Thursday, August 25, 2016

Blueberry Beet Butter - Toast Topper #73

Every Summer it seems like I make a few standard items to can for the Winter months - whether it's for us to enjoy here at home or to give away during the holidays, a jar of something delicious always seems to warm the heart and be appreciated! A few of the recipes I riff on every year are chutney (my favourite being this Moroccan Tomato one), mincemeat (like this Downton Abbey "mockycat"), some sort of pasta sauce and - our current favourite Toast Topper - blueberry butter. The gloriously thick, sweet-tart spread is one of those that everybody loves - the eaters because it's delicious, the cooks because it's drop dead easy to make.

Blueberry Beet Butter

In fact, the (original) recipe is essentially three ingredients - blueberries, apples and sugar. After that, the possibilities are more or less endless! The first time I made it (way back in Toast Topper #2!), I used vanilla sugar, allspice and nutmeg. by the time Toast Topper #32 came about, I was tossing in lemon zest and pure pomegranate juice. This time around I took the recipe down a whole other road - adding a glug of red wine, some date syrup, and a garden fresh, dark red beet. 

Yes, a beet. I love the root veggie in pretty much any and every form, and already know how well it works in sweet things (brownies, anyone?), adding that subtle earthy note to the sugar and berry flavours. It is, as I said, subtle - you're not going to bite into your English muffin and go "yum, I'm eating borscht for breakfast". Rather, you're likely going to go on the hunt for some natural peanut butter and make yourself a grown up PB&J. Who says we have to grow up?

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays 

Blueberry Beet Butter
Makes ~3 cups, 24 (2 tbsp) servings
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen (unthawed) wild blueberries
1 medium beet, roasted, peeled and diced
2 large apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
pinch salt
pinch nutmeg
⅓ cup date syrup
¼ cup dry red wine
2 tbsp Clear Jel + ¼ cup cold water (optional, see recipe below)
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  1. Combine all the ingredients except vanilla in a heavy bottomed sauce pot.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 1 - 1 1/2 hours, 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. If you run out of time, whisk together the Clear Jel and cold water and stir in. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until thick enough for your preference.
  4. Just before canning, stir in vanilla.
  5. Can in a water bath for 15 minutes or spoon into clean jars and keep in the fridge up to 6 weeks.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 58.8
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 3.3 mg
Total Carbs: 14.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Protein: 0.2 g