Easy Food Gifts: Peach Butter

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Fall is coming, I can smell it. Let’s make use of the last of the summer crops before they go out of season. I am getting nervous about the amount of time I have left to prep for the upcoming winter holidays. So, here’s the first of what will hopefully be several easy/inexpensive gift ideas I can can give you to work with. 🙂 This recipe will fill a 2 quart crock pot to the brim precooking and you’ll fear for your safety.  I know this from experience. 🙂  You can scale up if you wish, I just hate to buy stone fruits in massive quantity.

10-12 peaches (more like 12 if they’re tiny, 10 if they’re huge)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

approximately ⅛ teaspoon allspice

1 ⅓ cups sugar (or other sweetener)

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Wash and peel your peaches. If you’re feeling lazier, you can blanch the peaches and slide the skin right off. I won’t judge you.  Cut them in half, remove the pit, then dice. Throw them in the crock pot as you go. Once you’ve got them all shoehorned in there, add the sugar and spices. Do your best to stir it all together without flinging peaches everywhere.

 

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I’ve done a bad, bad thing. 😉

 

Cram the peaches down and sit the lid on there, then put the heat on low. Leave it alone for 8-12 hours (or overnight). If your lid doesn’t have a steam vent, prop the lid open on one side to let steam out/facilitate thickening.

 

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Mmm. Imagine waking up to that smell…

Now, you’ll need to get rid of the chunks. Take an immersion blender and go to town right inside the crock, or you can transfer to a blender/food processor. If you take that route, be sure to put it back in the crock to heat back up for the canning process.

 

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Once it’s silky smooth, you can start canning. This recipe is enough for 6 half pints, with a little dab left for you to eat (RIGHT MEOW). Wash your jars in the dishwasher on super hot, or by hand. Just make sure they’ve been sterilized by the heat. Sterilize the lids in a pot of hot (not quite boiling) water. I throw mine in my canning pot while it’s heating up. Take your canning funnel and fill the jars to ¼” headspace (leave ¼” between the butter and the lip of the jar). Wipe the lip off and plunk a hot, dry lid on there. Follow the lid with a ring, tightening to “fingertip tightness.” Don’t Hulk out on it, you want it just tight enough to keep the lid on while it processes, but it can’t be too tight or the canning might not go so well.

 

Boil a big pot o’ water (enough to cover the jars by at least 1”). Once it’s boiling, you can add your jars. Put them in gently! I have a jar grabber for the purpose. It’s just big enough to keep my fingers several inches away from the boiling water. Put the lid on the pot once you’re all in. Leave them in the boiling water for 15 minutes. Once the time’s up, gently retrieve them and sit them somewhere safe to seal. The difference in temperature causes the lids to “pop,” making the seal airtight! (Don’t go pushing on the lids when you pull the jars out! I know it’s tempting.)  Let them cool completely and tighten the ring down if you wish. If you get one that didn’t “pop,” you can try re-processing it. If it still won’t, just store in the fridge and eat that one first.

 

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