Colorado Peach Butter *with a kiss of Vanilla
3 1/2 lbs fresh peaches
1 3/4 cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 vanilla bean, split open
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 cup water
1/8 cup bottled lemon juice, plus 3 teaspoons
Wash peaches in cold water to remove dirt and fuzz.
Cut an X mark on the stem end of each peach.
Blanch peaches in boiling water for about one minute.
Plunge peaches in ice water and let set for two minutes.
Peel away skins, slice and remove the pit.
**If your peaches are fully ripe - the skins will be easy to peel off using a paring knife - I sometimes luck out and can do this without blanching. To me, peaches are ripe when you can press the flesh with your thumb and leave a slight indentation into the peach. Once peeled, slice and pit your peaches.
Place sliced peaches, lemon juice, vanilla bean and water in a large sauce pot. Simmer over medium heat until peaches are soft (approx 5-10 mins) Remove vanilla bean. Lightly puree peaches with a food processor or immersion blender - being careful not to liquefy them.
Add the sugar into peach mixture.
Cook over medium heat until thick enough to round up on a spoon (approx 30-40 mins.) Stir in the vanilla bean paste. Stir mixture frequently as it thickens to prevent sticking. (you will be lightly stirring continually as mixture starts to thicken until you are ready to jar the butter)
Prior to jarring, I do the "plate test" by placing a small dish in the freezer for at least 10 mins. I place a spoonful of peach mixture onto plate and tip plate - mixture should not run at all. As well, the mixture should mound/round up easy onto a regular spoon and not run off back into pot.
Wash jars in warm soapy water, rinse and place in canning pot/water to warm up jars for canning.
Place lids and bands in warm (not boiling) water.
Setup your area to process the butter.
Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch head space.
Remove any air bubbles.
Wipe rim of jar to remove any food particles.
Adjust two piece caps on jar and tighten finger tight.
Process in a water bath canning pot for 10 minutes (or according to regs in your area)
Remove and place on cloth towel in a draft free area.
Do not move jars for 24 hours to allow for proper seal.
Any jars that haven't sealed properly place in fridge for immediate use.
Date and Label your jars, Peach Butter will keep up to one year in storage.
Yield: 4 half pints.
Recipe & Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home