Monday, June 14, 2010


When we lived in New Jersey we had an abundance of local fruits and vegetables every summer.  Besides our own home garden, there were lots of produce stands filled with local fresh produce.  White peaches went fast, because they had the best flavor and texture, so I was always sure to get to my favorite stand early to get some.  I haven't found good white peaches in East Carolina yet, but the local peaches are pretty good.  I usually pass on the out-of-state ones that come here first, and wait for local fruit to ripen.

Last year, I filled up my freezer with peaches because they were just so outstanding.  When I tried to make a peach pie with the frozen peaches, though, I was disappointed to find that they were mushy.  So Plan B went into action:  make peach butter.  But the thought of stirring all those peaches forever in a pot turned me off.  So I decided to try roasting the peaches in the oven.  Not only was it easy, but also delicious.  The flavor of the peaches was intensified by the long, slow roasting and the end result was a richly flavored peach butter.

I heartily recommend this method.  You can use it with fresh or frozen peaches.  Peach butter is delicious on bread, toast, biscuits or rolls.  It's fat-free and loaded with flavor, and my version uses a lot less sugar than a typical recipe would.  Of course, after you make the peach butter, you can then make these delicious cupcakes.  Well, what are you waiting for?

Roasted Peach Butter
Source:  The Bear Cupboard
Rating:  10 out of 10
8 cups sliced fresh or frozen peaches, with juice
6 Tbsp. granulated sugar (I used 2 Tbsp. sugar + 1-1/2 tsp. Nu Naturals Liquid Vanilla Stevia)
1/4 cup dark corn syrup (or honey or agave nectar)
1/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed

Heat oven to 375F.  Combine all ingredients in large roasting pan and bake 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or till peaches are caramelized and excess liquid evaporates.  Cool slightly.  Puree warm peaches in batches in blender or food processor.  Yield:  about 1-1/2 to 2 cups peach butter.

Roasted Peach Butter Spice Cupcakes
Source:  The Bear Cupboard
Rating:  8.5 out of 10
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. finely grated lemon zest, packed
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/3 cup Smart Balance 50/50 butter blend (or butter, if preferred)
1 large egg
3/4 cup peach butter, homemade or store purchased, + 3/4 cup to swirl with frosting
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup toasted broken (or chopped) walnuts

Heat oven to 350F.  Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin.  In medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, cloves and lemon zest.

In large bowl, cream together sugar and butter blend.  Beat in egg.  On low speed of electric mixer, add the dry ingredients alternately with the peach butter and milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.  Stir in raisins and nuts.  Divide batter evenly among baking cups, using about 1/4 cup for each.  Bake 20-25 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted near center returns almost clean.  Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Frost with cream cheese frosting (recipe below) and swirl about 1 Tbsp. peach butter through frosting of each.  Yield:  12 cupcakes

Cream Cheese Frosting
Source:  The Bear Cupboard
Rating:  10 out of 10
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
Big pinch of sea salt
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla powder, or vanilla extract
8 oz. cold Neufchatel cheese or cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces.

In medium bowl, cream butter, salt, sugar and vanilla till very smooth, about 5 minutes.  Beat in 1 piece of cream cheese at a time,  beating on medium high after each addition till very smooth, about 2 minutes each. This frosting requires a lot of beating, but the end result is a super-creamy and delicious frosting.

Now let me tell you about the Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix Fruit and Nut Bars Giveaway on Nanbon's Corner. You might win a case of granola bars plus a $25 gift certificate to Sam's Club. Get right over there and sign up because the deadline of June 21 is looming.


  1. They all look delicious! Great blog, Judy! Keep up the great work!

  2. This sounds lovely. I've never made a peach butter, but your post has me wondering why I haven't. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  3. Oh, man! I bet that was amazing. I love fruit butters and curds. Sooooo good!

  4. Hi Judy,
    I live in NJ and we are taking a trip to New Bern in a couple of weeks. When my friend sent me this recipe I thought OMG! I have to make them. I made peach butter 2 weeks ago. These cupcakes look great. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Anonymous, I hope you enjoy the cupcakes as well as your upcoming trip to New Bern. Please be sure to take the Tryon Palace tour, it is so worth it, and the New Bern trolley tour is also great. I wish I could point you to a New Bern restaurant, but, sadly, ours are not as good as NJ's. There is a decent uptown Italian restaurant run by a Sicilian (really just from Sicily)on Trent Road, across from Mt. Olive College. It used to be Pia's, now it's run by Chef Sami Ben Selma. He makes his own pasta and his sauces are really good. His grand opening is this Friday, so I don't know the name of his new restaurant. He used to chef at LaFontana till the owner closed it due to a fire, then left town. Pia had a heart attack, and Sami is taking over the restaurant from her. He has a following, so he should do just fine.


When you leave me a comment, I feel all warm and fuzzy, like someone out there is really listening.