I prefer the quiet, lazy Tuesday evening farmer’s market to Saturday morning. The is partially true due to my man despising the market all together not because of what one can purchase and support but because of the who’s who scene of the chacos and the double lattes in hands and the dogs tied to telephone poles with hemp leashes and the bro-bra. It is inefficient. It makes him visibly twitch.
So I have to go alone and I choose Tuesday nights. Just bug in her sling and me in my heels on the old cobblestone street.
Last Tuesday I went and happened upon the peach people. My heart was pounding and I was plotting at how I might take out the pushy lady next to me so that I could score a giant box of local, unsprayed peaches. And if you don’t care about odd shapes and earwigs, then the price is $22 for a 20 pound box. If you do care about such things, the price is $40 which is still a screaming deal. But I don’t care about hideous bugs hiding in the pits of my peaches.
We arrived at 5:25 and the farmers aren’t allowed to start selling until the bell rings or they get fined. It is this outrageous and annoying process (I have worked the other side of it for the farm I used to manage and it is even more annoying on that side). Anyway. I stood there teetering in my cute pumps, pitting out, waiting for the bell, hoping to get a box.
And, I got a box and made a mountain of peach butter. Bug helped me can and I thought about a year ago when I was canning with her.
Peach Butter Recipe :: Makes 30-36 half-pints
I prefer the natural sweetness of fruit to the sugary sweetness most recipes call for. I usually cut the sugar in half or omit all together. I did this recipe in two batches.
5-6 cups sugar
Blanch peaches and peel or just peel–depends ripeness and how easy that is. Anyway, put peeled peaches in a giant bowl of cool water with a teaspoon or so of ascorbic acid to preserve color. Or don’t. You can see in the picture below that half had the ascorbic acid and half didn’t. Without it, your butter will be a bit more brown but will taste the same. Set half aside because a normal largish pot will only hold about 10 pounds of peaches.
Place half in large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add 2-3 cups of sugar (to taste) and simmer. After like 10 minutes, puree with the magic utensil or a food processor. Don’t liquefy! Leave chunks.
Cook down on low until kind of thickish and will mound a bit on a spoon. About an hour.
Ladle hot butter into hot jars and process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes or 20 if you live in Montana (above 3000 feet). Repeat with other half.