My friend and I bought 100 lbs. of peaches this week at a local orchard. We canned and canned and canned and canned peaches but there were some that were just too soft to can. So I thought I would try my hand at making peach butter and I am very glad I did. Now this recipe is loaded with sugar and I know I try to stay away from white sugar but I don't know if you can make a good jam or jelly recipe with honey (if you have one please tell me!). The original recipe is from Ball's Complete Book of Home Preserving.
4 1/2 lbs. peaches, peeled, pitted and coarsley chopped
1/2 cup water
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 cups of granulated sugar
I used my Lehman's Best Food Mill (it really is just awesome). You should not can without it. I talked on and on about it here last year when I made some applesauce. Now back to the recipe, I sent the pitted peaches through there so that I did not have to chop them. Actually my son did it see:
Then I added the peach "mush" (my word) to the water and lemon juice and sugar in a pot on the stove. I brought it to a boil and boiled it for about 45 minutes - this was a light boil not a roaring boil. And stir it often to make sure it doesn't stick to the pan. You need to boil it until the mixture drips very slowly off of the back of a spoon. You just know when you get to the point that it is like jelly. It cooks down and gets very thick. If you do the spoon test and it drips off easily it is not ready - does that help?
Oh really that doesn't help, well then go here and you will see what I am talking about. When you are done then ladle the mixture into sterilized and warmed canning jars. You can go here for a good starting tutorial. I am assuming you know a little about canning though but if you do not go check out that website.
Anyway, ladle your warm "butter" into the jars and you may either process these now in a water bath canner or you may do what I did which is put them in the fridge and eat them for breakfast on my toast the next morning. The jars will keep for several weeks in your fridge. Hand some out to friends because you really don't need that much sugar do you?