Tag Archives: fruit butter

Apple Butter

Many moons ago, I cooked up my first batch of apple butter.  It was surprisingly simple and tasted better than anything I had growing up; and from what I remember, the jars my mom would bring home tasted pretty darn amazing!  This no-fail low-maintenance method is my constant go-to when making apple butter.  It is so easy you’ll wonder why anyone would choose a different route!

If you want to make apple butter, the first thing you need to do is make applesauce: reada perfect recipe for putting up during the off-season!  The directions for unsweetened applesauce are in the beginning of the linked recipe; although, I highly encourage anyone who loves vanilla and maple to make the “awesome sauce”.  Trust me, you will not be disappointed!  When apples come into season this year, I’m making a batch of vanilla-maple apple butter!

apple butter

Apple Butteryields approximately 9 pints

9 qts unsweetened applesauce

2 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground allspice

4 cups sugar

Place 6 qts of applesauce in your slow-cooker (or however much fills it to within 1-inch of the rim), add the spices and 2 cups of sugar; mix well.  Set heat to high and cook for an hour with the lid vented; resting the lid on a long wooden spoon works well.   Reduce the heat to low and allow to continue cooking for an additional 8-10 hours.

Once the mixture has been reduced by half, add the remaining applesauce and sugar.  Stir and cook several more hours allowing the flavors to mix.  When the apple butter has reached your desired thickness, using an immersion blender, purée mixture into a creamy consistency.  Ladle into hot, sterilized, half-pint jars and remove air bubbles; wipe rims, add two-piece lids and process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes, or for as long as your altitude requires.

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe courtesy of PickYourOwn.org.

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Filed under Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Fruit Butter

Muffin Madness

Yesterday was one of those days where I wanted nothing more than to spend every available minute in the kitchen. And with the exception of a few domestic chores, that is exactly what I did! I’ve had muffins floating around my brain for the past few weeks and decided the time had finally come to test out a few ideas.

It’s no secret that I have a wicked sweet tooth! I put too much sugar in my coffee, cake is my favorite food, and if allowed I could easily put down back-to-back pints of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food and Half Baked. Yeah, it’s that serious. Fortunately, I posses enough self-control to keep myself from going overboard! I’ve found that a daily dose of sweetness is just enough to keep me on the straight and narrow. So when I was dreaming up healthy alternatives to the cake-like muffins I really wanted to make, I was reminded of all my jams and jellies quietly calling out to me from the basement.

jam-filled almond oat muffins

Jam-Filled Almond Oat Muffins

1 cup AP flour

1 1/4 cup oat flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

1 cup vanilla soy milk

1/2 cup light brown sugar

the fresh-squeezed juice from a medium-sized orange (approximately 1/4 cup)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

1/4 tsp almond extract

1/3 cup fruit butter, jam, or jelly of your choice (I used blueberry butter and peach butter)

sliced raw almonds

granulated sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 400°F.  In a medium bowl whisk together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl combine eggs, milk, vanilla, brown sugar, oil, and orange juice.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until barely blended; be careful to not over-mix the batter or your muffins will become tough.  In a separate bowl mix fruit spread and almond extract.  Fill muffin cups halfway with batter and spoon in 1 tsp of the fruit spread, then top off with more batter.  Lightly dust on a bit of granulated sugar and a sprinkling of sliced almonds.  Bake for 20 minutes at 400°F or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.  Transfer muffins to a wire rack and allow to cool 5-10 before eating.

Recipe yields approximately 14 muffins.

strawberry banana oat muffins

Strawberry Banana Wheat Bran Muffins

3/4 cup AP flour

1 cup oat flour

1 cup wheat bran

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

1 cup vanilla soy milk

2/3 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup mashed banana

1/2 cup mashed strawberries (frozen and then thawed work best for mashing)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400°F.  In a medium bowl whisk together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl mix eggs and brown sugar until smooth; add milk, vanilla, wheat bran, oil, bananas, and strawberries and mix until well incorporated.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until barely blended; be careful to not over-mix the batter or your muffins will become tough.  Pour into muffin cups and lightly dust on a bit of granulated sugar and top off with a strawberry.  Bake for 20 minutes at 400°F or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.  Transfer muffins to a wire rack and allow to cool 5-10 before eating.

Recipe yields approximately 18 muffins.

Both of my taste-testers were very happy with the outcome of these recipes, so much so that one suggested I open a bakery.  While I don’t think they are that amazing, judging by the ratio of eaten to non-eaten muffins left on the counter, I had better make another batch, SOON!

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge.

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Filed under Baking, Vegetarian

Madagascar Peach Butter

Two weekends ago I picked up a bushel of Loring peaches.  This particular free-stone is my absolute favorite variety when it comes to canning and jam making.  Just ask Beth at Rohrer’s Orchard, I start calling mid-August every year inquiring about their ripening date. :)

For me, peach butter is the perfect partner for pancakes.  No need for butter, or maple syrup, or honey: just velvety smooth peach butter will do just fine!  This year I decided to switch things up a bit by adding a vanilla bean into the mix.  I’m so glad I did because it takes this fruit spread to an entirely new level!

Madagascar Peach Butter

8 cups chopped peaches, skins removed

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup bottled lemon juice

1  Madagascar vanilla bean

Place chopped peaches in a crock pot and mash with a potato masher to release juice.  Set heat to high and cook for an hour with the lid vented; resting the lid on a long wooden spoon works well.  Add sugar, stir, and set heat to low.  Continue cooking an additional 6 hours (with the lid propped open allowing steam to escape).  Once your fruit has cooked down, add lemon juice and the seeds from the vanilla bean.  Using an immersion blender, puree mixture into a creamy consistency.  Ladle into hot, clean, half-pint jars and remove air bubbles; wipe rims, add two piece lids and process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes, or for as long as your altitude requires.

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Filed under Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Fruit Butter, Vegan, Vegetarian

Blueberry Butter

This year I decided to try my hand at making and canning fruit butter.  I really really love apple butter, so I assume my taste buds would have the same affection no matter what the fruit.  I found a recipe at pickyourown.org, a long time, go-to source of mine.  It allowed for several variations in the amount of sugar, which to me is important.  The main draw back, however, is that the recipe called for cloves.  I am not a fan of cloves, but I am keeping an open mind.

Low Sugar Blueberry Butter from Pick Your Own .org
10 cups of pureed blueberries
4 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Feeling the need to have a back up spice plan I continued searching and stumbled on this recipe found at Food in Jars, which had even less sugar than the aforementioned.  Score!

Even Lower Sugar Blueberry Butter from Food In Jars
8 cups of pureed blueberries
2 cups sugar
Zest of 1 lemon, I subbed 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

For both recipes I pureed my berries in the food processor and then placed them into my slow cooker on high.  I added the sugar and lemon juice and turned the heat to low once the mix was hot.  I allowed my butter to cook overnight, approximately 8 hours.  It is important to keep the lid propped open to allow the steam to escape.  A wooden spoon works great!  The next morning I added my spices and continued cooking for an additional hour or so.  Once I had my desired thickness I turned the slow cooker off and allowed it to cool a bit.  I then used my immersion blender to bring the butter to a smooth consistency, ladled it into hot sterilized jars. and processed in a BWB for 5 minutes.

After tasting both recipes I’ve come to the conclusion that the cloves are not as distinct as I initially thought they would be.  I’m super happy with both flavors but next time I may marry all three spices together and keep to the 2 cup sugar recipe!

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Filed under Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Fruit Butter, Vegan, Vegetarian