Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Toast Topper #2 (Blueberry Butter)

I'm probably one of few people on the planet who doesn't particularly like berries. I'm okay with them, don't get me wrong - I'll eat them off a fruit platter or as a jam, but given a choice between a pint of blueberries and a Granny Smith or Honeycrisp apple? I'm the teacher's pet the whole way.

But, like I said, I will eat them as a spread! Especially if they're mixed together in a blend like the "Summer Fruit" or Superfruit. When I was going through my review copy of The Old Farmer's Almanac Garden-Fresh Cookbook last week, I saw this "Blueberry Butter" recipe and thought I'd give it a whirl. Firstly, I liked the fact that it would help me use up the wild blueberries in our freezer before they got burned. The light spicing and apple components won me over completely. I scaled down the batch so that I wouldn't have to go to the store, and set to work.

Partway along the cooking process, I came around to stir it and smelled a heady dose of vanilla. I wasn't sure why my house smelled like an orchid processing plant until I looked at the bag of sugar I used and found out I had used exclusively vanilla infused sugar instead of the standard granulated I thought I grabbed from the pantry! At the end of the cooking, though, the smell dissipated enough that it left a noticeable, but not smack-you-stupid element that I think really made the jam for me. A quick schmear of it on a crust of bread and I knew I had some good stuff going. If anything, I would have bumped up the nutmeg a touch, but I'm a spice addict at the best of times!
 
Small-Batch Blueberry Butter
Makes about 1 1/2 cups, 12 (2-tbsp) servings
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (unthawed) wild blueberries
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 cup vanilla sugar (or regular sugar + 1 vanilla bean)
pinch salt
1/4 tsp allspice
pinch nutmeg
1/4 cup water
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepot.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 1 hour, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and mashing the fruit against the sides of the pot to smooth it out.
  3. The butter is done when it is thick and spreadable.
  4. Can in a water bath or spoon into clean jars and keep in the fridge up to 6 weeks.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 88.0 
Total Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 1.1 mg
Total Carbs: 22.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g
Protein: 0.1 g