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Fresh Fruit Butter
1 h 30 m
“Fruit butter is made by cooking down the fruit mixture until thick and sticky instead of adding pectin to set the mixture as you do with jam. Spread on whole-grain toast or stir into plain yogurt. We prefer to peel stone fruit, such as apricots, nectarines, peaches, and apples and pear for this recipe. If you're making a butter with “seedy” berries, such as blackberries, raspberries or even blueberries, you can puree the butter and pass it through a sieve for the smoothest result. Try the combination of blueberries with lime juice and zest or plums with orange juice and zest. ”
6 cups prepared fresh fruit, peeled if desired (see Tip)
1 cup water
½-1 cup granulated sugar , or brown sugar (see Note)
1Combine fruit, water and sugar to taste in a Dutch oven; add citrus zest and juice if using. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook, mashing the fruit and stirring occasionally at first and then often as it thickens, until the mixture is very thick, 20 minutes to 1 hour (depending on the type of fruit). To test doneness, put a spoonful of fruit butter on a plate. If no liquid seeps from the edges, it's done. Return to a simmer to thicken more if necessary. For very smooth fruit butter, puree in a food processor or blender, then strain and push the mixture through a sieve before storing.
2If freezing or refrigerating, ladle the fruit butter into clean canning jars to within ½ inch of the rim. Wipe rims clean. Cover with lids. Let the jars stand at room temperature until cool before refrigerating or freezing. Or process in a water bath to store at room temperature (see Tip).
Make Ahead Tip: Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, in the freezer for up to 1 year or at room temperature for up to 1 year if processed in a water bath.
Equipment: Two 8-ounce canning jars
Tip: How to Prep & Measure Fruit—Berries: Remove stems; hull strawberries. Measure whole. Cherries: Remove stems and pits; halve. Measure halves. Peaches, Nectarines & Plums: Peel if desired. Cut into ½-inch pieces; discard pits. Measure pieces. Apples, Pears & other fruit: Peel if desired. Quarter, remove seeds and cut into ½-inch pieces. Measure pieces.
To peel stone fruit, dip them in boiling water for about 1 minute to loosen their skins. Let cool slightly, then remove the skins with a paring knife.
Note: ¾ cup maple syrup (or honey) or ½-1 cup Splenda Granular can be used in place of 1 cup sugar.
Tip: Processing in a boiling water bath ensures safe storage at room temperature for up to a year. For step-by-step pictures and instructions, go to eatingwell.com/kitchentips.