We received a box of peaches, many of which were bruised, had insect damage, or other blemishes. We decided to cut out the bad bits and make peach butter, reserving the few unblemished ones for making brandied peaches.
For the peach butter, we lightly cooked the peaches in a pot, then ran them through the food mill we use for apple butter. From there, they went into our crock pot to cook down. We essentially followed our procedure for apple butter, which we’ll be posting here shortly.
After the peach sauce cooked down to about half its volume, we added more, filling up the crock pot again. This time, we added spices to taste (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice), along with a little bit of lemon juice (a couple Tbs) and sugar to taste.
I feel the method is sound, but our proportions were wrong, and we cooked it a bit too long. The resulting product was a little burnt and a little on the tart side. Hopefully you can learn from our mistakes. Next time, we will leave the crock pot on low or warm the entire time, will not let it cook down quite as far, and will add more sugar. We also intended to put a little bit of almond extract in it, but forgot, so that’s something we’ll be adding next time.
We have yet to see how the brandied peaches turned out, as they have to sit for a while before you get into them (at least two months, ideally six). We get to open the first jar on Brittany’s birthday.
We used the recipe straight out of the Ball Blue Canning Book, so we won’t republish here (because of copyright). I will say though, that the recipe called for quite a process, which left us with a potentially useful byproduct…
The brandied peaches recipe has you cook the peaches in syrup, then let them stand in syrup for 12 hours. Then the syrup is drained off, brought to a boil, more sugar added and dissolved, then poured back over the peaches to soak for another long while. When the peaches are finally packed into jars, they’re covered with a mix of brandy and the syrup.
We had two pints of syrup left over after the process, so we went ahead and canned it. The hope is that we will find a use for it in sweetening something, or in canning something else, to add a peach flavor. Any ideas?