This post is sponsored by Ball® Fresh Preserving.
Nearly every summer since 2012, I’ve partnered with my friends at Ball® Fresh Preserving to share recipes and spread the love of canning. Some years, they asked me to develop a few new canning recipes. Other years, I’ve trekked to New York or Indiana to offer canning demos.
This year, they’ve handed me an assortment of recipes. The task? Make and document the process of creating a preserve at home. As someone who is directing the bulk of her creative energy towards gestation right now, I am grateful they didn’t ask for anything more ambitious. Still, I know I will be proud to have some preserves from this season on the shelf later in the year, so I’m very happy to do it.
The first recipe they asked me to tackle was one for Strawberry Honey Butter. As someone who loves a good fruit butter (particularly one that involves honey!), I was delighted to take this on.
You start by getting your canning pot set up. I used the canning mat from the new Preserving Starter Kit and four of the new Vintage Aqua Jars in their half pint size (these jars really are so pretty). These Collector’s Edition mason jars feature a vintage design, color and logo originally produced between 1910 and 1935. The Ball® Aqua Vintage Jars are available in Quart, Pint and Half-Pint Sizes.
While the jars heat, you wash three pounds of strawberries, remove the hulls, and cut them into quarters. Then, you place the prepped berries in a food processor or blender and puree them until smooth. When you like the consistency, you pour the puree into a pot that’s large enough to contain the butter during a pretty vigorous boiling phase.
Then you add the rest of the ingredients to the puree. They are honey, sugar, bottled lemon juice, vanilla, and salt (make sure to visit the Strawberry Honey Butter recipe for the exact measurements).
Once you have all the ingredients in the pot, you put it on the stove over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil. Once it reaches a vigorous boil (all the while making sure to stir frequently), reduce the heat to medium-low and cook at a low simmer for 60 to 90 minutes.
If you have a splatter shield, position it on top of the pot while it cooks down. It’s a great tool to use for any stove top butter, as it helps contain the mess and keeps errant splashy bits from landing on hands and feet.
Once you like the consistency of the butter (it should stand tall and proud in the bowl of a spoon), it is done. Position a clean, wide mouth funnel in one of your previously prepared half pint jars and funnel in the butter, leaving 1/4 inch headspace (find all the necessary tools here).
Make sure to use your bubbling tool to remove any trapped air bubbles, as fruit butters are particularly prone to catching those little air pockets. Wipe the rim, position a new, clean lid, and screw on a ring until it is fingertip tight.
Return the filled and capped jar to the canning pot. Repeat this process, filling, bubbling, wiping, and closing one jar at a time, until all four half pints are full. Bring the canning pot to a boil and process the jars for 10 minutes (making sure to adjust your processing time if you live above 1,000 feet in elevation).
When the processing time is up, turn off the heat, remove the lid from the pot and let the jars stand in the pot for an additional five minutes (this allows them to cool more gradually, which helps prevent siphoning and can also help develop a more robust seal).
Remove the jars from the canner and set them on a folded kitchen towel. Let them sit undisturbed for 12-24 hours so they can fully cool and seal. Before storing, make sure to check that the seals are firm and unbending.
This gorgeous butter is really rich-tasting and has a gloriously deep berry color. I like it dolloped onto a scone or stirred into plain yogurt, but it can be used anywhere that you enjoy jam (it would make an excellent bar cookie). Click here to get the full recipe for Strawberry Honey Butter.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ball® Fresh Preserving as part of a compensated partnership. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.