I love peaches. LOVE them. That’s an understatement.
Growing up, my father told my mother that we children should have as much fruit as we wanted because, after all, it was better than candy. I consumed so much fruit that if it really were true that one is what one eats, I would have grown my own peel and taken root.
I digress. Peaches. Yum. Generally I just purchase them to eat raw. I like them crunchy rather than soft and juicy – that texture pleases me best – it’s amazing I have teeth to eat with, frankly. Last week, there were sweet little doughnut peaches and firm, white nectarines in the grocery store:
They looked lovely. The first day I had brought them for lunch, I bit into each eagerly and promptly hit a rotten spot on each. What luck. It made me leery to continue in this vein for the rest of the week. The pretty peaches sat forlornly in my refrigerator for a week until I couldn’t bear to abandon them any longer – surely they were not all bad! I cut into them and only one was destined for the compost bin. The rest could be used, but how? Something must be done or they would oxidize, cut as they were.
There were 5 doughnut peaches and 2 white nectarines. In a medium size saucepan, I tossed 2-3 Tbsp lemon juice and 1tsp almond extract. <gasp> That much extract, you exclaim? Yes. Almond extract is for fruit what a touch of eyeliner is for a model in a photoshoot – it brings out the natural flavour without trumpeting its own flavour. In went the peaches and 3/4 cup of sugar.
After half an hour on medium-low heat, the juices started to bubble forth.
Once the mixture came to a rolling boil, it was hard to take a picture but the kitchen smelled AMAZING!
Trusty immersion blender in hand, I took the peaches off the heat and blended it until it resembled applesauce.
Back on medium-low, the mixture started to bubble – made me think of the witches’ cauldron chant in King Lear. Not even a foot-long spoon for stirring could save my poor digits from the hot lava, but the hour of stirring was worth it. Down to half its original volume, the peach butter was ready. I quickly sterilized some half cup and some quarter cup jars and in it went. The final yield would have been 3 cups if I could have stopped myself from eating 1/4 cup of it at the end.
While it isn’t a lot, the taste is out of this world: like Maynards Fuzzy peach candies but BETTER. This will definitely be made again. If you want some, Town, speak now or forever hold your peace – it isn’t going to last long.