Have you wanted to try making fruit butter but thought it seemed too hard or didn’t want to deal with all that peeling? You’re in luck. This simple no-peel fresh peach butter is easy to make and tasty! And the best part? You don’t have to PEEL anything! I made mine with honey to sweeten and cinnamon and ginger to spice it up, but you can personalize it completely to your own tastes.
From time to time, I love making a variety of different fruit butters. One bite ushers in all the things I love about fall: warm sweetness, spicy cinnamon, that feeling of the chill in the air just beginning.
This year, the Washington State Stone Fruit Growers asked me if I’d like a case of fresh peaches to create delicious food. Um, YES PLEASE! This past week I received some of the most beautiful, huge peaches I’ve ever seen. So juicy and fresh. I’ve enjoyed grilling them, eating them fresh and making them into peach salsa. This peach butter was the grand finale. And it was worth the wait.
No peel fresh peach butter? Really? Okay, the truth is, I don’t like peach peels much. But, equally, I’m lazy. Fortunate for me, there is a way around this dilemma. For me, it’s the Vitamix. I wiz up my peaches in my Vitamix and it purees the peels along with the fruit so you don’t notice them there (and, I’m pretty sure eating the peels increases both the nutritional value and the fiber…of course, don’t quote me on this, but that’s what I’m thinking anyway!). I also do this when I make applesauce and apple butter. Yep. Nobody but me is any wiser for it. And it saves me a ton of time in the kitchen.
So. No Peel Fresh Peach Butter. For reals. But there’s more. The recipe is easy to personalize to your personal tastes. And you can just make it with the fresh peaches you have on hand, so if you don’t want to buy 200 pounds of them to make a peach butter recipe, you don’t have to (of course you MIGHT, because it’s pretty tasty. But it’s not a requirement).
I will tell you what I just did with mine. But you can adjust to your needs/tastes/amounts you want to make.
Fresh peaches (I used 8 pounds of peaches and got eleven half pints)
Honey (I used 1/4 cup, but sweeten to your liking. You can also use other sweeteners such as sugar, brown sugar or maple syrup)
Balsamic vinegar (totally optional. I used 1/2 cup)
Cinnamon (I LOVE the stuff. I used 2 teaspoons plus I simmered it with a cinnamon stick)
Vanilla bean (I used one. Two or three would have been fantastic, but beans are so spendy these days and I just happened to have one laying around).
Bottom line: If you have peaches and a bit of sweetener, that’s all you need.
The most simple way to make no-peel fresh peach butter is to wash the peaches, cut them in half, remove the pit and puree in your heavy duty mixer. Add the sweetener of choice in the amount you’d like (it will get sweeter as it cooks down, so keep this in mind). Put this all in a non-reactive pot and bring to a boil (stirring constantly) and then reduce heat to simmer and let simmer to desired thickness (30 minutes to 2 hours or so, depending). In the simmer stage, stirring frequently, but not all the time.
Then process in your canning jars with a water bath for 20 minutes. (Here’s more help with water bath canning if you need it).
This time around, though, I did it a little different.
First, I pre-heated the oven to 400 degrees. Then I washed, cut in half, and de-pitted the peaches. I placed the peaches cut side up on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Then I mixed the honey and balsamic vinegar together and poured it over the peach halves, roasting the peaches until they were soft and fragrant.
After they cooled a bit, I poured the peaches and juice into my Vitamix and blended them into a puree, dumping it into a big (non-reactive) pot to cook.
From here, I added the spices: cinnamon, a bit of ginger, and a vanilla bean (that I sliced open and scraped the beans from). I threw the inners and the outer bean shell into the mix along with a cinnamon stick for good measure.
Bring this the whole thing to a boil (stirring constantly) and then lower it to a simmer. I stirred every once in a while for a couple hours until it was thick. Once ready, I fished out the cinnamon stick and outer shell of the vanilla bean, ladled it into jars and processed it in a steam bath for 20 minutes.
See? You can personalize it to you. Really. This was the first time I’d used both the balsamic vinegar and vanilla bean. While I like the taste of having both in the mix, I was kinda disappointed that I couldn’t taste them ‘stronger’. Yes, definitely, you can taste them, but just not as much as I’d hoped.
Feeling inspired? Go get yourself some peaches while we’re in peach season and can yourself up some heavenly no-peel fresh peach butter! There’s nothing like opening some home canned peach butter in the dead of the dark, cold, dreary winter to remind you that there is life after winter! And someday summer will be with us again. But until then, fresh peach butter will help tide you over.