The problem with peaches is you can get carried away when you buy them, like buy a bushel of peaches when there are only 3 of you in the house and only 2 of you eat peaches. Hmmmm… Peaches spoil quickly so you have to do a lot of things with the peaches so you can use them up. This is when I make a lot of preserves of differing kinds, like this beautiful, delicious Vanilla Peach Butter. A piece of sourdough bread toasted, smeared with cream cheese and topped with this vanilla peach butter is a wonderfully delicious start to your morning.
- 6 pounds ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and quartered
- 2/3 cups water
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 Tablespoons honey
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- 1 whole vanilla bean, halved and scraped
In a large stainless steel pot, combine peach quarters and water. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally until the peaches are soft (approx. 15 minutes).
Working in two separate batches, transfer peach mixture to a food processor or blender and puree just until a smooth texture is achieved — do not liquefy. This should yield 6 – 8 cups of peach puree.
Return the puree to the pot and stir in lemon juice, sugar, honey, salt, vanilla bean scrapings, and scraped vanilla pods. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and burning until the mixture thickens and will hold its shape on a spoon, roughly 20 minutes.
When thickened, remove vanilla pods, then ladle the hot butter into jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rim, and tighten lids. Completely submerge jars in water bath filled with warm water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 – 15 minutes. Remove jars, cool and store. Enjoy.