There is a freedom, a quietness that somehow creates a place unlike any other. Perhaps it is the lake nestled between rolling mountains, crowned with weeping willow trees. Perhaps it is tied to the memories hiding behind every corner or rock that takes us back to a time devoid of responsibilities and commitments. There are many puzzled by our longing to visit the same vacation spot every year, but there are plenty more that share our interminable desire to recapture those treasured days and weeks. This is my thirtieth visit and the third year I have enjoyed watching my children capturing memories of their own. They throw rocks in the stream, feed crab apples to pigs and hunt for frogs around the lake. They love the animals most of all which makes me dream of the day we will be able to raise our own in a space we love equally. But for now a small extra trip to this place in September will keep my heart content.
Peach Butter with Honey & Cardamom
10 oz of honey
1-2 teaspoons ground cardamom (optional)
Juice from 1 lemon
Pit and peel your peaches. I always make sure my peaches are very ripe so I can peel the skin off without the need to blanch them. If your peaches seem a little to firm then follow these directions to blanch and peel them. Roughly chop the peeled peaches and place them in a large non-reactive pot with very high sides (you might need a splatter screen too!). Add the honey, cardamom and juice from 1 lemon and stir to combine. Let the mixture macerate for 1-2 hours, allowing the juice to release. At this point bring the peach mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Allow the mixture to boil for 10-15 minutes. Then finely blend the mixture with an immersion blender or transfer to a stand mixer or food processor and blend until very smooth (or feel free to leave a bit of texture if you prefer). Return the puree to the pot and continue to boil the mixture until it becomes very thick, about 30-40 minutes more.
How do you tell if your peach butter is finished? You could perform the freezer test, or see if it will hold its shape in a spoon. Peach butter is more like a sauce then jam so it will be loose, but it should not be watery. At this point you can pour your butter into jars and keep them in the refrigerator (you might want to half the recipe if you want to go this way) or continue proper canning procedures and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
Now all that remains is what to put your peach butter on. I love to mix it in with yogurt or cottage cheese. Smear some on biscuits, make some ice cream, or heck right out of the jar is good enough some mornings.