Before we left for vacation last month, I bought 30 pounds of Indiana blueberries and 40 pounds of peaches. I typically love finding different ways to use up or put up our seasonal goodies, but this time, I was in a bit of a time crunch. I was a bit annoyed with myself because I had lots of stuff to do before we left and wasn’t really in the mood to deal with 70+ pounds of fruit. I ended up just freezing a good bit to deal with later, but I did make this slow cooker peach butter. My main criteria when I was looking for something to make were 1) no peeling peaches and 2) as minimal actual work as possible. This stuff was so simple, but it tastes amazzzzing. It cooks down a ton, so we will be hoarding this stuff for special occasions. Although, I have a feeling I might use some of our frozen stash for more batches of this.
- Peaches (enough to fill your slow cooker about three-quarters of the way full)
- 1-2 vanilla bean pods,
- Sugar or honey, optional
- Puree peaches (no peeling!) to fill your slow cooker about three-quarters of the way full.
- Scrape the vanilla bean and add the seeds to the slow cooker.
- Set the slow cooker to low. I put a spoon across the lid, so that it would vent a bit, which speeds up the cooking.
- Check after three hours or so, and then every few hours. I started mine around 3PM, let it go until 9PM, then turned it off because I didn't want to risk it burning over night. The next morning, I started it back up again for another 3-4 hours.
- When it thickens up, taste test it and see if it needs any sweetener. I liked ours as is without any extra sugar or honey, but our peaches were perfectly ripe.
- If you don't use sugar, it won't last quite as long because sugar helps preserve it longer. I don't think eating it within 4-6 months will be a problem at our house. The original recipe calls for pureeing it once more with an immersion blender, but I liked the texture of ours, so I just canned it.
- For water bath canning, ladle the butter in sterilized half pint jars, wipe the rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. If you don't want to can the butter, you can freeze it or just stick it in the fridge and use it within two weeks.
- We plan to use this on breads, mixed in yogurt or ice cream, and whatever else sounds good.
Barely adapted from the always reliable Food in Jars.