Yield: Approx. 4 cups
3 and 1/2 lbs peaches, rinsed, halved, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp maple syrup (Grade B for the strongest maple flavor)
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup sugar
Crock Pot Method:
Peel and slice peaches into a large capacity crock pot set for high heat. Stir in maple syrup, sugar, and bourbon. Cover and cook on high heat for 2 hours stirring frequently. When the mixture is heated through, use an immersion blender to bring it to a smooth consistency.
Turn heat to low and prop lid or turn at an angle to allow the steam to escape. Continue to cook on low for 6-8 hours to desired consistency. The crock pot method will give you a darker colored, more caramelized flavor than the stove top method but both are very good.
Stove Top Method:
In a large preserving pot or Dutch oven, combine bourbon, 1/2 cup maple syrup, sugar and vinegar. As you pit & slice peaches, toss in the liquid to prevent browning. Once all the peaches are added, cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium-low heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until peaches are very soft and breaking down, about 30 minutes. Transfer fruit + juice to a food mill and work through to remove skins.
Strain liquid from peach pulp into the preserving pot, stirring the pulp often in the colander and letting it drain for about 20 minutes. Let peach pulp continue to drain over a bowl while you bring the liquid in the pot to a brisk boil over high heat. Continue to boil the peach juice until it is reduced and syrupy, but not quite at the gel stage (about 20 minutes). Periodically add any additional strained liquid to the pot.
When liquid is nearly ready, purée the peach pulp, using a food processor, blender or immersion blender, then add to the preserving pot. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered with a splatter screen and stirring frequently, until the butter reaches the desired thickness (no liquid should separate when you put a dollop on a cool plate, and/or it should mound on a spoon). Taste and adjust flavorings, add the extra 2 tbsp maple syrup here.
Prepare canner, jars and lids.
Ladle hot peach butter into hot jars, taking care to bubble the jars and adjust head space to 1/2-inch. Wipe rims, affix lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.