Eating a ripe, juicy peach is one of summer’s best gifts. (Thanks, summer!) But — and I hate to be the one to bring this up — these little balls of edible sunshine aren’t going to be around forever. Savor delicious summer peaches on a dreary winter day (or next week, at least) by making this booze-and-spice-spiked peach butter. Here’s how you do it.
Spiced Bourbon Peach Butter
Inspired by the Deep South and the Far East, this peach butter gets some personality from bourbon and garam masala. The bourbon brings depth, while the garam masala — an Indian spice blend that’s usually made up of some mix of cloves, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, coriander and nutmeg – leaves a subtly spicy note on your tongue with each bite.
Makes about 1 pint
Adapted from Food.com
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoon water
1-inch knob fresh ginger
1 teaspoon garam masala (use cinnamon instead for a more traditional peach butter)
Lemon juice, optional
Equipment: Food processor or blender
Prepping the Peaches
First, ready the peaches! Bring a large pot of water to a simmer. Make a slit along the bottom of each peach and dip in the hot water for about 30 seconds, or just long enough to loosen the skins. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon, then drain and rinse with cold water until cool enough to handle. Peel back the skins (they should come off easily), cut in half and remove the pits. Now chop into medium-sized chunks. Congrats — your peaches are prepared to become butter.
Making the Peach Butter
Preheat the oven (I used a toaster oven to keep the house cool) to 250 degrees F. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine a one-inch piece of peeled fresh ginger, the garam masala, the peaches, the water and a pinch of salt.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
Once your butter cooks on the stove top (does your house smell amazing yet? It should.), remove the ginger from the pan and discard. Then, break out your food processor and add the peach mixture, your favorite bourbon and the dark brown sugar and whiz until smooth. Now taste it — if you think it needs a little more tartness, add a squeeze of lemon. If you’d like it sweeter, add a bit more brown sugar. I won’t tell if you decide to take a swig of bourbon at this point.
Pour the puree into a baking dish (one that’s wider than it is deep works best) and cook in a 250-degree oven for about two and half hours, or until thick. The consistency should be such that it will cling to a spoon versus sliding off.
Save It for Winter
To enjoy this peach butter year-round, ladle it into hot, sterilized jars. Make sure to clean the rims and fit with sterilized lids and lid rings. Using a canning jar lifter, place the jars into a pot filled with enough hot water to cover them completely. Bring the water to a boil, then boil 20 minutes. Note: To make enough for eight half-pint jars, quadruple the recipe above.
How to Use Your Peach Butter
This peach butter is delicious atop all the usual suspects — toast, biscuits, scones, croissants — but don’t stop there. Why not use your peach butter for:
- A sauce for grilled chicken, pork or lamb chops
- A peanut butter sandwich
- A yogurt or ice cream topping (alongside some toasted almonds or walnuts)
- The filling for a rustic galette
- An amazing filling for homemade toaster pastries
- A stuffing for crepes or French toast, or a pancake topping
- A substitute for some of the butter or oil when baking quick breads or cakes
What’s your favorite way to use summer peaches? Tell us in the comments below.