast). I questioned her more only to find out she had made a recipe just for me. She was making jam and not ice cream. She used fresh peaches, beautiful raisins and rum. Three things that have always been close to the top of my list of favorites.
On that day Peach Rum Raisin Jam was born. When people saw it at shows they always said the stock line that was heard many times in our booth: “I never heard of this. What is it? How do you eat it?” If I had a dollar for every time I heard that phrase or just part of it I would be a rich man today.The recipe she came up with proved to be a winner.
You start with 4 cups crushed peaches and 2 cups (1 cup dark raisins, 1 cup golden raisins), 6 1/2 cups sugar, 1 box pectin, 1/4 cup rum and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
Mix all the ingredients except the sugar together, bring to a boil and then add the sugar. Bring back to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let sit a couple of minutes. Ladle into canning jars up to 1/2 inch of top. Clean tops and place domes and rings on. Water bath 15 minutes, remove from heat, set over night. Check for unsealed jars.
You now have an unusual item for those people who are never satisfied with regular things. Also it is a great gift for the person who has everything. After the jars set for a few days the raisins will swell and it is now as great looking as it is great tasting.
We use Captain Morgan Spiced Rum for all our cooking, but you may use which ever brand you like. A darker rum does work better than a light one.
I told you we were going to make some different things.
Next up Peach Melba Jam.
I had to look it up because I did not know what Peach Melba was. I found it is Peaches and Raspberries. Who would know with a name like Melba? That sounds like the little wafers my grandkids ate when they were cutting teeth.
Well anyhow, Peach Melba Jam is simple. 4 cups crushed peaches, 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen), 1/4 cup lemon juice, 6 cups sugar and 1 box pectin.
Ladle into prepared canning jars. Wipe with damp paper towel to clean rims. Dome and then ring. Water bath for 15 minutes. Let sit overnight, Shazzam! You have made Peach Melba Jam. Tell your friends what you did and see how impressed they are. I’ll bet that some have to look up what it means just like I did. The flavor is unbelievable. Raspberries and peaches together on a toasted buttered English muffin or hot biscuit. They have to eat like this in Heaven. Something else, it is full of Vitamin C. That makes it healthy and good tasting and pretty. What else do you want? So make some.
OK, so far I have stuck to traditional items mostly. The next item is going to be from the dark side of the moon.
Peach-Basil White Wine Vinegar
I told you, you would not expect this.
We started making vinegars because of a conversation with our friend that owns Fox Winery in Social Circle, Georgia. We made wine jellies from the different wines he produced. (I will tell you how to make wine jelly later on, I promise). We mentioned a herb vinegar we made. He heard the word vinegar and was adamant that he didn’t want it anywhere near his shop. I was sort of shocked by this, and asked why. He said that if any vinegar came in contact with his wines while they were fermenting, they would turn to vinegar. I asked if all I had to do was mix a little vinegar with wine would it turn to vinegar? He said yes it would.
On the way home we talked about this fact. We stopped at a package store and bought some wine by the cardboard box. You know the kind I am talking about. Mary Lynn poured a couple of quarts mostly full of wine and to them she added about a 1/4 cup white vinegar. Sealed the jars and mixed them up. It took about 5 days for the mixture to really smell like vinegar. We let several of our customers taste this and they all said it was wine vinegar. Also they said it tasted pretty good. Mary Lynn figured that better wine would give us the results we wanted. The next trip to the package store was for better wine. The result was great.
To make Peach-Basil White Wine Vinegar. First the wine vinegar. This time we made gallons, but kept the same proportion as in the small batch. After a week we were ready to make our vinegar combos.
2 cups fresh peeled peaches cut into thin slices (you can not use canned because of the syrup). 1 quart white wine vinegar, 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh basil (depending on their size). Heat vinegar almost to a boil, carefully pour over the peaches and the basil. When cooled, put in quart jars and let set for about 3 weeks. After 3 weeks we strained the vinegar thru muslin cloth. This gave us a clear Peach-Basil White Wine Vinegar.
For your containers you don’t want a mason jar. Look for pretty decorated bottles to use. Clean the bottles well, pour in boiling water, empty and let dry completely. Into each bottle place a sprig of fresh basil and a couple of fresh peach slices. Pour the cooled wine vinegar into the bottles. The fresh basil and peaches are for decoration. You now have a great tasting vinegar to use on your salads or any other way you would like a lite fresh vinegar. Remember to keep your vinegars in a cool dry dark place.
I thought I was finished, but one more recipe is needed. It is the time of the year when kids are out of school, families plan reunions, families go away for vacations and all sorts of other summer times activities. A popular thing to do in the heat of the summer days is make homemade ice cream. There are several really good ice cream makers on the marker. They all work pretty good. In an earlier blog I talked about making peach ice cream. I now have another ice cream idea: Peach Custard Ice Cream. It is not difficult, in fact I could even make it. So that must tell you something. The ingredients are not expensive, so let’s make it tonight. Give me a call and let me know what time, I will be there ready and willing to partake. Shopping list: 1 quart whole milk, 1 cup heavy cream, 3 eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 6 cups peach jam, 1 tablespoon vanilla.
In a heavy sauce pan heat milk and cream to just below boiling(watch this is a little tricky). In a medium size bowl beat the eggs with the sugar. Add egg mixture, flour and salt to hot milk. Cook until thick. Turn off heat. Add peach jam and vanilla and stir well. Chill before freezing in ice cream maker. This will make 1 gallon. That is enough for me, so you better make 2.
I tried to keep this short, but there is too much to talk about and cook. Well maybe next time I will talk less…….NOT.
I bet you never expected the variety in this blog. We covered a big range of things to make.
I would put Peach Salsa here, but I am saving it for the Salsa blog. You have to keep watching for it. Salsa will be along in a few blogs. Same goes for all you Chutney fans. I will dedicate a whole blog and maybe 2 to both Salsa and Chutney.
I am open for suggestions about future blogs. I have had a couple of suggestions; they are in progress. I am open for more. So think about what you would like to make and send me a message or comment. My address is next. See you again soon.