June Can Jam: Slow Cooker Blueberry Butter

washing blueberries

Well kids. The Tigress Can Jam challenge this month was anything that ended in “erries” and since this is my summer of fruit butters, I have made a batch of blueberry butter. Last weekend, my friend Shay and I took a little drive out to my favorite blueberry pickin’ spot in South Jersey and spent a couple of hours rattling berries from branches, filling our buckets and bellies.

However, the true treat of the day came when we rounded the corner of the farm stand in order to pay for our hauls. Standing right in front was my cousin Amy, out for a day of picking with her partner and two of their grandkids. We had one of those truly lovely moments, when you gape open-mouthed for a moment before laughing and falling into hugs.

blueberries in the Vitamix

Once home with my seven and a half pounds of berries, I spent several days eating them popcorn-style out of bowls, before hunkering down and making a preservation plan for the rest. Last year I called blueberry my foundational jam and that’s still a phrase that feels correct. I will always love that simple jam (in fact, I still have some from last year), but this time around I wanted to try something slightly different.

Originally I had planned to make a blueberry butter spiked with a hint of lavender, but this week was busy enough that I didn’t have a chance to get to Reading Terminal Market and that’s the only place close by where I can get food-grade lavender. So I went simple and stuck with my mom’s preferred flavor profile of lemon zest, cinnamon and just a bit of nutmeg.

drippy slow cooker

Lately, I’ve been turning to two gadgets to make my preserving work just a little bit easier to accomplish. The first is my trusty Vita-mix. I grew up with the vintage chrome version of this incredible blender and so during wedding time last year, made it a priority to dedicate some of our gifted resources to acquiring my own.

While I had an inkling that it had the potential to be a transformative piece of equipment, I had no idea how it would revolutionize my jam making. Here’s what makes it so special: When you run it on very low speed, it doesn’t puree the fruit. It just chops it up into small bits, which coincidentally, are the absolutely perfect size for jams and butters. I know it’s a little bit unfair to rave about something that’s so darned expensive, but really, this thing has changed my life for the better.

half pint of blueberry butter

The other small electrical appliance (that happens to be on the very other end of the cost spectrum) that I’m using all the time these days is my ancient, $3-at-a-thrift-store slow cooker. I’ve found that older slow cookers are far superior to newer ones, because they cook at lower temperatures. Truly, food safety regulations have made it so that what was once the high setting on the old pots is now the low setting on the new ones (you should never be able to achieve a boil in one of the pots from the seventies or eighties). And when you’re cooking a butter, you want to cook it as low and slow as you can. Slow cookers are truly perfect for this.

This particular butter reminds me a bit of blueberry pie, which makes it a winner in my book. Tomorrow morning, I’m having some friends over to do a little fruit butter tasting (in recent days, I’ve also made apricot butter and sweet cherry butter). We’ll see if they like the blueberry version as much as I do.

Slow Cooker Blueberry Butter

Yield: Approximately 3 1/2 Pints

Ingredients

  • 8 cups of pureed blueberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Put the pureed blueberries in a slow cooker. Place a lid on the pot and turn it on to low. After about an hour, give it a stir. At this point, you want to use something to prop the lid a bit. I found that laying a wooden spoon across the rim of the cooker and then placing the lid on gave it just enough room to let the steam evaporate.
  2. My blueberry butter spent about six hours in the slow cooker (from 5:30 p.m. when I got home from work, until 11:30 p.m. when I canned and processed it). At the beginning of hour five, I added the spices and the sugar, removed the lid completely and turned the heat up to high, in order to speed the cooking down.
  3. Once it’s cooked down sufficiently*, pour into jars (leave a good 1/2 inch of head space), wipe rims, apply lids and screw on bands. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Eat on fresh scones and store unopened jars in a cool, dark place.

Notes

*When the cooking process is done, you can puree with an immersion blender or (carefully) in a regular blender, for a smoother product. It depends on whether you like your butters a bit chunky or very smooth.

http://foodinjars.com/2010/06/june-can-jam-slow-cooker-blueberry-butter/

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152 Responses to June Can Jam: Slow Cooker Blueberry Butter

  1. 101
    Pat Serio says:

    As I do not have a boiling water canner but do have a Dutch oven: Is it OK – or possible – to put the jelly jars in the Dutch oven? If so, do the jars go right on the bottom of the pot or do they need a rack? Should the jars be touching each other – touching sides of the pot? How much water should be in the pot? An inch over the top of the sealed jars? After they are processed, should I handle them as I do for tomatoes processed in the pressure cooker – remove to clean folded towel to cool & seal collapses & screw band is tightened after contents cools a little? Can the jars be frozen? (it would not be possible to find a cool spot in the house, unless 75 degrees is considered cool) I would love to give these as Christmas gifts, as well as have some for myself. Many thanks for your help.

  2. 102
    destiney says:

    Can you can these? i made some pineapple butter and now i have about 10 jars and im wondering what to do with it can it, freeze it or what?

    • 102.1
      Marisa says:

      There are canning recipes written into the recipe, so yes, you can can this one. I’ve never made pineapple butter, so I don’t know if it can be canned.

  3. 103
    destiney says:

    Wow sorry if that sounded snakry lol didn’t relise that till i re-read it after i posted :/ im new to canning and not sure if you need some special preservative to make sure it safe.

  4. 104

    […] had the Blueberries in Syrup already made and also made a batch of Blueberry Butter – which I highly recommend because it cooks in a slow cooker which is GENIUS. So I knew I […]

  5. 105
  6. 106
    Lisa says:

    I’ve a bunch of Saskatoon berries that I picked this Summer.. at the time, I’d never canned a thing in my life, or thought that I would! ..fast forward 2 months later, and its a whole other story.

    This sounds like a fantastic way to use some of those berries, though I’m wondering if I should just wait until next summer, or if my frozen ones would be okay?

    If you’re not familiar, Saskatoons are similar to Blueberries. 🙂

  7. 107
    Lavinia says:

    Great recipe! I just happen to have an old (smaller) slo cooker, perfect for this.
    I’m always confused on the conflicting advice on how much space to leave at top of jar. Some recipes say fill it right up, as this STOPS any mould getting in, others the exact opposite! Which one is it? It can’t be both! Thanks.

  8. 108

    […] are in the grey zone as far as safe levels of acid) and the remaining three were cooked down using the slow cooker technique into four half pints of […]

  9. 109

    […] could switch out the fruit butter with anything you happen to have open (I’m curious how the blueberry butter would work in this). You can also swap out the applesauce for any gently pureed canned fruit […]

  10. 110
  11. 111
    Heidi says:

    How much/how many half pint jars does this make?

  12. 112

    […] Slow Cooker Blueberry Butter (Food in Jars) […]

  13. 113

    […] hoping to preserve the flavor of these sweet berries for another few months.  The idea is from the Food In Jars blueberry butter recipe; I just changed the amounts a little and used honey instead of sugar.  Since this is a low-sugar […]

  14. 114
    Jeanette says:

    I hope some ones on here soon. LOL I made this 2 yrs ago and loved it. I just pureed my berrys and put in the C.P. They have been in there an hour. I stirred them and it is REALLY thick. I cant remember if that’s normal? its almost like jam now. will it cook down to get some liquid in it or did I puree to much? Please help I love this recipe. Thank-you.

  15. 115

    […] give blueberry butter a try.  This is a recipe from the book Food in Jars.  It can also be found here on the blog of the same name.  I hope to get to it this weekend so I will be sure to let you know […]

  16. 116
    Bonnie Z says:

    You have pretty much come to my rescue with this recipe, as I have 20 lbs. of blueberries and a double crock pot that is begging to be put to a good use. I may try adding a little vanilla bean (and maybe some lemon verbena!) to the mix and see how that goes too. Thank you sooooo much!!!

  17. 117
    Tami says:

    My butter didn’t set into butter. It’s more like a jam. Followed directions exactly and after 6 hrs when it hadn’t set I moved it to the stove and simmered for another 40 minutes. Any ideas on what to do to help it set? Or should the consistency just be like a jam? I kind of pictured it being super thick like apple or pumpkin butter.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated as I was going to do another batch w/vanilla bean in it! Thanks so much.

    • 117.1
      Marisa says:

      Tami, cooking times vary for products like this. Just because mine took six hours doesn’t mean that yours will be done in exactly that much time. Thought it’s been awhile since I made this butter, I seem to recall that it doesn’t get quite as thick as apple or pumpkin butters do.

      • Tami says:

        Wow – thanks for the quick reply, Marisa! And for helping me get a better understanding of the expected consistency. I made it last night and can’t wait to taste it. Just picked up your book and love it 🙂

  18. 118
    Nancy says:

    I love the blueberry butter recipe, i realized i dont have the lemon on hand as i started this project, arrgh, but i think i will just improvise with this trial batch and use orange zest and juice, i love the combination of oranges and blueberries. wish me luck!

  19. 119
    Carolyn Redmond says:

    Hi! I found your slow cooker blueberry butter because I was looking for slow cooker raspberry butter. Do you know if this can be done? Do I have to use lemon or pectin? Can’t I just cook it down using only my raspberries and a little water and then process it in a boiling water bath?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

  20. 120

    […] who DOESN’T love being able to toss stuff into a crock-pot and walk away?) and found one at Food In Jars  that looked easy […]

  21. 121

    […] got the recipe from the book Food in Jars.  You can also find the recipe here on the Food in Jars blog as well.  Last summer, we made blueberry jam and got the recipe from the […]

  22. 122

    […] Slow Cooker Blueberry Butter (Food in Jars) Marisa is back on our list.  I’ve seen her use her slow cooker to make jams and butters several times and I really love the idea though I’ve never tried it. […]

  23. 123
    Jessica says:

    Marisa – do you think I could do this recipe with saskatoon berries? I don’t see any saskatoon berry recipes on your site but thought you’d probably know if I should adjust anything… Add some lemon juice maybe?

    • 123.1
      Marisa says:

      I have never used saskatoon berries, so I really don’t know. However, according to this article, they have a low enough pH that they can safely be canned in a boiling water bath. So I would give it a shot!

  24. 124
    Kimmi says:

    This is my first time canning so I don’t know if I am really doing everything correctly. I had to cook my Blueberries on the stove. Now, after I put the sugar and spices in, let it cook for an hour is was still gritty. Is it supposed to be like this?

  25. 125
    Kimmi says:

    Is the final product supposed to be gritty?

    • 125.1
      Marisa says:

      It should not be gritty and I’m not exactly sure why it is. Did you puree it really well with an immersion blender? Did the sugar fully dissolve? Were the blueberries totally clean?

  26. 126
    JessicaT says:

    I have that same slow cooker. LOL. I appreciate your thoughts on old vs. new. I can’t wait to try this recipe now.

  27. 127

    […] Blueberry Butter – From the cookbook Food in Jars. Easy because you make it in the crockpot. I made a snack of rye crackers topped with soft cheese, nectarine slices, and a dollop of this butter. Fancy & delicious! […]

  28. 128

    […] written a great deal over the years about using a slow cooker to make fruit butters, so if you’re a long-time reader, this post […]

  29. 129
    Jennifer Lechman says:

    This blueberry butter was fantastic and a nice substitute for blueberry jam. I decided to make blueberry ice cream using the blueberry butter and turned out amazing! Possibly the best flavored ice cream I’ve ever had. Only used 1 1/2 pints of the butter for a 10 yolk, 3 c. milk, 3 c. cream recipe and it added intense flavor. I did add another 2 c. of sugar to the ice cream recipe in addition to what went into the butter but it wasn’t too sweet, just right. A must try!

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