Recipe–Peach Honey

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Okay, let us begin.

For most of my life, I have not understood “Secret Family Recipes”.  I never knew why folks didn’t want to share a recipe with everyone, and I always thought that no recipe is really that valuable, or sacred, or delicious.

I continued with this thought pattern until I had this encounter.

Now my maiden name is Buchanan, and I might have mentioned somewhere that Buchanans are Scottish, and that we might have a wee bit of stubborn pride in us.  Just a wee bit as I am a wee lass.  My family has always made a special syrup called Peach Honey and served it with pancakes, waffles, Dutch Babies, popovers, corn bread, and such.  This special syrup was invented and created and patented (okay she didn’t patent it, but she should have) by my Great-Grandma Gertrude Buchanan.  Although I never met her, she was a remarkable lady.  I know this because I knew her remarkable children–all nine of them– one of which is my grandfather.

That’s my grandpa on the back row, fifth from the left–the handsome one.  And yes, you-bet-cha he is wearing a Buchanan plaid tie.

(Back Row:  Jack, Jenny Hayhoe, Ernest, Ura Dear, Clem, Fanny Turton, Rolly

Front Row:  Eunice Klassen, Ralph and Gertrude, Martha Wilson)–I may have Eunice and Fanny mixed up.

This remarkable lady passed down her Peach Honey Recipe to her daughters and daughters-in-law.  And they in turn passed down the recipe to their daughters and daughters-in-law. And they. . .well you get the idea.   And so it is that I always make Peach Honey for my family.

By 1991 the family looked like this.  I’m in the photo somewhere.

Now this recipe has never been any kind of secret, in fact, we all like to share the special syrup and the recipe.  And you can see from the size of our family, that a treasured and shared recipe could travel a long way.

I was proudly serving this special Peach Honey to a guest, and I proudly mentioned that it was a family recipe passed down from my Great Grandma.  The guest I was serving said that she also knew of the recipe, but that it wasn’t from my great grandma but rather from Walla Walla.  Now them-there were fighting words, and I stubbornly affirmed that the recipe was my Great Grandma Gertrude’s recipe.  The guest was non-plus and affirmed that it probably had come from Walla Walla first.  At this point if I had been wearing my kilt, I would have given out the battle cry, grabbed my dirk, glaive, and targe and plunged ahead smiting hip and thigh.  Thankfully, I believe my baby cried then, and I had to leave the room.

Now I never knew that I was so stubbornly attached to this special recipe, but I guess that old Scott in me is still a warrior.  So I am sharing this very special recipe with you in order to set the record straight and give my great grandma the proper respect due to her and her special recipe.  This recipe is completely free, marvelously delicious, simple and easy, and completely sharable.  How-so-ever, if you would like to use and share this recipe, you must first solemnly swear to always give the credit and source of this recipe as from Gertrude Buchanan or just “The Old Buchanan Clan”–never forgetting that we are warriors at heart and will seek you out if rumor ever again goes around that the origin of this recipe was from Bora Bora, Walla Walla, or Mahi-Mahi.

To begin.  Next time you are slicing washed peaches for cobbler–or Clobber as Eloise says, don’t toss those peach skins and pits.  They are the secret to Peach Honey.

After you have washed the peaches, peel them into a large pot.  Add the pit.  Now I was tempted to leave out the pits.  I thought–how much flavor could they add?  My mom said they add the beautiful red color, and she is right.  I left them out of one bach of Peach Honey, and the color wasn’t the same intensity.

Cover the peach peelings and pits with water and bring them to a simmer.  Simmer away for about 20 minutes to half an hour to seep all that goodness out.

When all the flavor has simmered into the water.  Turn off the heat and drain off the peach peelings and pits.  What you have left is a beautifully colored, peach flavoured, liquid that is about to become gold.

I like to drain my peach liquid right into a glass measuring container, as the next step is to measure how much peach liquid you have.  Here’s the hard part.  It is equal parts liquid to sugar.  Okay that wasn’t hard it was super easy.  If you have 8 1/2 cups of peach liquid, you measure out 8 1/2 cups of sugar.  Don’t skimp.  Measure out the whole amount of that wonderfully refined, white, sugar.

Pour your peach liquid and sugar into a VERY LARGE pot.  The contents will almost triple in size while it is getting boiled down, so either use a HUGE pot or make your Peach Honey in two batches.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved over a medium-high heat.

Hello everyone!!  I want to insert a very, very, very real CAUTION.  Boiling sugar is the hottest thing in the world and it can REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, burn you or your little ones.  During the next step I usually keep the kiddos out of the kitchen, and don’t answer the phone.  This precaution really came home to me this last week as my Little Man pulled a frying pan off the stove while I was hunting for his Sippy Cup.  His Guardian Angles tempered the whole incident, and thankfully, my Little One was safe.  I still thank the LORD every time I near the stove that my Little Guy only burned his hand a little.  I was frying up celery and onions and the pan was on medium.  Thank YOU LORD for keeping him safe.

This is how long you boil up the syrup. . .In my mom’s words.  “Let the syrup boil up.  Keep the heat on until the syrup foam falls back down.”  I know.  Not too specific.  I tried to use a candy thermometer to give you all an exact temperature.  The temperature was close to 215 Fahrenheit, and time-wise it was about 20 minutes.  Both of these are approximates.

I use the “Boil-Up-Then-Fall-Back-Down” indicator.  Here is how it looks in pictures.

Syrup heating up.

Then the syrup boils up and gets “foamy” and full of bubbles.

My pot was barely big enough to hold all this liquid gold.  I stir it occasionally to keep it from boiling over.

In the next picture, you will see the syrup falling back down.

LET THIS LIQUID GOLD COOL BEFORE YOU HANDLE IT!!!  (Unless you are canning it.  Then I assume you would know that you have to pour it into a jar heated to about the same temperature as the Peach Honey or you will break/crack/explode the canning jar.  PLEASE! OH PLEASE! BE CAREFUL!)  I can my Peach Honey, but it also freezes just fine.  Since Peach Honey has such a high sugar content, you can keep it in the refrigerator for as long as you keep your other syrups.

And here’s your gold.  The color of the Peach Honey varies depending on how concentrated your peach liquid is (i.e. your peelings to water ratio).  The picture doesn’t show it well, but both syrups are amber in color.  One darker than the other.

And now Oh Best Beloved, I have shared Buchanan Gold with you.  Please remember your solemn vow to always give The Buchanan Clan the attribution for this recipe (more specifically, Mrs. Gertrude Buchanan.)

Thanks for cooking with me.

More importantly, thanks for putting up with me.

Love you all,

–rebecca

P.S.  Question for a Give-Away:  What was I wearing on my feet while making Peach Honey?  Look at the pictures carefully and you will see.  Hint.  I photographed myself in these in a previous post.  Correct answers will be automatically entered into the Give-Away.

 

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30 Responses to Recipe–Peach Honey

  1. Gwen says:

    Yummy! I have yet to make this recipe but if I do you can count on my loyal honor to it’s Buchanan roots! I would have to agree that you have Eunice and Fanny mixed up…I think Grandma is standing beside U. Clem. As for footwear…I will say hot pink slippers or better yet hot pink soft fluffy slipper thongs (or would that be thong slippers?)!!

    Like

  2. brooke says:

    I don’t know if Gwen’s thong comment was appropriate…must be the Buchanan in her. I do believe you are wearing your pink slippers if I’m seeing the pot reflection correctly. I just canned peaches last week…wish I had known to use the peels and pits. Does it work to use the peelings after you’ve blanched the peaches to peel them? Or does that take the flavor right out of them? I’ll have to try the recipe next time I do up some peaches. However, Tadd and I are both Walla Walla descendants so I’ll have to think about my loyalties before I decide whether or not to use the recipe : )

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    • Jennie says:

      FYI Brooke – I have made this (I have the recipe from my Dad – who is also of the Buchanan family, giving credit to the claim that this is indeed a family recipe) and can tell you that using only the peelings from blanched peaches does NOT give the syrup enough flavor – it ended up tasting more like slightly flavored sugar.

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  3. Kathy Wright says:

    Red or dark pink fuzzy slippers.

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  4. Debbie says:

    This post is just in time as I have some peaches that are ready to be “clobbered”!!! Looks like a fabulous recipe. And since I’m from WW……who knows…..maybe it did originate from these parts! Ok, Ok, yes, I’m now ducking down to avoid any flying objects! =) And……I’m guessing you were wearing your “pink cloud” slippers!

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  5. whitsendmom says:

    All the comments have me laughing!! So fun! I’ll post a picture of the Give-Away on my next blog entry so you can see the what could be yours for commenting.
    Blanching does take a lot of the color and flavor out, but you could give it a try. All you are really out is some time and some white refined sugar.

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  6. Bel McCoy says:

    Where are the thong/slippers to view??? The peach honey sounds luscious, just no honey. 🙂

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  7. Natalie says:

    I had to do a double take on the ol’ family photo. I thought that was Aunt Rose sitting on the arm of the chair at first glance!

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  8. Lynnette. says:

    I don’t understand the boiling up and down. I’ve never had something go back down without lowing the heat. Does it take the 20 minutes you referred to for it to go back down. I don’t want hard candy.

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    • whitsendmom says:

      Sorry it has taken me some time to get back to you. We are out of state house hunting. Just keep the temperature below 220 degrees (more like 215 degrees F) and you should be fine. The first batch seems to take about 20 minutes. If you do a second batch in the same pot, it goes faster (the pot is already hot). Hope this help. We just finished consuming some Georgia peaches, and nothing beats a great peach!

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      • avril bailor says:

        The first batch I made of this basically turned into hard candy. The foam never did go back down. What did I do wrong? I still have the peach juice so I am hoping you are able to reply before it goes bad. Thanks!

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      • whitsendmom says:

        I’m so sorry. I am without a computer down here while we house hunt, so I only can get online occasionally. I am sorry about your hard candy. Did you use a candy thermometer? Were you able to keep the temperature below 220 degrees F? (closer to 215 degrees?). After it foams up, it really goes quickly (like within the next 3 minutes). If it doesn’t go back down, but turn it off anyway. Hope this helps. Here is a link with photos and videos about simple syrups. Peaches have pectin, so you don’t need to add any.

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  9. Just wondering how long you process the jarred honey for!! Can’t wait to try this- making peach jam this weekend and am not going to be saving all my scraps!!! 🙂

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    • whitsendmom says:

      Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. We are in another state house hunting. About 15 minutes. The high sugar content makes the processing time short.

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  10. Dacia says:

    Do you have a processing time on this honey if you use a water canner?

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    • whitsendmom says:

      I’m sorry. We have been house hunting, and I have not had a chance to answer. I don’t have my recipe books right in front of me as we are in a different state, but I think it processes about 15 minutes. Peach Honey has a very high sugar content, so it doesn’t have to process as long.

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  11. Lynn says:

    Clemson sc extension agency says to process 5 min but and longer than 10

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  12. Lynn says:

    I tried this yesterday with pears. I boiled it hard until it had reduced by 1/2 and it was still liquid. I finally added a pack of liquid Certo and processed. It’s still liquid. 😦

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    • whitsendmom says:

      Sorry. I really don’t know what went wrong. Pears don’t have much pectin, but neither do peaches. Did you make a 1:1 ratio of sugar and pear juice? Less sugar doesn’t create a simple syrup, just more of a liquid. Here is a link about pectin http://www.pickyourown.org/pectin.htm but that shouldn’t really affect the simple syrup as we are using sugar, not pectin to create a simple syrup. I have never used pears to make a simple syrup, but it should work. Any other suggestions from readers? Sorry about the pear juice.

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  13. Lynn says:

    Oops my comment above should read NOT longer than 10 minutes

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    • whitsendmom says:

      You are right. 10 minutes is better than 15. I am away from all my cookbooks and can’t look things up. Thanks for setting us straight.

      Like

  14. Heather Kreger says:

    I am late at finding your blog but happy I have. You are quite funny and your instructions are excellently clear. Thanks for sharing the Buchanan Gold!

    Like

  15. Heather Kreger says:

    I realized I forgot to mentioned that I just finished my first batch and it is heavenly!

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Mine never boiled way up like you describe but it still turned out perfect. Thank you for the recipie

    Like

  17. Deborah Townsend says:

    Thank you for sharing your family recipe. So many people want and need to take credit for themselves for accomplishing successful things. Glad to see your family and God the credit that was due. I stumbled across this when I was surfing the web for some recipes after purchasing 25 pounds of GA peaches. Thanks again and my God Bless you and your pretty pink slipper!

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  18. Tim says:

    I was literally at my wit’s end trying to find this recipe again. An hour and a half later and this is being bookmarked everywhere so I never lose it again.

    Like

  19. let me start by saying, thank you, thank you, thank you. i hate wasting anything and was at a loss for what to do with the peelings from my very first peach cobbler made with the very first peaches from my back yard. came across this and at first passed on it because of the high sugar content (danged sugar restrictive diet). it also looked complicated and i tend to screw up things that have too many directions. i came back to it because it was actually the easiest recipe i found and i had all the ingredients. i decided to replace half of the sugar with a sugar substitute, thinking that at the very worst, i throw it away. just poured it into a jar and it looks perfect. the only thing that had me worried is that it boiled up and fell back down inside of 10 minutes. seemed way too quick so i let it simmer a bit longer while reading some replies. saw the one about it turning into hard candy so i yanked it off the stove and got it out of the pot ASAP. i have tasted a little that spilled over the lip of the jar and so far, so good. again thank you very much. sorry about altering the family recipe but it was my only hope.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Found your blog searching for a peach honey recipe, and just tried it! I was nervous about ending up with either a watery mess, or candy as some described! But it turned out perfectly! Thanks for posting this with pictures, and temperature specifics! That really helped! Now all that is left is to enjoy!

    Like

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