I promised you a recipe for peach butter barbecue sauce, so here I am. But. You will have to be patient, because this recipe is part of a two-part series. Today, you get the main component – Spicy Peach Butter.
The spicy peach butter is loosely adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Peach Butter. (Side note: I’ve made, like, a ton of things from Smitten Kitchen’s archives lately. Bordering on obsession over here.) In addition to being an ingredient in my soon-to-be-developed peach butter barbecue sauce, the spicy peach butter is (shocker) very good friends with cream cheese on toast. (I’ve found cream cheese on toast has quite a few friends, actually – jams, chutneys, candied jalapenos, need I say more?)
The proportions below yield about 3 cups of butter, so adjust accordingly. I didn’t can it and will attempt freezing the unused portion, although if you are so inclined, can away. Also: I’m guessing I used about 1/2 teaspoon per spice, resulting in a pleasantly spicy butter. If you don’t want spicy fruit, I won’t be that offended if you make it without.
In sum, give this peach butter a shot. Even if you’re not a fan of barbecue sauce (although why wouldn’t you be?), make the spicy peach butter for the cream cheese. It’s also great on crackers with a slice of gouda. Now that I think about it, it could almost definitely be used to baste some chicken in an oven or on a grill. Oh! Or in a sandwich with some leftover roast pork. Really, you have nothing to lose here.
Spicy Peach Butter
adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Peach Butter
- 2 lbs peaches, skins removed* (5-6 medium-sized peaches)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 – 2 tablespoons honey
- freshly cracked pepper, crushed red pepper, cayenne pepper to taste (I used roughly 1/2 teaspoon of each)
- juice of one lemon
Halve the peaches and remove the pits. Roughly chop peaches. Place peach chunks and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer until peaches are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure they cook evenly. Depending on desired chunky-ness, you could mash the peaches with the back of a fork, a potato masher, or blend them in a food processor, blender, or immersion blender. My peaches became quite mushy and I didn’t find it necessary to blend them, but if you like a smooth butter, go for it.
Peaches in pot, pre-butter consistency
Peach butter. Boom.
Add the sugar, honey, spices, and lemon juice to the peaches and bring the mixture to a strong simmer/gentle boil, cooking for 30 to 40 minutes. Stir occasionally in the beginning and more constantly as it thickens to prevent scorching.
To test for doneness, I like to scrape a spoon across the bottom of the pan – if it leaves a clear line with the bottom of the pan visible, it’s done. Or, you can drizzle some butter across the surface, and if the drizzle holds its shape before melting back into the pot, it’s done. And honestly, you can basically tell just by looking at it; while it does set up some amount as it cools, the butter should be a “buttery” consistency when it’s ready.
Let peach butter cool, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least two weeks (mine is going on three, and it’s still fine. Peachy, even.)
If you plan to can, I refer to the original recipe:
“To can your peach butter: First, sterilize your jars, either by boiling them in a large, deep pot of water (which should cover the jars completely) for 10 minutes or washing them in lots of hot soapy water, rinsing and drying the parts well and then place the jars only in a 200 degree oven for 20 minutes. Then, divide your hot piping hot peach butter between your jars, leaving a little room at the top. Wipe the rims clean with a dry towel and cover the jars with their lids. Submerge the jars in a large, deep pot of boiling water for 10 minutes, either in a removable basket or using tongs to dip and remove them. Let cool completely on towels, a process that can take overnight. If canned properly, the peach butter should last indefinitely at room temperature.”
It’s also really good on cheese, on a cracker. Really, really.
*You have a few options for removing peach skins. 1) Bring a pot of water to a boil, slash an X in the peach bottoms, place peaches in water for about 30 seconds, then remove and place into a pot of cold water until cool enough to touch. The skins will slip right off. Or, 2) Freeze peaches, and then the skins just sort of rub off when you take them out. Or, 3) My peaches were so ripe that the skins just slipped right off. I’ve never had this happen before, but hey, whatever works.