We have peaches! Last year was a sad year because we had maybe ten peaches that we were able to pick. One day the tree was filled with baby peaches and the next they were gone.
I am excited that I have enough peaches to can some and also to make some Peach Butter. Peach Butter is super easy and a nice way to maintain the natural fruit taste without adding a lot of extra sugar.
1. Wash your peaches to remove any dirt, wash them especially well if you bought them from the store or if pesticides have been used.
2. Cut the peaches in half, remove the pits, and place them in your blender. (Depending on the number of peaches you have you may have to do this a few times.)
3. Blend the peaches so that there are no longer any chunks of fruit, but make sure that you do not blend them so much that they become liquidy.
4. Place your peaches in a pot or in a slow cooker. If you choose to do this on the stove you will need to pay closer attention to your peaches so that they do not burn. If you use the slow cooker it may take longer, but you do not have to be on constant watch. I used the slow cooker this year and had it on high with the lid vented so that some of the moisture would evaporate and my peaches would cook down. If you do this on the stove make sure to set the heat to medium/low so that you do not inadvertently burn your Peach Butter.
5. While your Peach Butter is cooking prepare your canning jars and pressure canner. Make sure that all of the jars, seals, and bands have been washed (I run mine through the dish washer) and then place them in the pressure canner so that they sterlize once it is boiling.
5. Cook the peaches until they have cooked down to a thick, Apple Buttery, consistency. This is when I added some extra sugar and allowed for another thirty minutes. (You do not have to add the extra sugar and if you do add it to taste.)
6. Once your Peach Butter is ready it is time to spoon it into your jars. Make sure to wipe off the rim of each jar once it is filled so that you do not have any residue and it will have a tight seal.
7. Place the seals and bands on the jars and tighten making sure not to over tighten.
8. Place your jars of Peach Butter in your pressure canner (the water should be boiling already), put the lid on the canner and wait for the pressure to get to five pounds of pressure. I use a weighted gauge canner and it is ready once the weight on top is rocking at a steady (but not furious - see video below) pace. A dial gauge canner can also be used and you will just need to pay attention to the pressure gauge on the lid, adjusting the stove heat as necessary. Once your canner has reached five pounds of pressure you will process pints and quarts for 10 minutes.
9. After your timer has gone off turn off the stove and allow the canner to cool on its own. Do not take the weight off because it will allow the canner to cool too quickly. Remove the jars from the canner and place them in a spot that will not cool them quickly, someplace away from a window, air conditioner, or draft.
I am now ready to enjoy the sweetness of summer all year.