By Mark Wieser
My Mom’s brothers and sisters had some strange names now that I think about it. There was one brother we called “Connie”, which obviously came from his given name of Conrad. Then there was a sister whose name was Emily, but somehow acquired the name “Nutzie” (noot-sy) for reasons unknown to all. One summer in the early ‘70s she visited us in the middle of peach season and seeing all the ripe peaches suggested we should make some Peach Honey. As she departed to go back home, she left us her a recipe that her mother-in-law had given her that dated from the 1850s. The next summer she returned and asked if we had made any. Embarrassingly, we had to say “no.” “Well!” she replied with “Jack Benny’s” signature expression and added “Give me some ripe peaches and I’ll go make you a batch.”
A few hours later she came back from the house holding several warm, jars of a beautiful golden product that looked just like real honey and poured like it as well. Being the gregarious person she was, she opened a jar and began asking everyone who came into the store to have a taste. Before long every jar was sold. We might have been a bit slow on occasion, but we realized immediately that anything that sells that fast should be in production. We knew it would be a winner and almost immediately its reputation grew. It made our first “pantry-essentials” list and went on to become our best-selling product at Das Peach Haus. Of course, we would say “no” there is no bee honey in it, it is just an old-fashioned recipe of peaches and sugar cooked to the consistency of honey. Over time, with the growth of our company and the introduction of our sauces, Peach Honey has been eclipsed by products like the Original Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce.
On the 40th anniversary of das Peach Haus, we decided to find an interesting new package for it. I found a log cabin glass bottle which was quite similar to the Log Cabin Syrup I remembered as a child. Perhaps like many a boy, I played with those empty tins creating imaginary western towns in the deep sands that the dust bowl had deposited here on our farm. Finding a glass log cabin bottle was a bit challenging. We had a clear box made imprinted with the story of Peach Honey. The log cabin jar honored the 1870 log cabin in which we first opened our store in 1969.
We introduced the newly packaged Peach Honey at Das Peach Haus in the summer of 2009 and sales skyrocketed again. The packaging became so popular we decided to keep offering it this way. This Southern Classic has been restored to its rightful status although it no longer is our bestselling product overall in the company, it continues to be one of the best sellers at Das Peach Haus. Recently, due to supply chain issues caused by the pandemic, we have had some difficulty getting the log cabin jars, however, the product is the same as it was when Nutzie made it all of those years ago.
There are several different ways to preserving fruits. Preserves are made generally with large pieces of fruit. A jam is made from pulverized fruit or fruit that has been pressed or pushed through small openings like a sieve. A jelly is made from the juice of a fruit. A butter is typically smooth and contains spices. Then there is a fruit cheese that was once quite popular throughout the UK. The fruit is molded into a jelly mold which keeps its shape when unmolded. You may have seen the ceramic molds in antique shops on occasion and paused to wonder if they were really used to mold jelly.
There is fruit leather or fruit rolls or what is often even called fruit Roll-ups and a simple way to enjoy the sweet taste of any number of fruits. Finally, there is fruit honey. It is made only with pulverized fruit—the riper, the better, and sugar. Made without pectin it will keep and flow like real honey. Perhaps it should be called peach syrup but using the word ‘honey’ lends one to understand that it will flow like honey. No pectin is used, and the peaches really should be fully ripe—perhaps even somewhat overripe.
Peach Honey is an excellent sauce to use with Beef Fondue. In fact, it is great with any steak. Many love it on pancakes or toast. One of my favorite ways to enjoy it is to simply pour it over a bowl of vanilla ice cream. It is also delicious used and eaten much like bee honey. Let your imagination surprise you.
6 cups peaches
6 cups sugar
Wash and peel enough very ripe peaches to produce six cups fruit.
Blend peaches until smooth.
Add 1 cup sugar for each cup of pureed peaches.
Bring to a rolling boil or a boil that cannot be stirred down.
Bottle, cap, and seal instantly.
Invert each jar for ½ minute, then allow to cool upright.