Peach Peel Butter

What you see above is a complete outsider in the world of jams and other fruit preserves. At least in my pantry. I had this crazy idea last weekend while getting ready for my umpteenth Peach Jam with Gin batch. I suddenly remembered reading, in an old cookery book,  something about using fruit skins, leftover from jams or other preserves. I didn’t remember which book it was in, nor the exact recipe, but when I found myself with skins from 2 kg organic peaches, I decided to give them a chance for a second life.

In order to obtain this butter I had to simmer skins with sugar until they disintegrate. It took me many hours (two days to be frank), but the result was definitely worth the efforts, even though I obtained only one jar. The peach skin butter is slightly tart, reminds me of a bit of plum jams and certainly doesn’t look or taste like a leftover preserve. The obtained colour depends on the skins’ hue (mine were rather reddish). It will be perfect as a pie or biscuit filling or on bread, instead of jam. Needless to say, I am already planning to save other skins and peels from the bin.

Preparation: 2 days (about 6 hours of simmering)

Ingredients (yield: 1 x  250 ml jar):

peels from 2 kg peaches

sugar (starting with the amount equal to the peels’ weight; I finally added 2 x the peels’ weight)

juice from 1 lemon

lots of water

Weigh the peels. Put them in a pan, cover with the equal amount of sugar, add the lemon juice and 1/2 litre water.

Let it simmer, giving a stir from time to time, adding water as soon as it evaporates and checking if the peels don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

You can also add more sugar during the cooking process if you see the mixture is not sweet enough.

If you prepare it in two days, simply cover the pan with a lid and start once more the following day, adding water.

When skins have disintegrated, taste if the skins are not too acid/too sweet (add more sugar or lemon juice) and constantly stirring let the mixture thicken to a fruit butter consistency.

/At this point you can either freeze it (after the butter has cooled down) or keep it in the fridge for a couple of weeks, or process it in the jars, as described below, and store it in your pantry for at least a year!/

Pour the butter, still hot, into sterilised jars. Cover with lids. Leave the jars to cool.

Place the cool jars in a big pan lined with an old kitchen towel folded in two (this will prevent the jars from breaking), cover up with hot – but not boiling – water to the level just below the lid. Bring to boil and keep on a very low heat, in simmering water, for around 20 minutes.
Stick on self-adhesive labels, write the name of the butter and don’t forget to mark the date.

NOTE: For the readers who live in the USA, the USDA-approved canning method is different. You can find it described here:

Peach Peel Butter on Punk Domestics

49 thoughts on “Peach Peel Butter

  1. Mr. Three-Cookies

    How unusual, and good to see that nothing is going to waste. The peel is where the pectin is so I presume this sets quite well, and is nutritious. This should work with different peels but I imagine it won’t work so well with banana peels:) I don’t make jams often but when I did I included the peels (partially because I was lazy to peel and also because of the pectin content, color and flavor). Definitely good to know.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Mr. Three-Cookies! I always peel the peaches before making the jam. I am always afraid the peel will separate from the flesh…
      I certainly wouldn’t try this butter with banana peel 😉

  2. Sara

    What a cool concept. I don’t know if I’ll ever have this many skins (though, I suppose 2 k of peaches isn’t THAT much) but I always love the idea of using something you think you could throw away. 2 days of simmering is something else though. Would have been a perfect activitiy for yesterday when we stayed inside all day thanks to the hurricane!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thanks, Sara. Frankly, if I don’t have 2 kg fruits I don’t even attempt making a jam or any preserve. Too much trouble for a tiny amount of jars… Actually I was very busy preserving other things, so I was quite often in the kitchen this weekend. I didn’t mind having a second pan simmering on the stove. Hurricane sounds scary! I hope you are all ok. We never have such phenomena in Switzerland.

  3. Charles

    Whoa, that’s dedication Sissi – 2 days simmering for just one jar… but what a result! It looks delicious – how thick was it in the end, it’s not so easy to tell from the photo but I’m guessing it’s a little like a smooth but darker? Wonderful idea – I don’t like wasting things, especially not stuff as delicious as peach peels. Wonderful post, truly inspiring (and now I’m jealous because I want to try some of this stuff!)

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thanks, Charles. Actually I simmered it every time I was in the kitchen making something else, so really 6 hours in two days wasn’t a dedication :-) Especially since I made some chutneys and jams in the meantime. The consistency is the one of a fruit butter (e.i. very thick jam, but without pectine added). If I go to Paris I’ll bring you some 😉 I don’t think it’s the last jar this season…

      1. Charles

        Nice! Thanks :) I’m looking forward to getting my jam going – I went out picking blackberries last night, although we weren’t so successful – just a few meagre handfuls. I’ve put them in the freezer and will keep going out until we have a good pile so I can make some blackberry jam!

        1. Sissi Post author

          Charles, you are lucky! I think I haven’t had wild blackberries for years. Sadly the farmed ones have no taste most of the time. I’m almost sure you shouldn’t make “standard” jams with frozen fruit. You could make the “fridge” jams though! (But check it somewhere, I’m not sure!).

          1. Charles

            Hi Sissi – I googled a bit – I’d never heard this before. It seems it’s no problem to use frozen fruit, although you may need to add additional pectin, or use jam sugar… unless there’s some other reason why frozen fruit would be bad. I think a mix of frozen and fresh would be fine perfectly, but in any case, hopefully in a few weeks the hedgerows will have ripened more so it won’t be so hard to find a good batch all in one go.

            1. Sissi Post author

              I once talked to another crazy preserver and she told me this. It sounded logical: whatever you buy that is frozen should in theory be consumed in the 48 hours… On the other hand, if you cook it and add more pectin and sugar, it should be safe! Does it mean I can make sour cherry jam with frozen sour cherries??? (the only ones I can buy here :-( ) Let me know how the jam turns out! I am very curious! I know infused vodka can be made with frozen fruit, so why not jam… By the way, how is your cherry brandy doing?

              1. Charles

                Haha, those “crazy preservers” 😀 To be honest, things can vary a lot – methods of freezing for example, and freezing technology. Freezers have changed a lot since the early days. Things can generally be kept frozen a lot longer nowadays – weeks or months, compared to mere days – with very little degradation in quality. I’m sure that my mother made jam before with frozen berries, but maybe I’m mistaken – I’ll let you know in any case!

                The cherry brandy is looking good. I’ve removed all but a handful of the pits and have topped it up with a bit extra brandy to kill a bit of the sweetness and split it between two jars. The peach stuff is looking as delicious as always, I can’t wait to give it a try!

                1. Sissi Post author

                  Charles, I would really be interested in knowing if I can make jams with frozen fruit. A whole new world would open!
                  I can’t wait to hear about your first fruit brandy tasting experience! I have just finished the first stage of my black currant vodka. The smell and taste (and the colour!) have blown me away! I am wondering tonight what to do with the delicious, vodka-infused currants 😉 I have some ideas…

                  1. Meaghan B

                    It is my understanding (through the Ball Canning Book) that you can make jams and jellies with frozen berries but not other frozen fruits. I don’t know why the difference but there you have it. They suggest thawing in a refrigerator for 24 hours before beginning the process. It must have something to do with fiber, sugar, and pectin breakdown during freezing for other fruits.

                    1. Sissi Post author

                      Thank you Meaghan for the precious and precise advice! If one day I crave a berry jam in the middle of the Winter, I will know exactly what to do.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Elina! I am not a big fan of peach skins (raw), but now I know they make a delicious fruit butter.

  4. Jeno @ Week Nite Meals

    This is a very “GREEN” recipe Sissi! 2 days of simmering sounds like quite a bit of an effort, so from your description the result is really worth it! At first glance I thought you made Red Bean Dessert Soup, due to the beautiful dark red color!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Jeno, it’s falsely green 😉 I prefer not to think how much electricity I used on it… I would have made at least 10 batches of jam in the meantime 😉 However, the peach jam has a completely different taste, so it was worth the efforts (also financial)!

  5. Shilpa

    Wow! This is very similar to the lemon peel pickle I was telling you about earlier….with peaches, this would be divine….I love the colour … vibrant….I love these peel creations….all the taste and all the goodness too….really nice…

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Shilpa, for the kind words! I must make the lemon peel pickle! I thought about it two days ago: strangely, lemons were beautiful and ridiculously cheap on one of the stalls…

  6. Caroline

    Lengthy process indeed, but sounds like it was totally worth it! I’m not sure if I’d have the patience though, ha! The consistency looks great.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Caroline! You are right, it was worth it. Since I was doing some other jams and chutneys in the meantime, I haven’t felt the time pass.

  7. Juliana

    Sissi, I absolutely am in love with the idea of using the peach peels…have to admit that I may never able to make it since cannot accumulate that much peach peels….but will keep in mind.
    Hope you are having a fantastic week :-)

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Juliana. When making jams I rarely use less than 2 kg peaches, so the amount was not a problem!

  8. Kelly

    Ooh, what a neat idea and I admire your determination – 2 days you say? Wow. Good for you! Beautiful result indeed and I like the versatility of the recipe as well. Looks lovely Sissi.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thanks, Kelly! I admit I was a bit worried when after two or three hours I still saw the skins not disintegrating… Finally the result was really good. I think I’ll try it with Autumn fruit skins!

  9. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    I never even knew that we can actually use peach skin for another recipe! This is incredible! I use carrot/daikon/brocolli peel sometimes but definitely not the soft skin peach!!! I always learn something interesting here Sissi. Now I’m curious how it tastes like. I really think we can find cool things in your fridge/kitchen…. 😉

    1. Sissi Post author

      Nami, using carrot or daikon peel is incredible!!!! What do you do with those? Thank you for the kind words, I wish I could make you taste the result…

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Sam! I should maybe try also the peach skin jelly one day! Thanks for the suggestion.

  10. Laura @ Novelbite

    What a brilliant idea! I always just want to throw my peach peels in with jam because I’m convinced their rosy tones will make the jam a prettier color in the long run. But, I never do, partially because I like to EAT the fruit skins after I peel them (weird, I know). The next time I make a stone fruit jam, I’m doing to save the peel and try this. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Hi Laura, thank you! I have always hated the peach skin, so I cannot really imagine eating the skins alone. You are right about the colour. I find however that when you soak the peaches for about 5 minutes in boiling water (to make the peeling easier), the skin gives off some of its colour to the peach.

  11. Catflowr

    I gave this a try today as I hate seeing anything go to waste. It simmered about 7 hours as I was bustling away doing big canning batches, and the result is delightful! I followed the recipe pretty much exactly, though I didn’t add any more sugar than what I started with (same weight of sugar as peels). I estimate I started with about double amount of peach peels. The end result definitely has a nice carmelized flavor. Thanks for the idea!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you for visiting my blog and letting me know you have tested my recipe. It’s one of he most thrilling moments in a blogger’s life, especially if the tested recipe turns out well and is appreciated. I am very happy you liked the peach peel butter. Thanks once more for your precious comment! (By the way, I have just posted my old damson plum butter recipe; it’s definitely the best fruit butter in the world).

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