August 22, 2011

Plum and Peach Butter

The day started grey as I picked up produce from my favourite market.  The plums looked delightful and the freestone peaches were finally in.  I grabbed my tomatoes and bags full of cucumbers, and debated just how many cobs of corn I'd need to last us until next July.  The rain started pouring when I brought out my canning pot and I thanked whoever controls the weather for the cool day.  I was going to make plum butter.  But as it turned out I had only bought a half of what I needed.  So I peeled some peaches and patted myself on the back.  The mixture sputtered and bubbled as it slowly cooked for 40 minutes.  It turned darker shades of red and I stirred and stirred until it was finally done.  I added the spices and took a taste.  Angels sang.  The butter was packed with flavour, and that flavour was fall.  I bottled it quickly, with just enough to fill four jars, not a drop left for me.  My heart fell and I resigned myself to waiting "It's too early for fall anyways" I thought.  Three weeks from now I'll open the jar, I'm counting the days.

Plum and Peach Butter

Adapted from Well Preserved, Third Edition
Makes 4-250mL jars

3 cups chopped, pitted plums
3 cups chopped, pitted peaches
1/2 cup water
400 g (2 cups) sugar, or to taste
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves

Combine the plums, peaches and water in a large pot.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes over medium heat until the fruit is tender.  Remove the pot from heat and pass the fruit through a food mill. (Or puree in a food processor, I can't even see the skins.)  Prepare the preserving jars.

Return the fruit puree with the sugar to the preserving pot.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.  Stir constantly for 30 to 40 minutes so the bottom doesn't burn, until the mixture is somewhat thickened.  Stir in the spices in the last 10 minutes of cooking time.

Remove the butter from the heat and spoon the butter into prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.  Wipe the rims clean and screw on the rings.  Process the jars in a water bath for 10 minutes.

No comments:

Post a Comment