Thursday, June 18, 2015

Vine Peach Apple Butter


This is my first year growing vine peaches, and after lots of research trying to find recipes and having not much turn up, I decided to try a few concoctions myself. Vine peaches grow on a vine (very prolifically, I might add) in the summer, are the size of a small peach, bright yellow in color when ripe, and have a mild flavor. I had read that they can be used interchangeable with apples to make apple pie or apple butter.

And what better way to use my vine peaches than to make apple butter? I love making apple butter, and every time I can a batch, we eat through it in no time! It has the perfect mix of apples and cinnamon in a warm mash that makes me smile just to think about :) 

While vine peaches can be used interchangeably with apples in this recipe, I wouldn't use more than half as vine peaches because of their mild flavor (not quite as tasty as the granny smith apples) and they take a little longer to break down when cooking than the apples. If you don;t have any vine peaches, this recipe works just as well with all apples. In the picture below, you can see the size and color of the vine peaches in comparison to the granny smith apples.


Here's what you need:
- 4.5 lb. granny smith apples and vine peaches (combined- any ratio desired but I recommend more apples than vine peaches)
- 4 cups apple cider
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp. ground all spice

Peel, core, and cut the apples into wedges. For the vine peaches- peel, cut them in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon, and cut into wedges. Boil the apples and apple cider on the stove for 30 minutes until tender. Puree the apples with a hand blender, or if yours is broken (like mine) the mixture should be soft enough to smash with a wooden spoon or potato masher.


Add in the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, and simmer until your desired thickness (about an hour and a half). 


You can eat it as is and keep it in the refrigerator, or can it for later. Ladle the mixture into sterilized jars*. This recipe makes 3-4 pints.

*To sterilize jars, place them upside down in a boiling water bath for 10-15 minutes. After closing the jars, wait until they cool, and the lids should pop down in the center to show that they are sealed. If any of the jars don't seal, just put them in the refrigerator and use those first. Sealed jars should be good for up to a year.


Yep, it really is that simple! And I love the way it makes my house smell when I make this stuff. If only there were a way to bottle up this smell! I guess I will settle for caning the taste :)