Welcome to my first successful attempt at making a fruit butter! About a year ago after apple picking I attempted to make an apple butter in the crockpot. To this day I am not sure what I did but I ended up with a burnt mess of a slow cooker that I debated throwing out instead of cleaning.
My first successful fruit butter started with leftover crabapples from my harvest at my parents house and a gift of homegrown plums from a gentleman I work with. I actually had never eaten a fresh picked plum before and they were excellent. Despite being great to eat fresh I knew we weren’t going to be eating the 2 lbs or so quick enough so I started to think about how I could preserve them. This would be the opportunity I needed to revenge my awful apple butter experiment of 2013.
I started by washing and pitting the plums, then I tossed them into a pot on the stove with the whole washed crabapples and filled the pot with some water. I simmered them together about 15 minutes until the crabapples were tender and starting to split. Into the food mill after that, the same way I made Crabapple Fruit Rolls. I pureed them threw the food mill and put the pulp into my crockpot.
I have looked over a number of recipes for fruit butter and most called for huge amounts of sugar to get added. I tried to tone that down a bit. I put 1 cup of sugar in with the pulp. It didn’t quite look like enough I did want my kids to be able to eat it without giving me their “It’s too sour” face so I added another 1/2 cup and mixed it together.
At this point I was pretty pleased with myself. I was quite certain this would be a success. The plan was to leave it in crockpot 24hrs, cracking the cover after the first 12 (or when I got up in the morning) to let moisture escape. Time to get the kids to bed and go take a stroll through the garden while patting myself on the back for having this great idea to make Crabapple Plum Fruit Butter.
About 3 hours later after repeatedly bragging of my cleverness to Em, I went back to check on my masterpiece. Not much changed, I never turned the crockpot on! I was forced get off my high horse at this point to turn the crockpot on to the low setting.
In the morning I took a wooden spoon and laid it across the top of the crockpot propping the lid on it. This way moisture could escape and the fruit and sugar could cook down. After dinner that night it had been about 25 hours or 22 since I actually started the crockpot and the butter was done. It has the consistency similar to jam.
I decided to can the butter using the water bath canning method. I sterilized 3 – 1/2 pint jelly jars, lids, and bands and processed them for 10 minutes in a water bath. I follow the Ball Fresh Preserving guidelines on their website.
I broke open the first one the next night to try and was quite happy with the result.
It tasted fruity but no overly sweet which everyone enjoyed. I could tell it was good when Spencer licked it off the toast instead of eating the toast it was on!
- 2 lbs whole crabapples rinsed
- 2 Ilbs pitted plums
- 1.5 cups sugar
- Fill a pot on the stove with crabapples and plums and add water until you can see it but fruit isn't floating.
- Set on medium and simmer fruit about 15 minutes until apples are tender and starting to break open.
- Transfer to a food mill and process pulp through discarding the seeds, stems, and peels.
- Transfer fruit puree to a slow cooker and add sugar and stir.
- Set on low for 12 hours.
- After 12 hours prop the cover off slow cooker off slightly to allow moisture to escape and continue cooking 12 more hours.
- Transfer to clean sterilized canning jars (3 - ½ pint jars) and process according to safe water bath canning methods for 10 minutes.
- Allow to rest undisturbed 24 hrs.
- If jars don't seal place in fridge for immediate use.