Nearly two weeks ago, I bought a 25 pound case of visually imperfect peaches. They were a little hard when I first got them, so I arranged them on rimmed cookie sheets and set them around the apartment, pretending all the while that it is entirely normal to have a half bushel of fruit ripening on every surface of one’s home (this week, I have trays of Italian plums scattered about).
By day five, many of the peaches were perfectly ripe and so I began to preserve. I tested some recipes for the new book (the honey sweetened peach rosemary jam with a touch of salt was revelatory), and made a batch of peach salsa for my personal pantry. I was weary of peeling, so I convinced myself I was letting the rest of the peaches ripen up while I took a break from the canning pot.
And then, on Tuesday, I realized I’d let things go a little too far. The remaining peaches were heady with fragrance and speckled with brown soft spots. I took them to the kitchen and started to cull. I threw away the furthest gone fruit and set about to salvage the remaining useful bits.
After an hour spent trimming, I had 8 cups of usable peach hunks. I combined the chopped (but unpeeled) fruit in a pan with 2 split and scraped vanilla beans and 2 cups of sugar. As soon as the sugar was dissolved, I popped a cover on the pan and shoved it in the oven at 350 degrees F for a couple hours (can you tell that I was feeling a little weary of dealing with fruit?).
Once two hours had passed, I pulled the pan out of the oven and fished out the vanilla beans. Then I pulled out my beloved immersion blender and blitzed the peaches until they were entirely smooth. I tasted, added the juice of 1 lemon for balance, and pureed again.
Once I liked the flavor, I poured it into a collection of half and quarter pint jars (the yield was 3 1/2 pints when all was said and done) and processed them in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
The end result is a product that exists someplace between a syrup and fruit butter. It’s sweeter and thinner than my standard butters, but manages to have far more body than your standard syrup.
I’m calling it a drizzle, because it does just that very nicely. I ate the two tablespoons that wouldn’t fit into a jar over yogurt, but it would be a great pancake or waffle topper. If you’ve got some end-of-season stonefruit that is giving you fits, I highly recommend this treatment.
That looks FABULOUS. I’m so going to try that method.
What a great use for the rest of your peaches!
It’s so hard to put up all those beautiful summer fruit, especially when the days are leaning towards fall and you know you may not taste a fresh watermelon for another 10 months… Good on you for persevering and saving those peaches from certain death! I also think a drizzle sounds especially delightful.
Sounds wonderful and thinking of trying it with some peaches I have in the freezer, but I’m thinking of using it on Pork Tenderloin.
Sounds yummy! They had seconds at the farmers market last week, if they have some again, I’ll pick them up and try this
So cruel to talk about honey sweetened peach rosemary jam with a touch of salt without providing the recipe! 😉
I own a vitamix for just this problem – fruit out my ears on my property altho it’s race to get most of it before the bears do. Not always successful – he got most of my green and italian plums this year and did drastic damage to the trees. 🙁
This just sounds so good right now!
I don’t have any overripe peaches, but I think I may need to run and get some before they’re gone! NOM.
I understand the feeling of getting tired of canning a fruit! This summer I probably canned up 40+ lbs of strawberries and then later did the same thing with peaches. This recipe looks fabulous but I’ll definitely be waiting until next year to try it (that and peaches are already out of season here).
How did you prevent fruit flies? It seems like I get them every September if I leave one fruit or veggie out on the counter.
I make covers for my bowls out of thin cotton and elastic for rising dough, and ripening fruit! Etsy also has sellers who make them.
That looks delicious!
I hate when I let fruit get a little too ripe and have to throw some away. I love that you just trimmed the bad bits off and used the rest!
Made recipe just as written-just delicious!
Come February in Minnesota, taste buds will sing!
Marisa, could the sugar be safely reduced? If so, how much?
Sugar doesn’t make something safe or unsafe. You can safely reduce the sugar, but the shelf life will be reduced.
Woke up at 6:30 this morning to get an early start on this recipe before Michigan’s heat and humidity made everyone in the house miserable. Had to shoo my husband away a few times, because he kept sticking his nose right into the pot to inhale the scent of peaches and vanilla. After my pint jars were filled, I had just enough for each of us and the rest of the family to sample a couple of heaping spoonfuls – so, so, so delicious!
Also, I put up 4 pints of your pickled sweet cherries recipe from your “Preserving in Small Batches Year Round” book – an absolute must-have for foodies. In my head, I’d been thinking that pickled cherries would be divine, if only I could find a tried-and-true recipe. Voila! Unfortunately, one of my jars broke during the water bath process, but luckily I had enough cherries and brine left to fill a quarter-pint jar.
Thanks (from my entire family and me) for sharing your lovely recipes, which make for wonderful weekend fun in the kitchen … and a well-stocked pantry for the fall and winter months ahead.
Thank you so much for the kind words! I’m so glad to hear that you’re enjoying my recipes! So sorry to hear about the broken jar, though. That’s always disappointing.
Would it be possible to make this recipe on a slow cooker? It sounds amazing!
Unfortunately not, you need the high heat of the stovetop.
I make this every year. It is our absolute favorite. We put it on ice cream, yogurt with some granola. It is delicious. I just scored a 25lb box of peaches and thankfully I was able to get some canning jars and I can’t wait to have my pantry stocked again.
I’m so glad to hear that you like it!