Sunday, September 14, 2008

Crockpot Fruit Butter

I discovered, quite by accident, that you can cook wonderful fruit butters in your slow cooker. It all started when Melissa (she's such an instigator) and our friend DeeDee suggested that we stop by a local produce stand. They had large baskets of slightly bruised peaches on sale, and we couldn't resist - we brought a basket home.

The car, which had warmed up sitting in the sun while we shopped, took on a wonderful summery aroma of fresh peach, and we basked in nature's aromatherapy all the way home, only to realize on our arrival that it was already 6 p.m., nobody had done anything about dinner and now we had forty pounds of peaches to deal with! Peaches, as you all know, are very perishable, and they spoil almost while you watch. Ack!

Being resourceful women, we threw together a quick meal and set about dealing with the peaches. The very best went into the freezer and the dehydrator, but the bruised, marginal ones (which were still very edible) needed a home. I stumbled across a recipe for Apple Butter and we decided to see if it worked with peaches, as well. But, we simplified the recipe - we filled the slow cooker with peeled, sliced peaches and added 1 cup of brown sugar and let it cook overnight.

The next morning, I put a batch of biscuits in the oven (and they were freezer biscuits - don't be a hater, I can't make biscuits to save my life!) and we breakfasted on hot biscuits slathered with warm peach butter. Nirvana, I tell you - it was fabulous! We immediately went and bought more peaches, because that peach butter was the best thing I think I've eaten in years. It tasted like a summer day, and there are twelve pints in the freezer for those cold winter days when you just need a touch of summer. We used 1/2 cup of it later in the week as a marinade for a pork roast, and really, pork and fruit go together like peas and carrots. Twelve pints might not be enough!

It's almost apple-picking time, so we'll be trying apple butter, and I might get really bold and try mango butter one of these days. If so, I'll post the results. In the meantime, if you have some late-season peaches, get out the slow clooker! You won't regret it!


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