There is something soothing about knowing you can take something as delicate and delicious as a peach and turn it into something even more delicious. These jars of peach butter will sit patiently on the shelf just waiting to get used. In the middle of winter, when I’m cursing myself for living in New York, I can go into the pantry, open a jar of this vanilla honey peach butter and taste the flavors of summer. It’s what I love most about canning. You can easily bottle up the flavors of the season and have them anytime you want.
I picked all these peaches myself at a local farm – Fishkill Farms. They are a sweet mix of yellow and white. The day I went and picked there were so many peaches on the trees that the branches were sagging just trying to hold them all. It took me less than five minutes to pick over twelve pounds of peaches. It was a very successful day.
Since I now had a kitchen full of peaches I needed to do something with them. Of course, eating them was an option but there are only so many peaches one girl can eat. I knew I had to can them in some way. I was a bit jellied out so I opted to instead make a fruit butter. I found a recipe I liked and decided to alter it just a bit to bring some vanilla flavor to the mix. Vanilla and peaches are one of my favorite flavor combinations. The butter was extremely easy to make and only took 5 minutes to process for canning. You can of course keep your fruit butter in the fridge (I would say use it in a month) if you do not want to fully process but you might want to cut the recipe in half. It makes six full 8 ounce jelly jars.
Vanilla Honey Peach Butter
Yield: 6 pint jars
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25 - 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes - 1 hour 30 minutes
18 ripe peaches – peeled, pitted and cut
1/4 cup water
2 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup honey
2 vanilla beans - scrape the seed out
Source: Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Canning Magazine.
In and 8 - 10 quart heavy pot (I used my Le Creuset) combine peaches and the water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer cover, for 10 - 15 minutes or until peaches are tender. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Use a blender or food processor to puree peach mixture, in batches, until smooth. Return peach puree to same pot. Add sugar, honey and vanilla bean seeds and empty vanilla pod. Bring to boiling, stirring until sugar dissolve - reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until mixture is thick and mounds on a spoon, stirring often.
Take out vanilla pods and ladle hot peach butter into hot, sterilized half pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids.
Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner, cool on wire racks. (Makes 4 - 6 8oz. jelly jars of peach butter)
**When I made this recipe I got 6 half pints of fruit butter. However, there have been some people who have told me they have gotten a lot more out of this recipe - approximately 12-14 half pints. I'm assuming this has to do with the size of the peaches. Just assume if you have large peaches you will get a lot more fruit butter...not that that's a bad thing :)