Canning and Preserving - The Summer Series: Peach and Lavender Butter

Canning and Preserving - The Summer Series: Peach and Lavender Butter

Aw, the peach. Summertime in a fuzzy package. Before I share the recipe for this delectable concoction, I want to share this poem by Peter Davidson.

Peaches

A mouthful of language to swallow:

stretches of beach, sweet clinches,
breaches in walls, bleached branches;
britches hauled over haunches;
hunches leeches, wrenched teachers.

What English can do: ransack
the warmth that chuckles beneath
fuzzed surfaces, smooth velvet
richness, splashy juices.
I beseech you, peach,
clench me into the sweetness
of your reaches.

This recipe for Peach and Lavender Butter comes from the book, Canning and Preserving by Ashley English. I've made an adjustment and left out the lemon zest as I didn't want anything to come between the sweet peachiness and the subtle lavender infusion. Other then that, the recipe is straight from the book. Although it's called a butter, I think it's more of a conserve. Either way, it really is something to write home about.

This makes 4 half pints - recipe says it makes 6. In a large pot of boiling water, prepare 4 sterilized jars and lids. Keep the water up to temperature for it's boiling water bath process. In another pot, boil water to blanch the peaches so that they peel easily.

You'll need 2 tablespoons of fresh of dried lavender buds. Here is the lavender plant that I got the buds off of. You can see that most of the flowers have fallen off and just the buds are left.

These are the buds from the plant. There are a few flowers in their as well which is just fine. Put the 2 tablespoons of the lavender buds in a small bowl. Take 1/3 cup of your boiling water and pour it over the buds. Cover, and let them steep for 15 minutes.

To blanch the peaches, score and "X" into the bottom of them.

Lower them into the pot of boiling water for blanching a few at a time. Boil for 30 seconds and remove onto a plate to cool.

When the peaches are cool enough to handle, peel the peaches by starting at the lifted edges of your "X". You'll love how easily the skins slip off.

Peel, pit and roughly chop the peaches.

Strain the lavender buds from the water. Set aside the buds...you'll add them in later. You're going to add the lavender water next.

Combine the lavender water, peaches, and 3 tablespoons bottled lemon juice in a heavy stainless steel saucepan (I used my trusty enamel Le Cruset and it works beautifully). Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until the peach mixture thickens and clings to a spoon. Remove from the heat. Once the peach mixture has cooled slightly, either press it through a food mill or fine meshed sieve, or puree using a food processor or immersion blender. I use an immersion blender for this and highly recommend putting getting this gadget if you dont' already have one. It is a "go to" gadget in our kitchen.

Doesn't it look like a giant egg yolk? If you did not use and immersion blender, return the puree to the pan, add the sugar and lavender buds, and bring it up to a gentle boil over medium heat.

Stir continuously until the sugar is completely dissolved. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes. Place the sterilized jars on top of a kitchen cloth on the counter. With the help of a canning funnel, pack peach butter into the jars, reserving 1/2 inch of headspace. Use a nonmetallic spatula to remove any trapped air bubbles, and wipe the rims clean with a damp cloth. Place on the lids and screw bands, tightening only until fingertip-tight.

Using a jar lifter, place the jars in the canner (Boiling water bath). Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Peach and Lavender Butter

3 pounds peaches

1/3 cup water

2 Tbsp fresh or dried lavender buds

3 Tbsp bottled lemon juice

3 cups granulated sugar

This makes 4 half pints - recipe says it makes 6. In a large pot of boiling water, prepare 4 sterilized jars and lids. Keep the water up to temperature for it's boiling water bath process. In another pot, boil water to blanch the peaches so that they peel easily.

Put the 2 tablespoons of the lavender buds in a small bowl. Take 1/3 cup of your boiling water and pour it over the buds. Cover, and let them steep for 15 minutes.

Blanch peaches (see how above) and when they are cool enough to handle peel, pit and chop roughly.

Strain the lavender buds from the water. Set aside the buds...you'll add them in later. Combine the lavender water, peaches, and 3 tablespoons bottled lemon juice in a heavy stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until the peach mixture thickens and clings to a spoon. Remove from the heat. Once the peach mixture has cooled slightly, either press it through a food mill or fine meshed sieve, or puree using a food processor or immersion blender.

If you did not use and immersion blender, return the puree to the pan, add the sugar and lavender buds, and bring it up to a gentle boil over medium heat.

Stir continuously until the sugar is completely dissolved. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes. Place the sterilized jars on top of a kitchen cloth on the counter. With the help of a canning funnel, pack peach butter into the jars, reserving 1/2 inch of headspace. Use a nonmetallic spatula to remove any trapped air bubbles, and wipe the rims clean with a damp cloth. Place on the lids and screw bands, tightening only until fingertip-tight.

Using a jar lifter, place the jars in the canner (Boiling water bath). Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.