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:
http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/uga/using_bw_canners.html.

Peach Peel Butter on Punk Domestics