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Fruit Butter

Apple Butter

This is a comprehensive guide to making delicious fruit butter from 13 different fruits.

Preparing Fruit for Butters

Apples: Peel, core and slice or quarter. Cook with half a much water or apple cider as fruit or use a combination of the two liquids.

Apricots: Skin, pit and crush fruit. Cook in its own juice or one-fourth as much water as fruit. Orange juice is also tasty.

Cantaloupe: Seed and peel, retaining juice. Chop or puree pulp. Cook in its own juice.

Crabapples: Quarter. Cook in one-fourth as much water as fruit.

Grapes: Remove stems, crush and cook in own juice.

Mangoes: Use half-ripe mangoes. Peel and slice. Add 1 to 2 cups of water to every 6 cups of sliced fruit. Cook until soft enough to mash.

Nectarines: Peel and pit. Crush or slice fruit and cook in its own juice.

Peaches: Peel and pit. Crush or slice fruit and cook in its own juice.

Pears: Remove stems and blossom ends. Quarter and cook with half as much water as fruit.

Plums: Halve or quarter; pit. Crush and cook in own juice. With very small plums, pits will strain out.

Prunes (dried): Pit and cook prunes in a little water until soft.

Quince: Remove stem and blossom ends; cut into small pieces and cook with half as much water as fruit.

Rhubarb: Chop. Cook with 1/2 cup water to every 2 pounds fruit.

Instructions

  1. Wash and prepare fruit as directed above. You may use any quantity of fruit and/or mixture of fruits desired. Cook fruit with water or in its own juice in large pot until soft. Remove fruit from pan with a slotted spoon and put through a food mill or press through a fine sieve into bowl. Discard cooking liquid.
  2. Measure sieved pulp. Add 1/2 cup white or brown sugar to each cup pulp. Brown sugar darkens butters made from light fruits and adds a more pronounced flavor. Add flavorings of your choice. Add a mixture of 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of ground allspice and cloves per quart of fruit butter. For pears, 1/4 to1/2 teaspoon ginger per quart of butter is good. For a light-colored butter, tie whole spices loosely in a cheesecloth bag, removing it after the butter is cooked.
  3. Place fruit butter in a shallow (not more than 2 inches deep) glass, stainless steel or enameled baking pan. Bake at 300 degrees F for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until butter is thick and has a spreadable consistency. To test for doneness, place a spoonful on a chilled saucer. If no rim of liquid forms around edge of butter, it is done. Quickly ladle into clean, hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace; seal. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Photo credit: (c) Can Stock Photo / natavkusidey


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