Easy Peach Butter ~ you’ll kick yourself if you don’t make a big batch of silky butter before the peaches are all gone for the year. This small batch fruit spread is sheer heaven on a piece of toast, a warm biscuit, or just by the glorious spoonful!
When life gives you peaches, whether fresh, or frozen, make peach butter!
You can’t go wrong with this recipe, it takes a boatload of peaches and transforms them into something silky and spreadable. Your morning toast will never be the same.
what you’ll need
- peaches ~ you can use fresh or frozen, but use good ripe summer peaches for best flavor.
- lemon juice adds a little acidity and balances out the sweetness of the butter.
Fruit butter is a thicker, more luxurious version of jam.
If you love apple butter, you’re going to flip for this next generation fruit butter. Peaches lend themselves to this treatment with their meaty flesh and sweet tangy flavor. Fruit butter gets it’s distinctive consistency because the fruit is cooked, then pureed, and then cooked down again into a spreadable ‘butter’. But of course there’s no dairy in it at all, just pure fruit.
small batch peach butter can be refrigerated, or canned
This recipe makes a small batch that doesn’t require canning, but I’ve included canning instructions in the recipe if you want to set yourself up for the year, or want to get a head start on holiday gifts.
When you get your first taste of this peach butter you’ll feel like you’ve died and gone to peach heaven!
I like the real fruit flavor to shine through in all my preserves, so I used relatively little sugar, and some lemon juice to make the peach flavor pop. Because I was after a pure fresh peach essence, I didn’t add any spices, but you certainly can if you like. Cinnamon, or vanilla bean would be nice in this recipe. Nobody’s stopping you from adding a touch of almond extract either.
let’s make it!
You can make fruit butter with almost any type of fruit. Apple butter is the classic, but I’ve made rhubab butter, and a wonderful cranberry butter that you’ll want to have around this fall. You can make pumpkin butter (made in the crock pot!) which is amazing with biscuits and cornbread. Would you believe I’ve even made banana butter with a touch of bourbon?? Here’s the basic method for making fruit butters:
- Chop your fruit and add it to a pan with the sugar and some water.
- Heat, stirring often to dissolve the sugar, until the mixture comes to a boil, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the fruit is completely softened and juicy.
- Puree the cooked fruit until smooth.
- Strain your puree, if necessary, to remove seeds, bits of peel, or any lumps.
- Put the smooth puree back into a clean pan, add lemon juice, and continue to cook, stirring often, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Cool and then refrigerate. It will thicken further as it chills.
how to use peach butter
Fruit butters aren’t only for spreading on toast, or biscuits. They can be an ingredient in baked goods, too. They add flavor and moisture, and can help you cut down on added fat and sugar. My spiced apple cake, which is one of my current favorite cakes, is made with a cup of apple butter. I’m thinking of making a peach version with, oh, I don’t know, maybe a Bourbon glaze? Stay tuned 😉 You might also use some of your peach butter as a filling for these Jack Daniels peach pie bars… just saying.
If you love to make small batch butters, jellies and jams be sure to check out my ultimate guide to freezer jam!
- 4 lbs fresh peaches, (about 10 good sized peaches)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water, (if your peaches are juicy omit the water)
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Peel and rough chop the peaches. Note: I love my serrated vegetable peeler for this job. The fine teeth make quick work of the soft peach skin.
- Add the peaches to a heavy pot along with the water and sugar. Heat on medium, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When the mixture comes to a boil, lower the heat slightly and cook for about 20 minutes until the peaches are completely tender. Stir occasionally.
- Add the lemon juice to the peaches, and then, working in batches, puree the fruit until it is completely smooth. Don’t rush this step, let the processor or blender run long enough to get all of the lumps.
- At this point I strain the puree through a mesh strainer just to make sure it is completely smooth. Push it firmly with the back of a spoon to get all the puree through. Discard any lumps. If your puree is smooth enough, you can skip this step.
- Put the puree back into the (rinsed out) pan and bring back up to a boil. Lower the heat and cook gently until it is greatly reduced and thickened. This will take about 25-30 minutes or so, depending on the size of your pan. Stir very frequently during this step so the fruit doesn't scorch. I like to use a splatter screen because it does splatter. Note: the longer you cook the peach puree, the thicker the butter will be. You know it's ready when it starts to darken slightly, and your stirring starts to leave trails in the mixture. Test it by dipping a spoon in, and then run your finger down the spoon, if the butter doesn't fill in the strip, it's ready.
- Ladle the hot peach butter into a clean jar or jars and let cool before capping and refrigerating. The peach butter will thicken as it cools. Consume within a couple of weeks. You can also freeze the butter for up to 6 months, just put the cooled butter into a freezer safe container, leaving 1/2 inch at the top to allow for expansion.
If you would like to can this recipe
- Follow safe canning practices and ladle hot peach mixture into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims with a clean cloth. Close lids to fingertip-tight.
- Place jars in boiling-water canner and process jars 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat; remove lid, and let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool.
Questions and Reviews
Just made it..it’s still hot in the jars! Super fast and easy..and minimal ingredients! I reduced the recipe to 2 lbs and used very little sugar. I have a Vitamix, so I actually pureed my peaches and sugar 1st and then cooked them down…thus eliminating the 1st step and a good 20-30 mins. The vitamix will actually hest them if u go for 6 mins, but I’m wondering if they get too thin…that’s a test for another day 🙂
How many cups of frozen peaches would be used in this recipe?
I measured this in weight Diane, but a very rough estimate might be 10 cups.
How many half pints does this recipe make?
hey Sue, had alot of peaches, and instead of baking another pastry to gift, thought i’d treat myself to this lovely butter! it all blended quite easily in my regular blender, added 2T of fresh lemon juice, and again put on simmer for quite a while! i’m not really sure how thick it’s supposed to get, but its delish already! you said that sitting would thicken it more, so may just allow it to cool b4 emptying into jars!! thx for this and your many other recipes:): the choc/s’berry is one i can’t wait to make, kelli
why do you have to cook the peaches twice??
why do you have to cook peaches twice??
With fruit butters, you cook down the fruit, then puree it, and then cook it further to thicken the texture.