Yesterday was a two slow cooker day in my apartment (and apparently, I’m not the only one turning to a slow cooking during this heat wave). My six quart crock spent eight hours cooking a pork butt in unctuous submission (in a slurry of tomato butter, plum jam and cider vinegar) while my vintage four quart workhorse turned nine cups of peach and apricot puree into five cups of fruit butter.
Now, I’ve posted about fruit butters before. There’s my basic post about how to make a fruit butter. The orange-rhubarb butter. Strawberry-rhubarb butter. Blueberry butter. Tomato butter. There’s even a Q&A devoting to clarifying issues around making butters in the slow cooker. Obviously, this is well traveled turf in my kitchen and on this blog.
But it’s worth mentioning again. Because it’s so damn good and easy. This most recent butter of mine combines five cups of apricot puree with four cups peach puree (the proportions were born out of what I had in my kitchen, you don’t have to be wedded exactly to what I did).
Combine in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours, until it reduces by nearly half (prop the lid with a wooden spoon, so that the steam can escape). Add sugar to taste (this batch received 3/4 cup granulated white sugar). Process with an immersion blender should you want a finer texture. Funnel into jars (leaving 1/2 inch headspace) and process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes.
That’s it. You can use more sugar should you feel the need. You could add a little bit of cinnamon. A vanilla bean in the slow cooker along with the fruit could be nice. Lemon zest should it need a zing (this batch was plenty tart all on its own).
Eat on yogurt. Pair with cheese. Stir into oatmeal. Spread on toast. Love. Enjoy.
*Before you ask. No, you cannot process jars in a slow cooker. You can ONLY use it to cook a preserve.
Well, I know what I’m making this weekend.
The pork butt or the butter? I can’t decide
How much do I want to do this? Still struggling to find decent priced produce in my area that isn’t corn related! I’ve got my secret apple spot, but I want the peaches and apricots! Darn Indiana. Looks lovely, though!
Look for an Amish community (there are many in Indiana). They usually have very reasonably priced produce.
I love this! Going to explore using the slow cooker! Thanks!
My slow cooker is definitely going to get some use this weekend! Thanks for the fruit butter inspiration.
Hi there, is the fruit acidic enough or does it need to go into the fridge?
Peaches and apricots contain enough acid all on their own that this product is safe for boiling water bath canning and shelf stability. It does not need to go into the fridge.
Thanks Marisa, at least I know what I’ll be doing when the weather cools…;))
This basic method should work with any similarly textured, similarly acidic (or more acidic) fruit, correct? I’ll be reading both posts you referred to (Fruit Butters, and Slow Cooker Use) in your intro to seek ideas and additional advice, but I have a mango tree dripping with almost-ripe fruit – and this would be a fantastic method for having them available year round (without using tons of freezer space). My head is already swimming with add-ins, too! (mango-pineapple, mango-lemongrass, mango-strawberry even!)
I got over 11 1//2 pints out of just over 10 lbs. of peaches last week with my crockpot & food processor to adjust the texture… I’ve also made the crockpot blueberry butter from your web site as well (need more already :~D)… Now I’ve got another recipe to try; I think my crockpot is gonna want a vacation before winter stews & soups season arrives lol, ’cause I plan on using it for apple & pear butter too…
Just parked a quart of mixed peaches and apricots with sugar in the fridge to be dealt with tomorrow morning (before the temperature skyrockets again). For those I’ll be following your small batch mixed stone fruit jam recipe, but if I can find an inexpensive slow cooker this weekend then this fruit butter will be next. We’ve got 4 quarts of peaches coming in our CSA share this weekend, and I’ve been digging around for recipes for them — thanks!!
Oh yes, a perfect use for the millions of pears growing on a tree next to our house. We just got a few vanilla beans from friends who went to Tahiti for their honeymoon, so pear vanilla butter is on the menu this weekend. 🙂
I had plans for a bunch of apricots, but if this heat does not break by the weekend, they may end up in the crock pot too! Either way, I’m sure I won’t lose.
Sweet fancy Jesus. You had me at slurry.
What perfect timing, given the heat wave sweeping the nation. I haven’t tried the slow cooker approach to butters, but this sounds so easy. I appreciate that you give guidelines for making it to suit what we have on hand and our own preferences for sweetness. My kind of recipe. Thanks.
ooooh, I love the idea of pairing it with cheese! what do you recommend?
I could see this apricot peach butter down the middle of a sweet braid . . . grilled outside or cooked in a toaster oven on the back deck of course. No more inside cooking for me until the temperature decreases to 85 degrees.
didn’t work for me…on day 2 of 8 hour days on low in my crockpot (which I use weekly) and still just too much liquid….did use mostly peaches though so maybe that is the problem. Finally today did get some of the darker color…might try again for day 3 but also might just put in fridge and eat with yogurt or oatmeal..
This looks like a great way to use up some of the 24lbs. of Blenheims I’ll be getting soon.
However, 3/4 C sugar to 9C of fruit puree seems like very little to me… the sugar also acts a a preservative when water bath canning, no?
If you made it sugar free and canned it, would it also be shelf stable for a year??
I’m so sorry I found this site after I just finished canning the 7 little half-pints of apricot butter. what a pain! it stuck to the bottom of the pan so after lowering the heat, cooking and stirring for four hours, I just gave up and put it in the jars and processed. It looks really pretty; however, I don’t think it is going to be as thick as I would like. next time i’ll make it in the slow-cooker. also, your apricot & peach butter, those fruits don’t ripen at the same time in Idaho. apricots are on now, and peaches will be ready in September. oh well, I have plenty of rhubarb and I’m going to use it next. can’t wait.
also, why are all the jam, jelly,and butter recipes for such small jars. I can for my 3 granddaughters, a daughter, and a large son-in-law. they can go thru a jar in one sitting. oh well, such is life!
Is it a must to process in water bath for the fruit butters? I have used crockpot method previously and just refrigerated and frozen the jars.
You don’t have to process the jars in a water bath if you’re going to freeze them.
Can you use canned fruit for this?
I wouldn’t. Canned fruit gives up some of its flavor to the syrup and I would be afraid that using canned fruit would leave a fruit butter sort of flavorless.