I’m thankful today for a purchase I found at a flea market not long ago. Brand new food-mills can run on the expensive side of things, but are worth their weight in dividing the fruit from its skin, seeds and pits. My food mill came as a flea market find along with an old but good lemon reamer that catches the seeds.
If you want to save a nickel or two, take your I-need list to your local flea market. So long as it’s something you can take home and thoroughly clean, then don’t underestimate the power of second hand!
A friend recently shared her peach butter recipe with me. Even after the peaches were blanched, the skins were resistant to coming off the fruit, so I got out my handy food mill and off I went.
Here are the instructions:
- Remove stones from 3 lbs of peaches;
- Cook to soften, then mill to puree and remove skins;
- Bring to a boil peach puree, ½ cup of honey and 1 tsp each vanilla and cinnamon;
- Continue to cook on low for a couple of hours until desired consistency is reached;
- Ladle into sterile jars, cool jars completely upright and freeze once sealed.
Have patience! The key to making your fruit butter to be more like butter and less like soup is many hours of cooking out the moisture. This means low heat and lots of stirring. (Mine took a total of 6 hrs, but I took some breaks in the middle and stored it in the fridge.) In fact, I’m typing this on a chair beside the stove and every pause is an opportunity to stir.
Peach butter doesn’t require canning in a hot water bath. So long as everything is sterile and hot, the jars will seal themselves as they cool. You will still hear the suction of the lids as they pop down without all the work of hot water canning. Jars of peach butter preserves from this recipe will last for 1 year on your shelves.