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Saturday
Oct292011

Peach Buttah!

Two lessons learned: Do not buy a giant box of peaches from Costco and expect to use them all before they begin to overripen.  Do not ask your preteen to hold a cast iron dutch oven for photos--they will be blurry because of all the shaking that goes on when you are in muscle failure.

I have been wanting to can something--those quilted crystal jam jars are so pretty and Sophie has been complaining that they are taking up too much space in our drinking glass cabinet.  I just wanted to make sure I wouldn't wind up with a concoction seething with deadly bacteria.  I went to the Ball/Kerr website for helpful and potentially life-saving pointers. 

I used this many peaches--it gave me 5 8 oz. jars and 3 4 oz. jars of peach butter.  I think it was about 12 large peaches.

Cube your peaches--don't need to peel them, hooray!

Add about 1 cup of water--just enough to simmer them without burning

Simmer peaches until they can be mashed with back of spoon.  At this point you can use an immersion blender to puree til smooth.  Or transfer to a regular blender and do the same.  Just be careful, you don't want a face full of scalding hot peaches--or at least I hope you don't.

Add 1-2 cups of sugar depending on desired level of sweetness and ripeness of your fruit.  I used 1.5 cups and it was maybe a little too sweet for me.  For the spices I put 1 TBS whole allspice, 2 star anise, and a cinnamon stick broken in half.  Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.  It will take several hours for the butter to cook down.

Meanwhile, prepare your jars and lids and get your canning bath ready.  Watch a couple of episodes of Breaking Bad.

 Transfer your peach buttah to the prepared jars and process.  If you are going to use within the next week or so you can just put one of the jars in the refrigerator so you can try some immediately. 

Like this, on some toasted bread with fresh mozzarella. 

Once you have finished your processing, remove jars from canning bath and allow to cool on the counter.  Listen for the satisfying "click" that the jars make when they seal.  Make sure they seal--or you could die...or you could put that jar in the refrigerator and eat it this week. 

 Lovely peach buttah story!