Today I am thrilled to have my sweet and amazing friend Kathy from Homespun Seasonal Living write a deliciously fruity guest post on the blog!. Kathie is featuring a remarkable summer E-course starting June 22nd, which includes jams, jellies, dehydrating and much more. This is a fantastic opportunity for homesteaders to gain some important how-to knowledge. I highly encourage you to check it out.
Now, on to the fruit butters.
Fresh fruit is an amazing, wonderful thing but the season for each passes quickly. It’s in these moments of abundance that we look for ways to preserve the tastiness for later. Jams and jellies are great ways to use up fruit and make for great homegrown and homemade gift giving. However, jams can be fussy and jellies can be wasteful in that only the juice is used. Fruit butters are easy and because everything but the cores or pits are used less wasteful. They’re also full of complex flavor worthy of a spot on the pantry and gift giving plans.
Fruit butters are essentially a fruit puree that is cooked until thick and creamy. While it can take a bit of time to cook the purée into that thick state there are a few ways to make that even easier and cut down on the near constant stirring many recipes suggest.
Freeze the Fruit
Pit, core, remove pits, etc. And chop fruit into chunks. Put these chunks into a freezer container and freeze until solid (days, weeks, even months okay). A few hours before making the fruit butter, dump the chopped fruit into a colander in a sink. Let the fruit thaw and all that water drain off. The freezing and thawing of the fruit convinces it to give up some water making the cooking down process quicker.
Purée Before Cooking
If the fruit was frozen and thawed, it will likely purée very easily (just like making a smoothie). Even raw fruits will puree easily with most modern blenders or food processors. Doing this before getting started will cut out the initial step of cooking and then blending often called for in many recipes.
Use the Slow Cooker
Combine the fruit, sugar, and other ingredients in a slow cooker. Leaving the lid off, to allow steam to escape, cook the fruit butter on high. Cook the butter until thick and creamy, stirring occasionally. When the fruit butter is thick, process in a water bath canner as per recipe instructions.
Some Fruit Butter Inspiration
Here are some great recipes to get your fruit butter inspiration flowing:
Creating fruit butters from the things that are growing in our yards or available to us locally is just one of many ways to build a courageous home and live fiercely D.I.Y. Making jams, jellies, and fruits butters is just one of the weekly projects in this summer’s Fiercely D.I.Y. e-course being offered by Homespun Seasonal Living. The E-course is designed to inspire and encourage you to live a life by own your hands, on your own terms, and in your own pace. You can learn more, download a sampler, and register for the course over at Homespun Seasonal Living.
About Kathie N. Lapcevic
Kathie is a freelance writer, teacher, and blogger living in northwest Montana with her soulmate Jeff. She lives a fiercely D.I.Y. lifestyle in harmony with the natural rhythms of nature. You can follow her blog at Homespun Seasonal Living.