Posted on 05 August 2012 by noelskitchen
Don’t these look yummy? We’re on our last two full quart-size freezer bags of blueberries. I can’t believe how fast we went through them!
A few weeks ago we took a short drive down our road to our favorite blueberry pickin’ spot here in Penn Valley. We’ve already made some of our favorite recipes like Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream, Blueberry Crumb Pie and added them to our favorite smoothies. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to get back to Lazy Valley Blueberry Ranch before school starts.
I mentioned on my facebook page the other day that I picked up a brand new 21 qt. canner with basket at our local thrift shop. They are normally close to $30. I purchased mine for only $8. What a deal! So yesterday, I made a batch of Homemade Crock Pot Blueberry Butter.
I’ve had great success in making fruit butters and jams in the crock pot and since this is my first attempt at making Crock Pot Blueberry Butter, I went with a very simple recipe flavor profile of lemon zest, sugar, and cinnamon. While they were slow cooking in the crock pot, the whole kitchen was filled with the sweetest fragrance of blueberries.
Homemade Crock Pot Blueberry Butter
Makes approximately 2 1/2 pints of blueberry butter
- 8 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
- In a blender or food processor, puree the blueberries. Pour blueberry puree into the crock pot. Place a lid on the crock pot and turn it on to low. After about an hour, give it a quick stir. (It will have a slight thick consistency.) At this point, you want to use something to prop the crock pot lid just a bit. I used a small wooden spoon and just rested the wooden spoon across the rim of crock pot and and then place the lid back on. This allows just enough room to let the steam evaporate from the crock pot.
- Cook blueberries down for no more than 6 hours. When it got to 4 hours, I added the lemon zest, lemon juice, water, spices and the sugar, removed the lid completely and turned the heat up on the crock pot to high. This speeds up the cooking down process and makes the blueberry butter a thick consistency.
- When the cooking process is done, you can puree with an immersion blender or (carefully) in a regular blender, for a smoother product. I wanted a smoother butter.
- Once it’s cooked down sufficiently, pour into sterile jars, leaving a good 1/2 inch of head space, wipe rims, apply lids and screw on bands. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Remove jars and let cool. Label and store unopened jars in a cool, dark place.
- Eat on fresh scones, toast or even pancakes.
Posted on 28 September 2011 by noelskitchen
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Home canned foods are a source of justifiable pride and satisfaction. Maybe we all have squirreling insticts as we prepare for fall. At the end of a day of canning, unlike a day of any other type of cooking, it is all still there. It’s like having a savings account of food stocked in my pantry. You work for it and put it aside, and whenever you need it, it becomes a ready reserve. Home canning not only preserves the foods you eat most often but it saves you money. Home canning is a great way to help your family be more self-sufficient.
The equipment needed for canning is very simple and inexpensive. To get started, you will need a supply of pint and quart jars. I’ve found all types on the market equally satisfactory, however, the hardware stores tend to be a little cheaper; plus they might even give lessons. Wide neck jars are particularly recommended for packing tomatoes and large fruits such as peaches.
In my personal canning adventures, I started with my Best Crock Pot Apple Butter. As a beginner, I wanted something that was easy and simple to can. I don’t have a pressure cooker, so I did my processing in a water bath which worked well for this recipe.
Noel’s Kitchen Tips Best Crock Pot Apple Butter
Homemade Apple Butter easily made in the crock pot was inspired by my life growing up on an apple farm. Made with delicious Gravenstein apples!
- 6 pounds apples; peeled, cored and diced (Gravenstein are best but Granny Smith’s will do)
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
- Combine all ingredients in large 6 qt or larger slow cooker.
- Cook on high for 1 hour covered. Do not stir, just keep the lid on and continue to cook.
- After 1 hour, turn down the temperature to low and cook approximately 8 hours. ***Cooking time depends on the age of your slow cooker. (Mine is an older Rival model, so I usually have the settings on high for 1 hour then turn down temp to low for remainder of cooking.)
- Stir the apple butter occasionally with a silicone spatula while cooking and scrap the sides as it cooks down.
- After 8 hours, whisk the apple butter to smooth out larger chunks with a hand mixer. Mixture will be soft and smooth. Once apple butter is smooth, remove lid to crock pot and cook an additional hour to further thicken.
There are several ways to sterilize your jars for canning. You can run them through a short cycle on your dishwasher. You can place them in a large pot (12 quart) of water on top of a steaming rack (so they don’t touch the bottom of the pan), and bring the water to a boil for 10 minutes. Or you can rinse out the jars, dry them, and place them, without lids, in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes.
Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal. If you plan to store the apple butter un-refrigerated, make sure to follow proper canning procedures. Before applying the lids, sterilize the lids by placing them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Wipe the rims of the jars clean before applying the lids. I use a hot water bath for 10 minutes to ensure a good seal.
Keep refrigerated after opening.
** I used Half Pint Jars for gift giving. Pint size jars would work too.
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