I really love summer because of all the fresh fruits. And I love to make my own preserves to enjoy that fresh summer taste in the heart of winter. But why is it that Mother Nature sees fit to give us her greatest bounty at the same time she gives us miserable hot weather? Who wants to stand over a hot stove stirring a boiling cauldron when it’s 90 degrees outside?? Well last summer I stumbled across a recipe for Crockpot Peach Butter. It sounded intriguing. I liked the idea that I didn’t have to heat up the whole kitchen to make preserves. I liked it even better that I could just put everything in the crockpot and walk away for 8 or more hours. Best of all, a friend had just given me some windfall peaches off her tree. So I decided to try the recipe right away. I put the first batch in the crockpot late at night and went to bed. Woke up in the morning and the whole inn smelled WONDERFUL. Guests were coming down to breakfast and asking “What IS that delicious smell?” I was dishing up samples right out of the crockpot. It tasted every bit as good as it smelled. When pears came into season I also made some pear ginger butter using the same method. The only drawback to this recipe is that it only makes a small batch at a time. About three pints. I haven’t tried doubling the recipe. I suspect it would work, but take longer to cook down. It’s fine to just ladle into jars and refrigerate if you plan to eat it all in the next month, but for longer storage you should do a hot water bath like you would with regular preserves.
6 cups unsweetened peaches
3 cups white sugar
1 can apricot halves – drained
½ cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Recipe gives about 3 pints of butter.
Chop peaches and apricots very fine in food processor
Combine everything in a crockpot
Heat on high until fruit is simmering – about 3 hours.
Reduce heat to low and remove the lid and let simmer for about 8 hours more. Stir occasionally.
Refrigerate for immediate use. Can be frozen or processed in hot water bath for longer storage
The White Oak Inn
Bed and Breakfast Foodie