Recipe from Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round by Marisa McClellan
Author Marisa McClellan, on Slow Cooker Blueberry Butter:
Though I’ve been a lifelong fan of blueberry jam, it was only very recently that it even occurred to me to take a stab at making blueberry butter. The resulting butter is just wonderful: Less sweet and sticky than a traditional jam, it ends up tasting like blueberry pie in a jar.
I’m not exactly the canning type of cook. So I was a bit worried about what I’d be able to prepare from Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round. However, looking through this book with its artistic yet drool-worthy photographs, I quickly saw page after page of possibilities. I stopped at the title and photo of “Slow Cooker Blueberry Butter.” I’m definitely the slow cooker type of cook. And I’ve been wanting to try making my own butter. But I was surprised when I mentioned this to my husband — whose childhood meals consisted of food raised and grown by his family and cooked completely from scratch — and he looked at me with probably the same look I gave him when I had to explain Hamburger Helper. Apparently, everyone knows that “butter” used in connection with fruit doesn’t mean “butter.” It refers to the process of forcing the fruit through a sieve or blending it (as in this recipe) after cooking.
On to the recipe… The process? It was even easier than I’d hoped: basically, slow-cook and blend. The result? Tart, not-too-sweet homemade jam! Ours wasn’t butter-smooth at first but did thicken up after being in the fridge for a few hours. Did I go through the process of putting the butter into jars for later? Of course not. We had cut the recipe in half, and even though we ended up with a big bowl of blueberry butter, it was gone after just a couple days. But for those of you who are the canning type of cook — or who want to learn — don’t worry. McClellan provides all the tips and details you’ll need.
In the slow cooker and on the waffle.
Slow Cooker Blueberry Butter
Featured Recipe From: Food in Jars: Preseving in Small Batches
Yield: 3 (1-pint/500 ml) jars
- 8 cups puréed blueberries (about 3 dry quarts/1.7 kg blueberries)
- 2 cups/400 g granulated sugar
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Put the puréed blueberries in a 4-quart capacity slow cooker. Place a lid on the pot and turn it on to low. After it has cooked for 1 hour, remove the lid and give it a stir. From this point forward, you will want keep the lid slightly cracked. I have found that propping it open with a wooden spoon or chopstick gives just enough room for the evaporating steam to escape.
- This butter will need between 4 and to 8 total hours total in the slow cooker. The time varies depending on how hot your slow cooker cooks. Check the butter at least once an hour to track the progress.
- In the final hour, add the sugar, lemon zest and juice, and spices. If you want to speed the evaporation, remove the lid and turn the cooker up to high. If you do this, make sure to check and stir the butter every 10 minutes to prevent scorching.
- When the butter is nearing completion, prepare a boiling water bath and 3 regular-mouth 1-pint/500 ml jars according to the process on page. Place the lids in a small saucepan, cover them with water, and simmer over very low heat.
- Once it has cooked down to be as thick as ketchup and spreadable, determine whether you like a chunky or smooth butter. For a smoother texture, purée the butter using an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender); for a slight chunkiness, leave it as it is.Turn the slow cooker off and ladle the butter into the prepared jars. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
- The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
© 2012 Marisa McClellan
Reprinted with permission from Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round,by Marisa McClellan (Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group)