How to Can Grandma Johnson’s Peach Butter Recipe

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There is nothing quite like the taste of a juicy peach when you bite into it. Aaaaaah, the best of summertime in one simple bite of fresh fruit. (Ok, maybe two or three or 20 bites…I’m not judging.) But then summer is over and so is the peach season. In this post I will show you how to can Grandma Johnson’s peach butter recipe for you to enjoy throughout the year. This recipe is the best way to preserve the peach flavor of summer (ha, see what I did there?)!

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I eagerly await the time of year when Colorado peaches are delivered. It’s always such a struggle to decide just how many pounds of peaches I’ll turn into peach butter or freeze or to eat fresh. This morning, I loaded up the kids, peaches and canning jars into the car and headed off to mom’s house. Because summertime canning is always better when done with my momma.

First, Who Is Grandma Johnson?

I’m glad you asked! My Great Grandma Johnson was quite a wonderful lady, so I hear. I never had the opportunity to meet her, but I’ve grown up with stories from my mom. Anna Cora North (Johnson) was born in 1873 in western Kansas. Amongst many other things, the lady was quite the cook. And her peach butter recipe does not disappoint! Canning this great recipe is my favorite way to honor her memory.

Fruit Butter Preserves vs Fruit Jam

Well, to be honest, I had to look it up. I’ve grown up making and eating fruit butters but not studying the science behind it. From what I gather, jam is more pureed fruit with fruit pectin (gel) added and cooked until a thick spread.

Fruit butter like peach is mashed or pureed fruit and then cooked until enough water evaporates and it becomes thicker. But it is not so thick as jam.

Grandma Johnson’s peach butter recipe is cooked down like peach preserves, but we do add fruit pectin to make it thicken up a bit more. So I guess that makes it both jam and fruit butter? It is certainly delicious, and you won’t much care what it’s called once you start eating.

How Difficult Is It To Can This Peach Butter Recipe?

As far as canning recipes go, this peach butter is pretty simple. If you’re a beginning canner, this recipe is a great way to learn! One batch will take one person approximately two hours for the whole process and will yield about 3 ½ pint jars. Most of that time is just letting the butter cook down and stirring the pot to make sure it doesn’t burn. So put on your favorite podcast, fix a cup of iced coffee and enjoy the process of going back to the good ol’ days.

Tools Needed in Learning How To Can Grandma Johnson’s Peach Butter Recipe

Most of these tools are things every kitchen has. There are just a couple necessary tools to make the process of how to can Grandma Johnson’s peach butter recipe easier.

Ingredients Needed for Peach Butter Recipe

There are just THREE ingredients in this recipe! Can you believe it? That is one of the big reasons I love home canned, homemade food. You know all the ingredients going into your food, and those ingredients are pretty simple.

  • 6 Cups Mashed Yellow Peaches, About 11 Medium Size
  • 3 ½ Cups of Sugar
  • ½ Box Sure-Gel Fruit Pectin (yes, I know…what do you do with the other ½ box? Save it or make a double batch.)

Special Notes for How to Can Grandma Johnson’s Peach Butter Recipe

Note #1:

I do not water bath this peach butter recipe. Many people recommend a ten minute boiling water bath, and you are certainly welcome to add this if you feel more comfortable with it. (Note to beginners: A water bath in the canning process is to ensure all the food is cooked and won’t spoil in the jar.) Every generation of our family since Great Grandma Johnson hasn’t done the water bath, and we have had no spoilage. The peach butter cooks so long in the pot and is put in the jars quite hot, so there are no worries about it being fully cooked.

Note #2:

My mom taught me to be pretty particular in the brand of canning lids we use. We are all about saving money, but she’s used off-brand lids that malfunctioned and didn’t seal. After all this work and money spent on peaches, you certainly don’t want the fruit butter to spoil just because you wanted to save a dollar! If this is your first time canning, I recommend Ball brand canning jars and lids. Canning rings (the part that screws on) can be off brand.

Note #3:

This peach butter is good for overripe peaches or peaches with brown spots! Definitely remove rot, but brown spots from dropping do not need to be cut out.

Note #4:

How long does the peach butter last? If the peach butter is properly sealed, it can last 1 – 2 years on a shelf. Actually, we’ve had some last longer, but it starts to brown. In the fridge, an opened jar can last about a month.

Step by Step on How to Can Grandma Johnson’s Peach Butter Recipe

Step 1: Blanching the Peaches

Fill large pot about halfway with water and bring to boil. Drop ripe peaches into the water for 20 – 30 seconds to “blanche” the skin.

Step 2: Cold Water Bath

With a slotted spoon, remove the peaches and place in a large bowl of ice water.

If you are making more than one batch of peach butter, you might have to work in stages or get more bowls of water.

Step 3: Remove Peels and Pit

Remove the peach skin and pit. It should slide right off after the blanching process. Cut in quarters and place in separate large bowl.

Step 4: Mash the Peaches

Once you have peeled about eleven medium peaches, mash them with the potato masher. You still want small chunks of peach.

Step 5: Mix Ingredients

Measure out 6 cups of mashed peaches and pour into pot. Add sugar and fruit pectin and stir.

Step 6: Heat Fruit Butter

Heat peach mixture in a flat bottom pot on stove top range set to medium-high heat. At this stage, you do not need to stir constantly, but make sure you stir frequently to prevent it sticking.

**Use a flat bottom spoon and stir evenly across the bottom of the pot. You want to make sure the sugary butter never sticks and burns.

Step 7: Cook Down Peach Butter

Once the butter starts simmering, turn down to medium heat and stir constantly. (You can step away once in a while for 30 seconds, but make sure the butter never sticks and burns.) This is the part that takes some patience. Fruit butters require evaporating a lot of the water content.

You will cook and stir for approximately thirty minutes until the peach butter looks glossy and reaches the desired consistency.

**If you’ve forgotten to stir often enough and the hot peach butter has stuck to the bottom of the pot, transfer to another pot immediately. Burned peach butter will ruin the batch.

Step 8: Heat Water in Small Pot

Fill a small saucepan (large enough for two jars to sit side by side) with about 2 inches of water. Heat on low. Place two canning jars in the water and two canning lids separately in the water. This heats up the jar so it doesn’t break when you put in the hot butter. This also sterilizes the lids.

Step 9: Remove the Foam

Once the peach butter is glossy, skim the foam off but don’t throw it away! You can’t can the foam, but it is still tasty. Just put it in your fridge to store (or eat right away).

Step 10: Fill the Jars

Place the canning funnel on a jar. Using a one cup measuring cup, ladle the peach butter into the jar. There should be about ½ inch empty head space at the top of the jar. Remove the funnel and place it and the measuring cup in a small bowl to keep the area clean.

Keep stirring the pot occasionally to keep from sticking and burning. DO NOT turn down the heat as you need the butter to be hot enough to seal the lid.

Step 11: Place Lids on the Jars

With a clean dish cloth, wipe the top of the jar. With the magnetic lid lifter, remove a lid from the small pot of hot water. Place on the jar. Screw on the ring tightly. (Screw the ring on partially; lift by the ring; grab the bottom with a dish cloth…careful, it’s hot!…and tighten down.) Place jar on a clean towel on a separate counter.

Step 12: Make Sure the Jars Seal

The heat will make the lid compress and seal. You will hear a little “pop” as the jars come to room temperature and your heart will sing with success! Never push down the lid as this will create a false seal. But you can lightly rub the top to see if the lid is inverted up. Usually they all seal and compress down within an hour or two. Sometimes I’ve had it take several hours.

All unsealed jars will have to be stored in the fridge and used or reheated and the process done over again.

Repeat steps 10, 11, and 12 with additional jars until you’ve filled all the necessary jars.

Step 13: Enjoy the Most Glorious Butter/Jam/Jelly/Whatever You Want To Call It

Spread it on bread, drizzle it on vanilla ice cream, add it to oatmeal or yogurt. The end result will have you celebrating your great success in canning. This homemade peach butter recipe is to-die-for!

I am so glad I could share with you how to can Grandma Johnson’s peach butter recipe. I think she would be proud to know her cooking legacy lives on. There is something completely satisfying in being able to preserve the delicious bounty of summer, seeing it all in tidy rows on your shelf and knowing you will be able to enjoy the taste of fresh peaches all year long!

Yield: 6 Pint Jars

Grandma Johnson's Peach Butter Canning Recipe

glass canning jars filled with freshly made peach butter

This is a good ol' fashioned peach butter recipe with step by step instructions on the canning process. Used for over a century in my family, these peach preserves will have you hooked from the first taste!

Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 Cups Peeled, Pitted and Mashed Yellow Peaches (about 11 medium size peaches)
  • 3 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 1/2 Box Sur-Gel Fruit Pectin

Instructions

    Fill large pot about halfway with water and bring to boil. Drop ripe peaches into the water for 20 – 30 seconds to “blanche” the skin.

    With a slotted spoon, remove the peaches and place in a large bowl of ice water. Work in stages if your bowl doesn't hold all of the peaches.

    Remove the peach skin and pit. Cut in quarters and place in separate large bowl.

    Once you have peeled about eleven medium peaches, mash them with the potato masher. You still want small chunks of peach.

    Measure out 6 cups of mashed peaches and pour into pot. Add sugar and fruit pectin and stir.

    Heat peach mixture in a flat bottom pot on stove top range set to medium-high heat. At this stage, you do not need to stir constantly, but make sure you stir frequently with a flat bottom spoon to prevent it sticking.

    Once the butter starts simmering, turn down to medium heat and stir constantly. Cook and stir for approximately thirty minutes until the peach butter looks glossy and reaches the desired consistency.

    Fill a small saucepan (large enough for two jars to sit side by side) with about 2 inches of water. Heat on low. Place two canning jars in the water and two canning lids separately in the water.

    Once the peach butter is glossy, skim off the foam and place in jar. Refrigerate for later use. Foam cannot be preserved long term.

    Place the canning funnel on a jar. Using a one cup measuring cup, ladle the peach butter into the jar. Leave about ½ inch empty head space at the top of the jar. Keep stirring the pot occasionally to keep from sticking and burning. DO NOT turn down the heat as you need the butter to be hot enough to seal.

    With a clean dish cloth, wipe the top of the filled jar. With the magnetic lid lifter, remove a lid from the small pot of hot water. Place on the jar. Screw on the ring tightly. Place on a towel on the counter.

    The heat will make the lid compress and seal. Never push down the lid as this will create a false seal. You will know it's sealed when the convex lid becomes slightly concave. Usually they all seal and compress down within an hour or two. All unsealed jars will have to be stored in the fridge and used or reheated and the process done over again.

    Repeat steps 10, 11, and 12 with additional jars until you've filled all the necessary jars.

Notes

I do not water bath this fruit butter recipe. Many recipes call for a water bath to properly heat the contents and kill bacteria. However, this recipe heats up the peach butter for a long time before it is placed in the jars. You can choose to water bath if you want.

Use name brand Ball lids. These are tried and true. Off brand lids often don't seal properly.

This recipe is good for bruised (not rotten) peaches. Cut out rotten spots, but you can leave the bruised areas.

Canned peach butter should last one year on the shelf and about a month in the refrigerator.

Find More Jam, Butter and Jelly Recipes from the Ball Mason Jar Website Below

Canning Recipes from Ball Jar

Comment below and tell me if you’ve ever canned fruit butter before or if you’re new to this fun process!

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