Peach butter


I planned a shoot for work and bought a whole bunch of fruits for food styling. And then promptly forgot about it like I tend to. So I entered the kitchen to find a swarm of fruit flies (agh, how do they magically appear? wait, i googled it and promise me you will never, ever do that because you might not eat fruits again.) hovering over the bowl of peaches and pears. After unsuccessfully dispersing them by waving a cloth around like a maniac for what seemed like an hour, I examined the fruits to find they were on the verge of going bad. So I debated whether to turn them into a pie, a cake or some sort of compote. I poked around the internet a bit and found a recipe for peach butter that looked simple enough for me to do while I baked for my orders and sat with the accounts team for our end of month meetings (please kill me).

Fruit butters (for those who might be not aware) is a spread made from fruits which is lightly sweetened. The difference between fruit spreads is consistency and same holds true for butters in comparison to jams and jellies. They are spreadable and therefore are called butters. You don't add any gelling agent like pectin or cook the fruits for too long otherwise they will lose their sweetness. Plus they are so easy to make that an absentminded klutz like me also had great success with it (the same cannot be said for the gingerbread biscotti that burned in the oven because I was busy researching fruit flies)

I had a kilo of peaches and around 2-3 pears. I decided to throw all of them together. You first drop the fruit in boiling water for about 45 seconds.and then dunk them in ice cold water. This helps the skin come right off. After that, you core and dice the fruits,  add some water and let it cook for about 30 minutes. Then you drop it in a food processor to make a puree. I like mine really smooth so I let it run for 3-4  minutes. Return it to the pan, add some sugar, lemon juice, spices (if you want, I used cinnamon+cloves) and let it cook down for 45 minutes. Thats it!

I ate mine with some plain yogurt and really, really liked it. You can drizzle it over ice cream or spread it on hot, buttered toast for an excellent breakfast or snack.

Peach butter

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Yield: 4 cups

1 kg peaches + 400 gm pears
1 cup water
2 cups brown sugar
Juice of one lemon

1/4 tsp cloves + 1/2 tsp cinnamon

 Cut a small “x” in the bottom of each peach. Dip each into a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds, and then into a bowl of cold water for a minute. The peels should slide right off.

Halve your peaches and remove the pits, then cut each half into quarters 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. Puree in a food processor, blender or with an immersion blender. 

Return the peaches to the large pot, add the sugar, lemon juice and spiced. Bring the mixture to a good strong simmer/gentle boil, cooking them at this level for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally in the beginning and more often near the end, as it thickens up and the fruit masses risk scorching on the bottom of the pot.

There are several methods to test for doneness: You can drizzle a ribbon of sauce across the surface; when that ribbon holds its shape before dissolve into the pot, it is done or use cold or frozen plates; dollop a spoonful in the middle of one and if no water forms a ring around it in a couple minutes, it is done. 

Let peach butter cool. Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge. It should be good for at least two weeks.