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Slow Cooker Cranberry Pear Butter

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 oz cranberries
  • 36 oz pears, peeled, core-d, and sliced
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ground
  • ~ Pinch of cloves, ground
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, unpacked
  • 1 orange, Zest of

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on high for two hours, until the pears are tender.
  3. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until smooth.
  4. Cook uncovered on high for 4 hours or more until very thick, stirring occasionally.
  5. Transfer the pear butter to an air tight container.
  6. Cover.

Notes:  Refrigerate overnight to get thicker.

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Sweet Cherry Butter

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb sweet cherries, fresh, stemmed, and pitted
  • 1/2 tsp spoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar, granulated
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract, pure

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pour the pitted cherries into the sauce pan.
  2. Add the lemon juice.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer about 5 min.  The cherries should be very soft and mash-able.
  5. Mash the cherries with the potato masher to break the skins.
  6. Blend with the immersion blender until the mixture is very smooth.
  7. Return the puree-ed cherries to the sauce pan and add the sugar and cinnamon.
  8. Bring to a boil.
  9. Reduce the heat to low.
  10. Simmer uncovered about 25 min until the mixture is thick, stirring frequently.
  11. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  12. Cool completely and divide between the two freezer jars.
  13. Store jars in the refrigerator or freezer.

Notes:  Will keep for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator and 3 to 4 months in the freezer.

Herb Syrup

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 of the following:
    • 2 bay leave, fresh
    • 1 oz tarragon, fresh
    • 1 oz mint, fresh
    • 1 oz lemon verbena, fresh
    • 1 oz lemongrass, fresh

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Stir sugar and water together in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat until sugar has dissolved, stirring constantly.
  3. Add herbs.
  4. Remove pan from heat immediately.
  5. Let syrup cool completely.
  6. Refrigerate syrup in an airtight container at least 8 hours, or up to 1 day.
  7. Pour the syrup through a fine sieve into a large bowl just before using.
  8. Discard the herbs.

Notes:  Make this for Fruit-and-Herb Sorbet.

Hoisin Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 6-1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter, creamy
  • 2 tbsp vinegar, rice or white wine
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce, Sriracha or chili paste
  • 1-1/2 tsp cornstarch

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine all ingredients except cornstarch in a small saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium heat until the molasses and peanut butter have dissolved.
  3. Mix the cornstarch with 1-1/2 tsp cold water in a small bowl.
  4. Stir until the cornstarch has dissolved.
  5. Increase the heat under the saucepan to medium-high.
  6. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture.
  7. Simmer 1 to 2 min until the mixture begins to thicken.
  8. Remove the sauce from the burner to cool.  The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.

Notes:  The sauce can be used immediately to marinade meat, as a dip, or sauce for a stir fry. Store extra sauce in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks. The sauce will firm up in the refrigerator, just give it a good stir before using.

Crockpot Cranberry Apple Butter

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 to 7 cooking apples
  • 1⁄2 lb fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup  cranberry juice, cider, or water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1⁄8 tsp ground cloves

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Core and chop unpeeled apple.
  2. Combine apples, cranberries, and juice in a slow cooker.
  3. Cover and cook on high for five hours.
  4. Puree in food mill or food processor.
  5. Return puree-d mixture to Crockpot.
  6. Add sugar, cinnamon, and cloves.
  7. Cover.
  8. Cook on high for 1 to 2 hours.

Notes:  A variation on a classic fruit butter.  Thin skinned apples break down easier.

Crockpot Fig Butter

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 cup figs with stems removed
  • 3/4 cup white grape juice
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a 2 quart Crockpot.
  2. Cook on high for 2 hours.
  3. Mash figs using a large spoon or potato masher until all whole figs are broken down.
  4. Crack the lid to let the steam escape and turn Crockpot down to low.
  5. Continue to cook for 6 to 8 hours.

Notes:  You can substitute white wine instead of white grape juice if you desire.  Goes well on meats besides baked goods or pancakes.

Pineapple Butter

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb pineapple, diced
  • 8 oz apple, diced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 pint water
  • 12 oz Sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Put the pineapple pieces, apple pieces, lemon juice, and water into a saucepan.
  2. Place the lid on the pan and cook gently for 30 to 40 min.
  3. Stir frequently using a wooden spoon. The mixture is ready when the fruit has softened.
  4. Pour the mixture into a food processor, blender, or immersion blender.
  5. Purée the cooked fruit.
  6. Pour the purée back into the pan.
  7. Add the sugar @12 oz / 1 lb fruit.
  8. Cook over gentle heat, stirring frequently.
  9. Keep cooking until the sugar dissolves.
  10. Bring the mixture to the boil.
  11. Cook for about 15 to 20 min while stirring occasionally. You are aiming for a thick and creamy texture.
  12. Remove from the heat.
  13. Let stand for 5 to 10 min to cool slightly.
  14. Pour the mixture into jars.
  15. Cover each jar with a wax paper circle and cellophane.
  16. Fasten with a rubber band or elastic.

Notes:  I’ve been on a fruit butter trip lately if you couldn’t tell.