I know that it’s not the most descriptive of names, but I like the way that it sounds. But then, I like the way that the world ‘purple’ sounds in general, so.
It’s funny how recipes evolve. When I found out that this was ‘berry’ month for Can It Up I knew that I wanted to work with blueberries and unrefined sweeteners. Unrefined sweeteners are slowly revolutionizing my life, along with unbleached flour. My thought at first was to go for blueberries and maple syrup. But I could never bring myself to pay what anyone wanted for blueberries this year; I don’t know if I’m just getting more cautious with my fruit money this summer and freaking out because I can get pounds of stone fruit for $.99 or if the berries really are just that much more expensive because June had twice the average amount of rain. I’m not sure.
So I bought a single, lowly pint of blueberries and they hung out in my freezer along with what’s left of last season’s cranberries.
Then there was the issue of maple syrup. Maple syrup at home is cheap; I lived in maple syrup country. For that matter, I’m all too familiar with the smell of tapping and boiling on cold winter mornings-my dad used to do it. I should have had my mom get some when she came up for her last visit. I had sticker shock at the farmer’s market (and the farmer’s market with the best prices, at that). So I ended up with wildflower honey-it was half the price.
So at the end, I had blueberries, cranberries, about 1/2 pound of cherries, and the honey. I decided to just be as low impact as possible and make a fruit butter.
If you don’t have an immersion blender, use a potato masher.
Mixed berry butter with lavender and honey
Roughly 4 oz honey
1 pint or so blueberries
1/2-1 cup cranberries
1/2 lb cherries, pitted
pinch dried lavender (optional)
In a crock pot add all of your berries along with a splash of orange juice. The juice is just to make sure that your berries don’t scorch before they start to reduce down. Don’t add too much or you’ll just add more cooking time as the water still has to evaporate off.
Place lid on crock pot so that steam can escape; cook on high for at least an hour. Turn crockpot down to low and cook until berries burst and reduce down (or overnight). Using an immersion or stick blender, process until just smooth.
Reduce until mixture will mound up and hold its shape on a spoon. Add your honey (more or less depending on how sweet your fruit is) and lavender; let cook for at least another 15 minutes.
Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes, or jar and freeze. This batch gave me about a pint’s worth of butter, but yield will depend on how long you reduce it and how much moisture is in your berries.
Use your butter on toast, mixed into yogurt, over cake for a simple dessert, or mixed into bbq sauce.
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Please, stop by this week’s Inspired Weekends!