Welcome to Preserving Now

presevingnow-post-620333333

Strawberry Maple Butter & the Freedom Farmers Market

FFM-2

Freedom Farmers Market. Photo by Judy McCabe Smith

Recently, I had a happy time demonstrating the art of making Strawberry Maple Butter at Freedom Farmers Market.  More about that later.  I truly love this Market – and the crowd is always interested in what I’m doing! I always offer tasting samples – gotta let them know how good home canning tastes!  And give them some ideas along the way.  So I sampled a Strawberry Mint Shrub and a Bumbleberry Butter along with the Strawberry Maple Butter.  I’m be sharing my recipes for all three of these seasonal hits over the next few weeks.

Strawberry Maple Butter:  I often choose to make fruit butters.  These are “spreads” rather than jams.  Difference?  Well most jams use pectin to firm them and the texture is like any jelled product.

FFM-3

Freedom Farmers Market. Photo by Judy McCabe Smith

Spreads, on the other hand, are just that – a softened consistency like a puree.  And because they don’t rely on added pectin, they don’t have the jelly-like consistency.  I like butters more than jams (usually) for two reasons:  one is that I prefer a puree-type consistency rather than the jelled.  The second is because I like NOT adding pectin, which requires adding sugar and usually in large amounts.  All fruits have their own natural pectins and sugars – enough to make a rather firm consistency without adding anything further,  if cooking methods are understood.

The cooking directions for all the various fruit butters can get a bit crazy because each varies in pectin from high to low – but actually each in its own right is quite simple.  You are cooking down over a longer period of time than a jam with added pectin would take.  This relies on cooking off the water and concentrating the natural fruit sugars.  I like this!  Tastier than fruits that have a lot of added sugars and, of course, healthier!

Strawberry Lemon Jam 002Having said all this – are you still with me?  — strawberries have the lowest amount of natural pectin.  So it takes a bit of ingenuity to make a butter that will actually firm up and not be just a “syrup” (though that’s quite good too!).  See my instructions below and, once done, you’ll understand  how simple this is!  And it truly tastes like fresh strawberries!  Note:  I’ve added the small amount of maple syrup, one of only two truly natural sugars, for its flavoring.  You can omit if you choose.

I’ll be back at the Freedom Farmers Market again this summer – come taste all their seasonal goodness!  And you’ll love the great variety of farmers and their  offerings while you’re there!

Strawberry Maple Butter
makes about 4 half-pints

6 cups fresh Strawberries, just ripe but firm.
1/2 to 1 cup pure Maple Syrup (optional)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspo0n freshly ground Nutmeg

Strawberry Lemon Jam 008Clean strawberries, removing caps and cutting large ones in half.  Combine all ingredients in a straight-sided skillet or wide surface stockpot.  Cook until strawberries release liquid and are softened but still holding some of their texture.  This should be about 5-10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Strain pulp from liquid and add liquid back to skillet.  Cook down until quite syrupy, which will probably be about 1/4 of the original amount.  This is also the time to determine if the strawberry texture is to your liking.  I prefer some texture, but if you wish a smoother butter, then puree with an immersion blender or food processor.

Strawberry Lemon Jam 009Add the strawberries back to this liquid and cook until just at the boiling point. Do not let this continue to cook as more strawberry juice will separate from the berries.  Remove from heat and quickly spoon into hot Mason jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Bubble, wipe rims and cap.  Place in boiling water bath that covers jars by at least 1 inch and process for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Test seals after 1 hour and place any unsealed jar(s) in refrigerator.  Let the remainder cool for 12 hours.  Label, date and place in a cool, dark place.

 

 

 

Pickled Cherry Tomatoes – add zest to your fest!

DSCN0557

I wouldn't typically be writing about canning tomatoes - any kind of tomatoes - at this time of year. But lately, I've taken jars of my Pickled Cherry … [Continue reading]

Marmalade – It’s the Season!

Marmalade on Toast

I confess!  I didn't used to like Marmalade.  Maybe that  was because the only time I tried it was when I was a kid and the taste was perhaps too … [Continue reading]

Apple Butter Cake – Hearty, Healthy, Happy Cold Weather Treat

DSCN0643

I like to teach making Apple Butter in my Preserving Now Canning Classes.  It's easy and it's something everyone seems to like - kids, especially! … [Continue reading]

Gift Certificates – for last minute shoppers!

PreservingNowLynheader1

                          __________________________________                            A Gift for You   Come join our Canning Immersion … [Continue reading]

Pear Cranberry Jam – Just in Time for the Holidays!

DSCN0679

If you have attended my workshops or followed my blogs, you know I'm crazy about fruit butters.  That is, jams made without added pectin and little or … [Continue reading]

Atlanta Holiday Entertaining & Preserving Event

Pears 06

Serenbe - Bosch Experience Center Sunday - November 16, 2 pm to 5 pm Atlanta, It's your Turn Now!   What do  Pears & Cranberries … [Continue reading]

Pear Vanilla Shrub & Party Pictures

photo 4

We jump-started the upcoming holidays this last weekend at the Grow Local Kitchen.  If you haven't been there, you need to visit  this marvelous place … [Continue reading]

Holiday Gifting and Partying

Let's get the Party Started Canning Jar

Nashville Farmers Market - Grow Local Kitchen Saturday, October 11 - 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm (note:  this is a date change)     What … [Continue reading]

Black Cherry Balsamic Shrub & Rum-Soaked Black Cherries – two more recipes to sweeten the Winter

DSCN0447

It may be September but my canning hasn't slowed down yet.  I'm having such fun making lots of small batches to provide inspiration in the less … [Continue reading]

Next Canning Workshops at Piedmont Park June 13, Serenbe on May 30, and Nashville on June 20-21
Learn more here