- 5 pounds (2 1/4 kg) peaches (you can use any amount)
- 1 vanilla bean
- lemon juice (to taste)
- sugar (to taste)
When you are feeling lazy, vanilla peach butter is the easiest preserve to make. Mash the peaches or puree then in a blender, then use a slow cooker (crockpot) to cook the pulp without heating the kitchen. When it’s the correct consistency, add lemon juice and sugar. That’s it!
puree the fruit
I don’t bother to peel the peaches at all. Cut them into quarters, remove the pits, and whiz them in a blender. Pour all the fruit pulp into a slow cooker at least 3/4 full. For my 5 pounds of peaches, I used a 4-quart oval slow cooker. Slit the vanilla bean lengthwise, and scrape its seeds into the peach mixture. Use the vanilla pod separately in any way you wish (I made vanilla sugar).
cook for a long, long time
Cover the slow cooker and heat on high for at least an hour, so the peach puree gets good and hot. Then prop the lid open (rest it on a couple of chopsticks or a spoon) and turn the heat to low. Cook for 3 hours or so, stir, then replace the lid and props. You want the peaches to cook down into a thick spreadable paste. This may take up to 18 hours, don’t worry! You only have to stir every few hours or so. If you need to sleep, remove the prop, cover the slow cooker, and turn it off. Simply resume where you left off.
when it’s thick enough
When the peach butter seems thick and spreadable, add sugar to taste. I used a bit more than 1 cup (200 g). Add some lemon juice to brighten the flavor. The amount will depend on your taste and the tartness of the fruit, so add a bit, taste, add more, until you like the flavor. I used about 3 tablespoons (45 ml).
Whiz the peach butter with an immersion blender to get a silky smooth texture.
process in boiling waterbath
Ladle the peach butter into hot and clean 8-oz jars. Wipe the rims, apply lids and bands, and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.