Vanilla Bean Peach Butter

I know I say this every year, but where in the world has summer gone? It seems like yesterday I was spending my days working on my tan, or what passes for a tan in Wisconsin, while my son spent his day swimming in his wading pool. Those days are behind me for now, fall has made an early appearance and the past few weeks have been down right chilly for the tail end of summer. As much as I'm sad to see my lazy days outside come to an end, I do look forward to the flavors that fall brings. I love all things pumpkin and spice, but I'm not quite ready to embrace them yet. I still have several pounds of juicy summer peaches to put up, so I've been taking advantage of the cooler weather to make fruit butter. Several weeks ago I made a small batch of No Fuss Crock-Pot Apricot Butter. It turned out so well that I've decided that my remaining peaches are destined to become fruit butter as well. I've put up about 6 pints over the last few weeks which means this winter I can pull out a jar and enjoy a little taste of summer when things are looking cold and dreary. With our high temperatures hovering in the low 50s I have a feeling it's going to be a long cold winter this year. I'm going to need all the reminders of summer that I can get! 

PeachButter.jpg

Peach Butter
makes 5 half pints

Ingredients

5lbs peaches
1 vanilla bean
1 cup white sugar 

Equipment

immersion blender (optional)
water-bath canner or stock pot with lifter
7 half pint canning jars with lids and rings
jar grabber
magnetic lid lifter
funnel
butter knife
ladle
clean dish towels and cloths 

Directions

  • Remove the skins from the peaches. Boil a large pot of water, add peaches, and blanch for 1 minute, or until skins start to crack. Depending on the size of your pot you may need to work in batches. 
  • Transfer blanched peaches to cold water and once cool the skins should easily peel off. Remove pits and skins, then place in crock pot. 
  • Open vanilla bean pod with a knife and scrape the insides into the crockpot. Once insides are removed, toss the entire pod in with the peaches.
  • Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours. Make sure to leave the lid off to allow the steam to escape. 
  • After 8 hours the contents of the crock pot should have reduced roughly in half, if they have not you can continue to cook the peaches down until they have reached the desired consistency. 
  • Remove vanilla bean pod, add sugar, then stir until well incorporated.
  • Fill hot canning jars and process using the water bath canning directions below.

Processing times for this recipe

are 15 minutes for elevations of 0-1,000 ft and 20 minutes for elevations of 1,001-6,000 ft. These times are for quarter-pints, half-pints and pints only.

  • Before canning sterilize your canning jars, rings, potato masher, and any other equipment that will come into contact with the apricot butter. You can do this easily by putting everything in the dishwasher and running it. Just don't put your equipment in with dirty dishes.
  • While your jars are sterilizing fill your stock pot with water and let it boil. It takes awhile for a large pot of water to boil, so keep this in mind. You don't want to fill your jars before your water is ready.
  • Once you're ready to fill your jars, place a sauce pan on the stove. Add your canning lids and fill pan with several inches of water. Bring the water to a simmer and allow the sealing wax on the lids to soften for several minutes.
  • Fill sterilized jars with hot apricot butter leaving 1/2 inch head space at the top. Remove air bubbles with a knife, wipe the rims with a clean damp rag, place lids on top and fasten ring until finger tight.
  • Place sealed jars on a rack in the canner or stock pot. Make sure jars are covered with water and that the waterline is about an inch over the top of the jars, then cover pot with lid.

You do not want the jars coming into contact with the bottom of the canner or stock pot because they will bounce around and likely break.

  • Process half pints and pints for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Time starts once the water has come to a complete boil again. You may need to add boiling water to keep the water level up as the jars are processing.

 

  • Remove jars from canner, set on a clean dish towel, and let them rest for several hours until cool. You should hear a popping sound as the lids seal. 
  • To check the seals of your jars press the center gently with your finger. If it moves up and down the jar is not sealed. You can either reprocess using a new lid never reuse an old lid or once the jar is cool, eat the apricot butter. You know you want to and you deserve the treat after such hard work!
  • Label with detailed contents and date, then store in a cool, dark, and dry place.

Other Notes

If you aren't happy with the texture of your butter try using an immersion blender to create a smoother texture. I don't mind the chunky texture so I generally skip the blender.