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Edible Gifts: Flavored Butters

K. Mawdsley - Christmas Crackers
Christmas Crackers
K. Mawdsley
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These make excellent items to include in a food gift basked. The kids get lessons in measuring and mixing and math. They also get to taste their creations before they package them ... with a homemade card or piece of artwork ... to be given to friends and family. You could try letting them chose a butter and then match it with a recipe from the bread machine lessons.

Apple Butter

6 pounds cooking apples
6 cups apple juice
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Core and thinly slice apples into a large heavy saucepan. Add apple juice and cook until soft, about 30 minutes. Pour apples into a large sieve and press until all fruit passes through and leaves skin. Discard skin. Repeat process until all apples are sieved. Return pulp to the heavy saucepan and boil gently, stirring frequently, until thick. Stir in sugar, spices, and lemon juice. Cook, stirring over low heat about 1 hour. Pour into sterilized 1/2 pint jars leaving 1/4 inch heqadspace; adjust lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes after water comes to a boil. You can successfully make half this recipe if desired. Make 8 - 1/2 pints.

Apple Butter in a Crock Pot

5 cup Apples (cooked and mashed)
5 cup Sugar
2 tablespoons Vinegar

Boil applesauce on high heat, then add sugar and vinegar. Cook on high heat (about 4 hours) until the apple butter is as thick as you want it when you cool and serve.

Apple-Pear Butter

4 pounds Juicy -- tart apples
4 pounds Pears
1 cup Orange juice
1/4 To 1/2 C. water -- if desired
2 tablespoons Grated orange peel
2/3 cup Sugar

Wash 8 pint, five 1-1/2 pine or 4 quart jars in hot soapy water; rinse. Keep hot until needed. Prepare lids as manufacturer directs. Wash apples and pears. Place in a 6-quart pot. Pour orange juice over fruit; cover. Stirring occasionally, cook over low heat until fruit is tender. If mixture is too dry, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water as mixture cooks. Press through a food mill or sieve into a large bow; discard seeds and skins. Return puree to pot. Stir in orange peel and sugar. Stirring constantly over medium heat, bring to a boil. Ladle into 1 hot jar at a time, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Release trapped air. Wipe rim of jar with a clean damp cloth. Attach lid. Place in canner. Fill and close remaining jars. Process in a boilinb-water bath. Pints 20 minutes


2 pounds Slightly underripe red plums - quartered
2 pounds Tart apples, quartered
2 cups Unsweetened, unfiltered - apple juice
2 teaspoons Ground cinnamon

Combine plums, apples and juice in a heavy non-aluminum saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook until fruit is very tender, stirring stirring occasionally (20-30 minutes).

Cool slightly. Force fruit through food mill fitted with medium blade, discarding peel and seeds. (or you can do as I do, seed and pit the fruit BEFORE cooking. Then, when you reach this stage, all you have to do is run it through a food processor) Return puree to pan, add sugar and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. (careful, mixture can scorch easily!) Reduce heat and simmer briskly until butter is thick and glossy, stirring frequently (about 40 minutes). Remove from heat, spoon into hot sterilized jars and seal. Makes 3 pints jars or 6 - 8oz jars. Butter can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, or processed in a boiling water bath (15 minutes for pint jars or 10 minutes for 8 oz jars) and kept on a cool dark shelf for up to 1 year.


10 cups Sliced apricots
1 cup Water
1/3 cup Orange juice
1 tablespoon Granted orange rind

Add water to apricots and cook until soft. Press through sieve run through a blender. Measure and to each cup pulp add 2/3 c sugar. Add juice and grated orange rind. Cook until thick (about 10-15 minutes). Pour into sterilized pint jars to within 1/2 inch of top. Put on cap, screw band firmly tight and process in boiling water bath ten minutes.


3/4 c Mashed avocado
1 tb Lemon juice
1/8 ts Salt
1/2 ts Onion powder
1/8 ts Garlic powder

Blend all ingredients till smooth. Keep refrigerated.


3 c [about 10 medium] bananas
1/4 c Lemon juice
1/4 c Finely chopped maraschino-cherries
6 1/2 c Sugar
1 Bottle [6 ounces] liquid-pectin

Thoroughly mash bananas. Measure 3 cups into a large saucepan. Add lemon juice, cherries and sugar; mix well. Bring to hard rolling boil; boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat ;quickly stir in pectin. Ladle into clean, hot jars. Seal. Makes 8 or 9 half-pints.

Blueberry - Orange Butter

2 packages frozen unsweetened blueberries
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

In a large saucepan, combine blueberries and orange juice over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until fruit is soft. Transfer blueberry mixture to a food processor, process until smooth. Return mixture to saucepan; add remaining ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; stirring constantly, continue to gently boil about 20 to 25 minutes or until fruit mixture is thickened. Allow to cool. Pour into an airtight container and store in refrigerator. Yield about 2 - 1/2 cups fruit butter.


4 lb Rome apples
4 1/2 lb Granny Smith apples
1 c Water
4 c Sugar
1 ts Cinnamon
1/2 ts Cloves
1/4 ts Ginger
2 tb Lemon juice

Wash apples and cut into pieces; combine with water in a large covered sauce pot. Cook until soft, about 30 minutes. Press through a food mill; measure 12 cups apple pulp; and return to sauce pot. Heat 2 cups sugar in a saucepan, stirring until sugar melts and turns a rich golden brown. Carefully pour into apple pulp. Sugar will crackle and harden. Add remaining 2 cups of sugar and spices. Cook, uncovered, about 1 hour or until apple butter thickens, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Stir in lemon juice. Pour hot into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Adjust caps. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Yield: 6 half pints.


2 qt Pitted cherries
1 c Water
1 c Crushed pineapple
2 tb Lemon juice
4 c Sugar

Combine all ingredients. Cook slowly, stirring frequently, until thick.

Chocolate Butter

1/2 cup butter, softened and cut into chunks
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted

Whirl butter in bowl for about 30 seconds, until smooth. Pour in chocolate , whirl until blended. Place in covered container or shape into a log and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. If desired, shape into small hearts by hand or use a candy mold. Use a plastic sheet of 1 heart-shaped candy molds. Spoon butter into hearts, smooth tops. Freeze until very firm, at least 15 minutes. Turn out hearts onto baking sheet. Arrange in plastic container separated with waxed paper. Cover and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

For Chocolate Walnut Butter: In a small dry skillet over low heat cook and stir 1/4 cup walnuts until golden, 5-7 minutes. Cool. Stir into chocolate butter.


2 Sticks (quarter lb) butter
3 tb Butter (at room temperature)
3/4 c Margerine
1/3 c Honey
2 ts Cinnamon
1 ts Vanilla
1/2 c Soft-type Brown Sugar

Mix all ingredients until blended, using a mixer. Makes 3 half-pound units of spread which can be frozen if necessary. Use as spread on coffee cakes or on just plain toast!


1 cup Butter -- softened
1/4 cup Honey
1 cup Whole cranberry sauce

In small mixer bowl at high speed, beat butter and honey until soft and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add cranberry sauce. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well blended, 2-3 minutes. Cover; store refrigerated.

Date-Nut Butter

1/2 c Unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c Pitted dates, finely chopped
3 tb Toasted walnuts, chopped
1 ts Sugar
1/4 Tsp variilla extract

In small bowl beat butter until smooth. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Cover and refrigerate butter if not using immediately. Let butter stand at room temperature to soften before serving. Makes 3/4 cup.


3/4 c Diced fresh peaches
3/4 c Diced fresh plums
2 tb Water
1/3 c EQUAL sugar substitute
1/2 ts Ground ginger

Small batch preserves cook quickly without scorching in a microwave. In medium sized microwaveable bowl, combine peaches, plums and water. Microwave at high for 6-10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until fruit mixture is very thick. Stir in EQUAL and ginger. Spoon jam into a hot clean jar. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 month or freeze up to 3 months. Makes 1 cup.

Ginger Pecan Butter (EB)

3/4 cup sweet butter or margarine
1/2 cup pecans -- finely ground
2 tablespoons crystallized ginger -- ground
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon allspice

Mix together and store in refrigerator.


4 lb Ripe peaches
Pitted and quartered -(about 3-1/2 quarts)
2 c Water
2 c Sugar
1/4 c Lemon juice-Grated zest of 2 lemons
2 ts Ground cinnamon
1/2 ts Ground cloves

In a large saucepan, bring the peaches and water to a boil over a medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until peaches are very tender. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade or a blender, process the fruit mixture in batches until smooth. Return the puree to the saucepan and stir in the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, and cloves. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until thickened and reduced to about 6 cups, about 30 minutes. Ladle the peach butter into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headroom. Wipe the rims clean and put the lids on the jars. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove the jars from the water and cool completely at room temperature. Makes about 3 pints.


3 lb Grapes
1 lb Sugar

Wash grapes. Cover with water. Cook until soft. Rub through a sieve. Combine sugar and pulp. Simmer slowly, stirring frequently, until thick.

Honey-Pumpkin Butter

2 c Cooked pumpkin, pureed
1/2 c Honey
1 ts Grated lemon rind
1 tb Lemon juice
1 ts Cinnamon
1/4 ts Nutmeg
1/4 ts Ginger
1/8 ts Cloves
1/4 ts Salt

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Simmer uncovered on low heat about 40 minutes, stirring frequently, until thick (like stiff apple butter). When it is thick enough for you, ladle into jars and refrigerate. Makes about 1 1/2 c .

Pumpkin Butter - For Canning

3 lb Pumpkin
3 lb Sugar
6 ea Oranges
3 ea Lemons

Chop coarsely three pounds of peeled pumpkin, cover with three pounds of sugar and let stand overnight. In the morning add the juice and grated rind of six oranges and threee lemons; cook slowly till thick. Pour into clean, sterilized jars and process in a water bath, as for other jams and jellys.

Mango Butter

6 cups half-ripe or ripe mangoes -- cut fine
2 tablespoons lime juice -- if desired
2 1/2 cups sugar -- up to 3 cupd
2 cups water

Cook mango slices with water until tender. Put through sieve or fruit press, i f mangoes are stringy. Add sugar and cook until consistency of a butter. Pour into hot, sterile jars, seal and process pints at boiling for 10 minutes. If you like, you may add spices with the sugar, 1/4 teaspoon each ground cloves and allspice and 1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and nutmeg.


1 c Canned or fresh pumpkin-puree
1/2 c Applesauce
2 tb Honey
1 ts Grated lemon zest
1/4 ts Pumpkin pie spice

Makes 1-1/2 cups. Stir all ingredients together in 4-cup glass measure. Cover with plastic wrap, leaving one corner open for vent. Microcook on HIGH power until thick, 3-5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then store covered in refrigerator.


4 c Sliced peaches
2 c Sugar
1/2 c Water

Combine peaches and water. Cover and cook until fruit is soft. Add sugar. Boil slowly, stirring constantly, until thick and clear


4 c Cooked and Mashed pumpkin
1 (2-ounce) package powdered-pectin
4 1/2 c Sugar
1 tb Pumpkin pie spice
1/2 ts Unsalted butter

Place pumpkin in a heavy kettle. Stir in pectin. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and butter. Continue stirring and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil hard exactly 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir 5 minutes. Ladle into 1/2 pint hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Adjust caps according to manufacture's directions. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath. After cooling, check seals. Makes 6 (1/2-pint) jars.

Strawberry Almond Butter

1/2 lb Fresh strawberries
1/2 lb Butter
1 lb Powdered sugar
1/2 c Finely ground almonds
Pinch of salt (optional)

Clean and hull the strawberries and press through a colander. Cream butter with powdered sugar and work in the strawberries. When well mixed, stir in almonds and pinch of salt, if desired.

Tomato Butter

10 Lbs Ripe Red Tomatoes -- Or 6 Qts
6 Cups White Sugar
2 Cups Vinegar
1 Tsp Cayenne
1 Tsp Cloves -- Ground
1 Tsp Cinnamon -- Ground
1 Tsp Allspice -- Ground
1 Tsp Salt
1 Bottle Certo -- Optional

Peel tomatoes, chopping a large pieces. Cover with vinegar and let stand 8 hou rs or overnight. Drain well and add all other ingredients. Cook slowly (I use a crockpot) until very thick (approximately 4 hours if using a large pot or longer in a crockpot. If not thickening sufficiently, add Certo and continue stirring and cooking an additional 10 minutes or so. Yield: 3 Qts. Note: A little goes a long way because it is quite spicy.


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