Two weekends ago I picked up a bushel of Loring peaches. This particular free-stone is my absolute favorite variety when it comes to canning and jam making. Just ask Beth at Rohrer’s Orchard, I start calling mid-August every year inquiring about their ripening date. :)
For me, peach butter is the perfect partner for pancakes. No need for butter, or maple syrup, or honey: just velvety smooth peach butter will do just fine! This year I decided to switch things up a bit by adding a vanilla bean into the mix. I’m so glad I did because it takes this fruit spread to an entirely new level!
Madagascar Peach Butter
8 cups chopped peaches, skins removed
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
1 Madagascar vanilla bean
Place chopped peaches in a crock pot and mash with a potato masher to release juice. Set heat to high and cook for an hour with the lid vented; resting the lid on a long wooden spoon works well. Add sugar, stir, and set heat to low. Continue cooking an additional 6 hours (with the lid propped open allowing steam to escape). Once your fruit has cooked down, add lemon juice and the seeds from the vanilla bean. Using an immersion blender, puree mixture into a creamy consistency. Ladle into hot, clean, half-pint jars and remove air bubbles; wipe rims, add two piece lids and process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes, or for as long as your altitude requires.