Fruit Butter Recipe Especially Strawberry

PlantsAndYarn(5)April 23, 2013

Last year was my first year canning. I am hooked and plan on doing a lot of tomatoes & sauce this year.

I would also like to try doing some fruit butters this year. I have some approved (Ball) recipes for apples, apricots, peach, pear & tomato. But I would like to do other fruits. I was thinking specifically of strawberries, nectarines & plums. Anyone have recipes for these?

NCHFP has instructions for fruit purees but only apple butter. Can I just puree the fruits, cook them down & turn it into a fruit butter?

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Keep in mind that some fruits lend themselves to long-term cooking and thus the "butter" format much better than others - strawberries are not one of them IMO. Although Martha Stewart has a good one for the freezer.

But since a fruit butter is basically just a fruit cooked down to a paste consistency or pureed and somewhat sweetened, technically you can use any fruit you wish (as long as it isn't one of the low-acid ones for canning). The only difference is the spices/flavorings used and the resulting consistency and color. Some fruits, nectarine butter comes to mind, tend to turn an ugly brown.

If you search each here (ie: plum butter) you'll find discussions and recipes for most of them.

Dave

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 4:25PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I agree with Dave. If you're going to try peaches, nectarines or strawberries, I'd recommend quite small batches. They will cook down more quickly and allow you to do a test run to determine how you like the final result - flavor and color retention may be iffy.

Consider also adding ascorbic acid for color and using essential spice oils (i.e. cinnamon and clove oil) to avoid further discoloring the butter.

Carol

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 6:49PM
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PlantsAndYarn(5)

Thanks for your replies. I just picked up a Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving and it has recipes for apricot, peach, pear and tomato butters. I did find a recipe here for plum butter. While searching the web, I found something were someone mentioned a Ball recipe for strawberry butter. It was a very old thread & they didn't go into detail, just mentioned it. Of course, I did find a lot of recipes that was about turning regular butter into strawberry butter, lol.

So is it safe to assume that I can turn these fruits into a butter and can them, but they may not look very good or the flavor may be off? I think if I do try it, I will be sure to do a test run first. If the test run fails, I can put up the rest of the fruit in another manner.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 7:38PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Yeah just as with jellies and jams, there is no safety issue as long as it is acidic fruits. But as Carol said - do some of them only in a very small batch first. Because the quality will be poor with some, why waste the fruit and the time?

Of course, I did find a lot of recipes that was about turning regular butter into strawberry butter

There are good reasons for why that is the only method recommended. Strawberries especially. Hard to cook down even a small batch with out scorching them.

Dave

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 7:59PM
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PlantsAndYarn(5)

Thanks Dave. I grow strawberries, so I was looking for something to do with them besides freezing. I like the idea of butters, more fruit/less sugar. But I guess I will freeze them or do jam, maybe. It's a big maybe on the jam.

Do you think a double boiler method would work to cook them down and perhaps reduce the scorching?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 7:11AM
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pixie_lou

I make strawberry sauce - like apple sauce, but out of strawberries. DD eats it plain. DH and I think it makes a killer version of applesauce muffins. I've also heated it, added more sugar, to make a fruit sauce for pound cake or rice pudding.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 7:38AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I grow strawberries, so I was looking for something to do with them besides freezing.

We have to work with the limitations of the fruit. There is no way around that. Unfortunately strawberries, due to their fragile nature and high ratio of juice to solids, are primarily a fresh eating or freezer fruit. They just don't tolerate being exposed to heat. Even strawberry jams can have problems due to the heat exposure. They can be dehydrated but even then it is at a low temp.

Would a double boiler help? Some but that then doubles the energy expenditure and time used so it becomes a question of is it really worth it? For many the answer would be no.

Dave

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 11:56AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

If I were attempting a strawberry butter, I'd reduce it in a shallow pan in the oven. There's no risk of scorching that way.

I doubt a double boiler would achieve the reduction you want.

Carol

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 1:40PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

I grow strawberries, so I was looking for something to do with them besides freezing. I like the idea of butters, more fruit/less sugar.

I find that butters usually have MORE sugar. Why not make a very low sugar jam using any one of the pectin options specifically designed to do so? The Ball one works beautifully and I think it maintains the fruit flavor very well. With Pomono pectin, you can actually make a NO sugar version. Not as pretty as having some sugar, but I like the taste. Some people find it a bit "chalky". Just depends on what you intend to do with it later. It's perfect for filling bar cookies!

Deanna

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 9:02AM
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PlantsAndYarn(5)

Wow, you have all given me some really good ideas for using up strawberries. Thank you so much.

I am really liking the idea of strawberry sauce. Pixie lou, do you can or freeze that sauce? Since you said that it is like applesauce, I am assuming you are canning it.

I have thought about jams or jelly, but just not sure how quickly it would be used around here.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 9:29AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Depending upon your family's taste, you might find a lower-sugar preserve more versatile, using it up faster.

You could use it as a filling in muffins, cakes and cookies or just stir it into yogurt or rice pudding.

Carol

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 2:47PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Agree with Carol. Jams are far more versatile than fruit butters are, not to mention much easier to make. In addition to all she listed they can be also be used as meat glazes for grilled or baked meats, And Ball's Lo/No Sugar Pectin makes wonderful jams with little to no sugar added.

Dave

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 4:18PM
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pixie_lou

I can it like applesauce.

Strawberries in the pot. Sugar to taste - not much. Summer until the berries are soft. Then purée with my immersion blender.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 8:22PM
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