If you've ever been overambitious and purchased too many juicy summer peaches at the farm stand or farmers market, preserving them in the slow cooker is just the answer. Making peach butter requires no peeling, no pots to stir on the stove, and none of the canning equipment you need when making peach jam. Slow-cooker peach butter is the easiest, hands-off way to make sure your peach haul is turned into something tasty.
Fruit Butter vs. Fruit Jam
Fruit butters get their name from their thick but spreadable texture. Unlike jams and jellies, which are usually thickened with pectin and have a stiffer texture, fruit butters are just slow-cooked with sugar and sometimes spices, then puréed until smooth.
Making peach butter is as easy as blending up peaches and then cooking them down for a long time in the slow cooker. There's no peeling involved either — just pit and chop. This peach butter gets a spicy hit of fresh ginger and a squeeze of lemon juice at the end to balance out all the sweetness. When the peach butter is ready, it has the texture of applesauce and is great as is, but if you want a velvety-smooth texture, just give it another blend.
Vent Your Slow Cooker
The slow cooker is awesome for making peach butter because cooking off all the peach juices takes a long time, so you can just set it for 10 to 12 hours and walk away. The key, though, is to not have the slow-cooker lid on tightly. Venting the lid allows the excess moisture to escape and evaporate, and also keeps the slow cooker from getting too hot and scorching the peach purée.
Use peach butter just like you would your favorite jam: swiped on toast, stirred into yogurt, or blended with softened butter for the ultimate sweet compound butter!
Farm Stand Freestyle
There's lot to love about a farm stand: no lines, great prices, and usually some of best homestyle baked goods in town. We like to load up on produce when we head to a farm stand and use that bounty in big-batch recipes that call for a sizable amount of fruit or veggies. Even if your bounty is coming from the garden or an abundant CSA, any of these recipes designed to use up a few pound of fruits and veggies are the ones to try.
Slow-Cooker Ginger Peach Butter
5 pounds peaches, halved and pitted
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
Juice of 1/2 medium lemon
Cut the peaches into 1-inch chunks. Working in batches, blend the peaches in a stand blender until puréed. Pour into a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Add the sugar, ginger, and salt and stir to combine.
Place a long wooden spoon or 2 wooden chopsticks across the top of the slow cooker, then place the lid on top (this will allow the peach butter to vent and reduce). Cook on the LOW setting, stirring every few hours, until thick and spreadable, 10 to 12 hours. Make sure to re-vent the lid after each stir.
Turn off the slow cooker, uncover, add the lemon juice, stir to combine, and let cool completely. If you want a smoother consistency, blend with an immersion blender or transfer to a stand blender and blend again.
- Storage: Store in sealed containers in the refrigerator for up to 10 days or in the freezer for 6 months. The peach butter can be stored at room temperature if properly canned (but refrigerate once the jars are opened).