Sunday, August 3, 2014

Recipe Time: QT's "Reduced Sugar" Peach Syrup

Yeah, so I think part of the reason that I haven't been posting much (aside from that whole "Real Life" thing) is that I haven't created any *new* recipes.  Honestly, I refer to this blog - a lot - to pull-up Tried-N-True recipes that I've attempted in the past.  And since they ARE "TNT" - I don't do anything to warrant re-posting!


Well, this year we were positively overrun with peaches (AGAIN!).  I did can a batch of white-peach jam, awhile back, I used this recipe - except I cut-back to just using a few shakes of cinnamon (no other spices) and added about a teaspoon of vanilla to the batch.  Quite tasty!

I also made a peach-blueberry pie - but I halved the recipe and made only one.  Got rave-reviews (AGAIN!).

See?  I just keep repeating myself :-)

So yeah, this year, we were overrun with peaches:

July 19 - Almost ready! (pardon the crappy phone-pic!)

July 23 - First harvest!
These are "Two-Napkin" peaches!
(Or "Stand-And-Drool-Over-The-Sink" - if you're Classy like me!)

There were many, many baskets of peaches!

The Peach Fairy made her rounds, dumping peaches on neighbors and friends.  And I made a batch of 12 jars of yellow-peach jam (same as above - just cinnamon and vanilla).  And peach ice cream, and quickie peach syrup (store in the fridge for a week or two - if it lasts that long!).

And, sadly, many peaches hit the ground before I could harvest 'em (I swear there's a 45-second window-of-opportunity for optimal harvesting!). Green-Green-Green-Green-harvest-Plop!

The Vegas Showgirls appreciated them!

So this morning I picked my last four peaches:

It was a mixture of sadness and relief
Sadness, because this marks the end of our fruit-harvest
And - Relief that I don't have to deal with any more peaches!

So now I gotta decide what to do with 'em (not just the last four - I still had a big heaping basketful from the last couple of days!).  Hubbie indicated that he was very pleased with the peach syrup that I threw-together for his waffles so - hey - maybe bottle up some of these bad boys, and can 'em so I don't have to buy High-Fructose Corn Syrup - excuse me - Pancake Syrup for awhile!

"Ohhhh Gooooogle!!!"

Here is where I started - and she's got a good pictorial guide for blanching/peeling/yada-yada.  She's also got a Fancy Shmantzy blender thingamabob that has an 'Auto-Syrup' setting (although she also includes the 'cook-it-down' method).

In true QTPi Fashion, I didn't follow directions.  Nope, I wandered off-course, and decided to try to cut-back on the sugar-level (with the understanding that syrups really *do* need sugar to achieve that syrupy texture). Here is where I ended up (and not quite so many pictures, but roll with it, k?!)

QT's Reduced Sugar Peach Syrup
Yields appx 10 x half-pint jars


  • Enough peaches to end up with appx 10-12 cups, chopped (sadly, I did not count, nor weigh, the peaches - I'm guessing it was roughly 14-16 good-sized peaches)
  • 1 cup Splenda* (+ 2-3 TBS - more on that later)
  • 1 cup C&H Lite* (50/50 Stevia + Cane Sugar blend)
  • 1/2 cup Agave Syrup*
  • 3-4 Tbs Lemon Juice 
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract (the real stuff)
  • 2-3 Tbs Pectin (optional for thickening)*
* Use whatever combination of sweeteners you like. Mine was a double-sized batch and I used waaaaay less sweetener than the original recipe called-for.  Note: I'm not sure I'd try a No-Sugar version because it might not end up "syrupy" enough.  I ended up adding just a smidge of pectin to help facilitate thickening.

  1. Blanch, peel and pit your peaches.  Chop them into 1/2" chunks.  Lather, rinse, repeat until you have roughly 10-12 cups of chopped peaches.  Drizzle them with lemon juice as you go (to prevent browning).  
  2. Dump the chopped peaches into a big dutch oven.  Add sweetener(s) and vanilla.
  3. Heat up the peaches on Medium heat, mashing and stirring constantly.  
  4. When the peaches get pretty mushy, remove from heat and transfer them to a blender (you may need to let 'em cool a bit first).  I just used my trusty immersion blender in the pot.  Puree 'til smooth.
  5. Return everything to the pot and bring to a boil.  Once it starts boiling, reduce heat to simmer.  Let it blorp, stirring occasionally (well, pretty frequently - but not non-stop) til it starts to thicken and become syrupy. 
  6. I think I kept at-it for about 15 minutes and I ended up adding 3 TBS of Low-Sugar Pectin (Ball brand - comes in a jar), and another couple of TBS of Splenda (mix the Pectin with the Splenda before you dump it into the pot - otherwise it will clump).  
  7. Give it a taste-test (mine ended up being a little too sweet so I added another splash of lemon juice and a shake or two of sea-salt)  
  8. If using added pectin, bring it to a rolling boil, let it boil hard for one minute, them remove from heat.
  9. Pour into your sterilized canning jars
  10. Process in a water-bath (or steam canner) for 15 minutes.
Smashing and Mixing

Pureed - but not quite thick enough yet
(just starting to boil)

It's like Bottled Summer!

Quickie Addendum (added 8/4/14):  Just for grins, I plugged this recipe into an online nutrition calculator and this is what I am "guesstimating" for calories and such (bearing in mind that I wasn't measuring exactly!) (I think it's a pretty good "ballpark" anyway!)

Per 1/4 cup serving: 44 Calories; 0g fat; 13g carbohydrate (7g of which is sugar); 0g protein.

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