fruit butter

Low Sugar Jam

Posted on July 2, 2016 at 6:04 pm

Here in Alabama, u-pick is really coming into its own. Today we picked nearly 2 gallons of blueberries at an awesome local farm (Bear Mountain) that grows its berries according to organic principles (that means, they haven’t paid the federal government for the privilege of the “certified organic” label!)

But you only really get the benefit of the full awesome flavour and colour of fresh, seasonal fruit if you avoid cooking them into oblivion, which you will with conventional pectin.

This is why I always, and only, recommend Pomona’s Universal Pectin (Amazon link). Unlike conventional pectin you can make jam with NO added sugar, or with alternative sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

Once you go Pomona’s you will never go back to adding more sugar than fruit to your preserves!

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Blueberry fruit butter

Posted on July 29, 2011 at 7:32 am

Fruit butters are extremely easy to make in your slow cooker and you can use any fruit to make a butter. Use this recipe and technique to design your own – substitute your favourite fruit for blueberries.

 

  • Blueberries – 5 pints / 10 cups / 2.25 litres / about 3.5 lbs / about 1.75 kg, preferably fresh
  • Lemon juice – either fresh squeezed or bottled. 1/4 cup.
  • Water – 1/2 cup
  • Sugar – 5 cups
  • Seasoning – 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves

Pick your blueberries or buy them from the store. It’s better to use freshly picked if you can. If using fresh, wash them thoroughly and pick through for mushy berries, twigs, bugs, and the other stuff you don’t want to be eating!

Mash the blueberries as much as you care to – the mashing will affect the cooking time, which isn’t so much of an issue with this method, as well as the texture – I prefer it a little chunky, so I didn’t worry too much about getting the berries reduces to a paste. If you prefer smoother, you could process the berries in a mixer or food processor.

Place the fruit, water, lemon juice, and sugar in your slow cooker. Put the lid on the cooker and prop it open slightly – you can use a spoon, pencil, or splatter guard, whichever you prefer, so long as one corner of the lid is open to allow water to evaporate. Put the cooker on the longest cooking setting and walk away. That’s right – just walk away!

When the cooker stops cooking and switches to “keep warm”, give the fruit butter a stir and check for consistency. If the consistency is what you want, you’re done! If you want a thicker butter, hit the “cook low and slow” button again and walk away. The butter is ready when it’s how you want it to be, which is the beauty of making it yourself.

If you want to put the butter up on the shelf, prepare your jars and lids and hot water bath process for 10 minutes (below 1000ft above sea level, check with USDA guidelines for extra processing time above 1000ft).

Yield – between 2 and 4 cups, or between 4 and 8 jam jars, depending on how thick you like it. I doubled the recipe and cooked it quite thick which gave me a yield of 9 jam jars or 4.5 cups of fruit butter.

You can use this same technique to turn any fruit into a butter. Enjoy!

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