From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I don't mean to dump on weather men. I know they're good to their mothers and love their wives and children, but they are the only group of people I know, who can be consistently wrong and still receive regular raises and promotions. Last week they spread the word that temperatures would be the the low 80's for the foreseeable future. It was just a rumor. Thermometers here hit 100 degrees today and while we don't have humidity, 100 degrees is still too darn hot for an outdoor adventure. Relegated to the house for the duration I had two choices: housework or cooking. Guess which I decided to do? I bought a flat of blueberries yesterday and they kept me the kitchen for most of the day. I wanted to test some new recipes for cakes and pies, but my real goal was to walk through a recipe for blueberry butter that I had first seen in the book Food in Jars, by Marisa McClellan. I was attracted to the recipe because it appeared to be effortless, was cooked in a slow cooker and made a small batch of preservable fruit that was perfect for two people. It was also my token canning adventure for the summer. It turned out well, and I thought those of you who enjoy blueberries, might want to give it a try. It is not as sweet as a jam or jelly and while it is spreadable, it has an entirely different texture. You can control how thick or thin you want the spread to be by regulating the amount of time it cooks and if you process it in a boiling water bath it will keep for 6 months in your pantry. I hope some of you will give the recipe a try. Here is how it's made.
Slow Cooker Blueberry Butter...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite first published in Food in Jars courtesy of Running Press
8 cups puréed blueberries (about 6 pints)
2 cups granulated sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1) Put puréed bluberries in a 4-quart capacity slow cooker. Cover and turn it to low. After it has cooked for 1 hour, remove lid and stir. From this point forward, you will want to keep the lid slightly cracked. Propping it open with a wooden spoon or chopstick allows the steam to escape.
2) This butter will need between 4 and 8 hours in the slow cooker. The time varies depending on how hot your slow cooker cooks. Check the butter at least once an hour to check the progress.
3) In final hour of cooking, add sugar, lemon zest and juice, and spices. If you want to speed the evaporation, remove lid and turn cooker to high. If you do this, make sure to check and stir butter every 10 minutes to prevent scorching.
4) When butter is nearing completion, prepare a boiling water bath and 4 regular mouth 1-pint/500ml jars. Place lids in a small saucepan, cover them with water, and simmer over very low heat.
5) Once it is as thick as ketchup and spreadable, determine whether you like a chunky or smooth butter. Purée butter for a smoother texture. For a slight chunkiness, leave it as it is.
6) Turn the slow cooker off and ladle butter into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply 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.
This recipe was first published in Food in Jars (May 22, 2012), and appears courtesy of Running Press
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