Honey-Sweetened Apricot Lavender Butter

Written by Marisa of Food in Jars.

As a canner, I feel obligated not to play favorites when it comes to fruit. How can you possibly prefer strawberries to cherries, or like peaches more than cantaloupe? Every variety of fruit has its individual charms and each deserves its moment in the seasonal spotlight.

However, there is one I’m always most excited to see each year.

Apricots.

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Canning 101: Fruit Butter (Recipe: Rhubarb-Pear Butter)

Every summer I gravitate toward making fruit butters instead of jam. Don’t get me wrong, I love jam, but the sugar-free, pectin-free, concentrated flavor of a fruit spread has a greater draw.

Despite the warm days, I’ll let a pot of ripe fruit simmer down to a sticky and sweet mess on the stove, pair it with a spice just for fun, add a natural sweetener if needed and jar it up for winter.

It’s the perfect way to capture the essence of summer and store it on my pantry shelves.

So, what IS a fruit butter anyway?

Jam expert Marisa McClellan gives this description in a recent Q & A on making butters:

“A fruit butter is named as such because it mimics the smooth spreadability of softened butter. It is cooked low and slow for a number of hours, in order to evaporate the excess liquid, concentrate the fruit flavors and intensify the innate sweetness in the fruit. Thanks to this concentration, it typically contains a minimal amount of additional sweetener.” [Read more…]