Hye Thyme Cafe: Oolong-Ginger Peach Butter

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Oolong-Ginger Peach Butter

Oolong-Ginger Peach Butter - Hye Thyme Cafe

I feel awful! I had completely forgotten that I had received some Oolong tea samples from Teavivre a while back (and by a while, I mean several months) to taste and review. When reviewing a product, I always like to come up with some sort of recipe to use it in, as well as sampling the product "as is." Although you can certainly use whatever variety of Oolong you prefer, the one I chose to work with for this recipe was the Taiwan Monkey Picked (Ma Liu Mie) Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea. That's quite a mouthful, isn't it?? You're picturing monkeys picking tea leaves right now, aren't you?

Oolong is often referred to as the "champagne" of teas and is cited to have peach notes to its flavor, which is why I decided to incorporate it into this recipe. I thought it would complement the fruit nicely and that a bit of ginger would perk things up. I do have fresh ginger but chose to use powdered ginger in wanting the flavor to be subtle and not overpower the tea or peaches.

I'm not in any way experience with making jams, jellies, etc. (except for picking a bazillion grapes, blueberries, etc. as a kid for my Mom to use), but from what I can gather, a fruit butter is basically a fruit sauce, such as apple sauce, that has been further cooked down into more of a paste - pretty much like how you would cook down tomatoes to make tomato paste. Strangely, a lot of what I read about this was indications of apple sauce being plain and apple butter containing cinnamon, clove, etc. Perhaps these people haven't noticed the entire Mott's shelf at their local grocery store, but many varieties of apple sauce contain cinnamon, etc., and not all apple butters seem to contain anything more than apples and sugar. In any event, this is my version, and I think it's pretty darn tasty, so whatever you want to call it is fine by me!

If you would prefer to peel your peaches, an easy way to do so is to plunge them into boiling water for about a minute, then immediately drop them into an ice bath or run them under cold water. The skins should slide right off. I chose to use mine skin-on. With a small amount of sugar, the antioxidant properties of the tea, added fiber from the peach skins, and the addition of ginger and lemon, this is actually a fairly healthy recipe.

I have only slathered it on toast so far, but it would be great spooned over vanilla ice cream, served on pancakes or waffles, or even stirred into yogurt or your morning oatmeal.

Peaches (I had 7 smallish)
2c Water (for brewing your tea)
Oolong Tea - 2 bags or portions if using loose leaf
1/4 c Sugar (can be increased, but the peaches are sweet enough)
1 t Ginger Powder
1 T Lemon Juice

  1. Wash and dice peaches and place in pot.
  2. Brew tea for longest recommended time for your particular variety, then pour 1 to 1 1/2 c of the strongly brewed tea over the peaches.
  3. Stir in the sugar, ginger, and lemon juice.
  4. Stirring often, simmer for about 45" until the peaches are very soft and mashable.
  5. Either run an immersion blender around the pan to puree the mixture, or transfer to a blender for a quick whirl - being sure to allow for steam to escape.
  6. Return the puree to the pan, lower the temperature and continue to cook down to desired texture. The time required will vary depending on how large your pan is, etc. The bigger the pan, the more surface space to allow for evaporation of the liquid. You at least want it to thicken to the point where you can run a spoon through it and the path will not immediately fill in - see (terrible) photo below.
  7. Let cool, then transfer to a covered bowl or jar and refrigerate - will get a little thicker as it cools.

Oolong-Ginger Peach Butter - Hye Thyme Cafe
Dice peaches - skin on for extra fiber

Oolong-Ginger Peach Butter - Hye Thyme Cafe
Pour tea over peaches, then stir in sugar, ginger, and lemon.

Oolong-Ginger Peach Butter - Hye Thyme Cafe
When soft, puree.
Oolong-Ginger Peach Butter - Hye Thyme Cafe
Lower heat and reduce.

Oolong-Ginger Peach Butter - Hye Thyme Cafe
Thick enough to stay in place but not sticky/thick.

Oolong-Ginger Peach Butter - Hye Thyme Cafe
Hmmm, what will I put you on next??

Although subtle, I was pleased to note that both the oolong and the ginger did manage to make their presence known ... and I can't begin to tell you how good my kitchen smelled while this was reducing!

A big thanks to Teavivre for the samples. My review will follow shortly - I promise!

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