I cook (and bake!) because 1) its fun, and 2) I get to adapt/design recipes to my ultimate enjoyment. For me, cooking is about making the food match up perfectly with my preferences. If a recipe includes things I don’t eat (cabbage, broccoli, shrimp, cilantro) or don’t want to spend money on (sesame oil, fleur de sel, gruyere), I’ll change it. I’m not picky (I’ll try pretty much anything), but rather, exacting (if it claims to be spicy, it better be damn spicy). I change and adapt the recipes I make so that I’ll like them, and I encourage you to do the same. True, not everything is replaceable, but most things are, sometimes even the principal ingredients. Case in point, Smitten Kitchen’s peach butter.
I’ve had my eye on SK’s peach butter for awhile, so when my grocery store finally had a sale on Quebec peaches, I jumped on it. As luck would have it, Quebec strawberries were also on sale! I realized after getting home that I only had confectioner’s sugar and no lemon juice. Having now used both confectioner’s sugar and standard granulated white sugar to make jam, I think I prefer confectioner’s sugar. The added cornstarch gives my jams a thickness and jell they never had before. Note: use 1.75 units confectioners sugar to every 1 unit granulated sugar.
3 peaches, peeled and chopped (remove the pits!)
3 cups strawberries, chopped
1 cup water
2 tablespoons orange juice
Combine the peaches, strawberries, and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Puree the mixture using a blender, food processor, or immersion blender until smooth and return it to the pot. Add the sugar and orange juice to the pot, stir to combine, and bring to a strong simmer/slow boil. Let it simmer/boil for roughly 30 minutes, stirring occasionally at the beginning and frequently towards the end to prevent burning. Test for doneness by putting a spoonful of the butter on a frozen plate: if the butter keeps its shape and a ring of water does not form around it, it’s ready! Pour into an airtight container and let cool. According to SK, the butter will keep in the fridge for at least 2 weeks. For canning instructions, see the original recipe. Enjoy on toast, in yogurt, or by the spoonful!