Most of us have eaten apple butter, right?
I assume so since it’s one of my favorite foods ever.
But have you ever eaten cherry butter or peach butter or pear butter?
I mentioned that you could substitute different fruits for the apples when I wrote out my recipe. The more I thought about it, I thought that the substitutions deserved their own post.
Peach, cherry, and pear butters are just as amazing as apple butter, but I don’t see them in my local grocery store.
Each has its own unique flavor, rich and sweet and only reminiscent of the original fruit. Soooo very delicious.
Last summer, I went a little crazy buying up apples, cherries, and peaches. I wanted to buy pears, too, but there weren’t any available when I was at the farm market.
Over the weekend, my Grandma brought out a jar of apple butter that I had given to her for Christmas. She told me to open it so that we could eat it on our toast. I eagerly did as she asked, mixed it a bit, and noticed that the consistency was wrong.
My heart sunk, as I imagined my breakfast with no apple butter at all. I almost cried.
I leaned my head down over the jar – and noticed that it wasn’t apple butter at all. It was cherry butter.
The breakfast was saved.
I think I like cherry butter even better than apple butter, if that is possible.
Even if you don’t can, you can still make some butter. Fill up your crockpot with fruit, make the butter, and freeze it in small containers. It will last about a year in the freezer.
Homemade Fruit Butter
Prepare the fruit:
•For cherries, clean and pit the cherries.
•For peaches, you have to peel and pit the fruit. There's no way around it. To easily peel peaches, submerge them into a pot of boiling water for ten to fifteen seconds, then plunge them into ice water until they're cold again. The peels should just slip off. Quarter the peaches.
•For pears, clean and core the fruit. If you want to peel the pears, you can use the whole quarters and overfill the pot. If you don't want to peel the pears, quarter and core them.
•For blueberries, you can use whole.
Fill a 6-quart CrockPot or an 8-10 quart stock pot with prepared fruit. I heap the fruit up a little above the pan because it will cook down quite a bit. Pour an inch or two of water or no-sugar-added apple juice in the pot, and cook the fruit.
On the stove top, cook the fruit for a half hour or so on high (or the highest heat you can use for your pot).
In the Crock Pot, cook the fruit on high for about three hours.
Put the fruit back into the pan. Add the sugar or sweetener to taste. Some people like to add spices like cinnamon and cloves now, too. I don't.
Cook the fruit on low, stirring often (though not continuously). It will take another half hour or longer on the stove (two to three hours in the Crock Pot) until it is a rich brown and a nice, thick consistency. Be careful that it doesn't turn black and burn; that will ruin the whole batch.
If your fruit butter gets too thick, you can either put it in the blender or thin it with a bit of water or apple juice. I haven't had this problem with fruit butters, but it can happen.
If you can the fruit butter in sterile jars, it will last almost forever. In the freezer, you can keep apple butter for six months to a year. In the refrigerator, it will stay good for about a month.
© 2009 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.