While browsing through Watchung Booksellers to keep my summer reading list active and full, my daughter came across the cookbook Food In Jars, by Marisa McClennan, and insisted I buy it. A sucker for a new cookbook about preserving and canning (and slow cooking and fruit), it has proven to be a fabulous purchase.
When I saw the recipe for Slow Cooker Blueberry Butter I was immediately hooked by McClennan’s description of Blueberry Pie in a jar. I think I had blueberries the next day and have since used this as a basic recipe to experiment with Raspberry Rhubarb Butter and Blueberry Rhubarb Butter, all made in my Crock-Pot. If you’re holding on to the flavors of summer, which I am, Blueberry Butter is a great way to make your own fruit spread with very little work, and less sugar, than jelly.
Slow Cooker Blueberry Butter
(Reprinted with permission from Marissa McClennan of Food In Jars)
8 cups of blueberries rinsed and pureed in a food processor.
2 cups of sugar
zest and juice of one lemon
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Place the blueberries in a 4-quart slow cooker (mine is 6 quarts, but worked fine). Cover and cook on low for one hour.
After the first hour, stir and then keep the lid propped open with a wooden spoon. This will help the steam evaporate, thickening the blueberries.
Continue to cook for another 4-6 hours, with the lid propped open. Keep checking the butter about once an hour. In the final hour of cooking, add the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
When done, the butter should be the consistency of ketchup, and be spreadable. If the cooking time seems to be taking too long, turn the slow cooker up to high (I had to do this), but watch it carefully to avoid burning.
Once the butter is done cooking, puree once more in a food processor if you are looking for a smoother consistency.
To preserve the butter:
Last summer, I covered the basics of using a hot water bath to preserve foods. Click here to review them.
Prepare the jars, lids, and hot water bath.
Fill the jars with the butter (the recipe will give you enough for 3 1-pint jars, although I used smaller jars).
Place the lids and bands on top.
Process in the hot water bath for 10 minutes.
If you don’t want to preserve the butter, it can be put in individual containers and refrigerated for up to three weeks. But, if you do this, you may want to give some to friends as it makes a lot.
Notes from my experience:
This is one of the easiest recipes I”ve ever used for making a fruit spread. It was easy and smelled delicious while cooking.
I’ve never been shy about my intentions to have leftover fruit pies for breakfast. This recipe is really like having Blueberry Pie in a jar and I didn’t feel guilty having it on a biscuit for breakfast.