I thought I’d made just about every kind of butter, the fruit kind, until I came across a peach butter on Susan’s blog, called The View from Great Island. I was utterly stupefied! Why had I never thought to make peach butter? I can only think that once it’s fall, I begin using apples, pears, and pumpkins in butters, and different combinations of them all, because fall is my favorite food season. But why not a peach butter in the summer months when peaches are perfectly ripe and delicious? So thank you, Susan! .
You’ve all read about my apple tree and how I have to fight the raccoons to get some apples. But this year I started early. I picked a large bag full, and I won’t stop making things with apples until they’re all gone! Or, until the raccoons get them all.
So, inspired by the peach butter, but also with an overabundance of green apples, I decided to combine the two. I was pretty sure the butter would be more on the peachy side, because these apples don’t have much flavor.
To enhance flavors, I used two unique ingredients to butter making. One was peach liqueur, made by Stirrings. (Fabulous stuff, by the way.) And the other was some sparkling apple juice that was given to me years ago in a gift basket. The reason I’ve had it so long? It’s non-alcoholic. Nuff said.
To make a fruit butter, no recipe is needed. Just start with a lot of fruit of your choice, in this case, apples and peaches, coarsely chopped, and place in a stock pot. Make sure this pot has a well-fitting lid.
I added about half of the 750 ml bottle of apple juice to the fruits.
And then I added about 1/4 cup of the peach liqueur. To add a little brightness to the flavors, I squeezed a small lemon into the fruit mixture.
Give things a stir, and turn on the heat under the pot to medium. You don’t want everything to boil over.
Also add some brown sugar. I don’t like my butters to be as sweet as jam, but this is completely your choice. I like using brown sugar over liquid sugars, like maple syrup, to minimize the liquid.
You could also add a cinnamon stick or a little cinnamon at this point, but I wanted to taste the final product first and decide what to add, if anything, at that point.
Begin by bringing the liquid in the pot to a soft boil, then cover the pot with the lid, and turn down the heat to its lowest setting. This step is to cook the fruit completely.
After about 45 minutes, the fruit should be cooked.
There will probably be a lot of liquid in the pot remaining, so leaving the lid off of the pot, begin reducing the liquid until little remains. Then let the fruit mixture cool completely.
Place a food mill over another pot large enough to hold the apple peach butter.
Pour the fruit and all of the liquid into the food mill.
Process the fruit.
After you’re done, you’ll have something that looks like the first picture. Go ahead and stir the butter and the juices together.
Evaluate if you need to reduce the mixture. Mine was more like apple sauce, so I spent about 2 hours reducing the mixture over very low heat, stirring occasionally.
When it was the consistency of a butter, which is more like a spread, I let the mixture cool.
Have clean jars available. I used about 5 pounds of fruit, and ended up with exactly 32 ounces of apple peach butter.
Place the butter into the jars and seal. I froze mine, because they thaw perfectly. That way I can make a few different small-batch butters.
The way I love to eat a fruit butter is on hot toast, with butter, of course, melting away. Or sometimes paired with peanut or almond butter. I enjoy the fruit flavors, and the minimal sugar. It’s also good in yogurt!
verdict: Love it! I think the butter would not have had such good flavor if it weren’t for the good peaches, the peach liqueur, and the apple juice. Fortunately the peaches that I used were perfectly ripe. The color isn’t as pretty as it could be, probably because the green and orange didn’t mix really well. But it’s still good!