For weeks now, I’ve been meaning to write up my recipe for the strawberry maple butter (hinted at here) I made recently (I liked it so much, I made it twice in rapid succession). And so, I finally sat down to do so tonight, only to realize that I didn’t take any pretty finished pictures of it.
However, instead of being defeated by my lack of artful images (I’ll add one tomorrow), I decided to dig in and write the post anyway, since strawberry season is starting to wane around these parts (and is already entirely over for some of you).
This one is much like the other fruit butters I’ve made in the past (and is nearly identical to the blueberry butter from four years ago). You start by pureeing enough fruit to fill your slow cooker up at least 3/4 of the way. For my four quart cooker, I found that four pounds of berries did the job nicely. Then, turn the cooker on low and let it run.
If you’re going to be in and out of your kitchen, you can leave the lid off and give it a good stir every half hour or so. The reason for the stir is that if you leave the lid off and don’t stir regularly, a skin forms on the surface of the butter that makes it impossible for the steam to escape.
If you’re not going to be around, set a chopstick across the rim of the slow cooker and then put the lid on. This allows the slow cooker to vent a little, but also ends up trapping just enough moisture to prevent the growth of the skin.
I tend to let this butter cook anywhere from 16 to 24 hours. So much depends on the volume of fruit you start with, the amount of water it contains, and how much heat your slow cooker produces when set to low (I prefer older slow cookers for this task because they cook at lower temperatures). I have been known to cook my fruit butters overnight, but I don’t recommend doing that until you understand how your particular slow cooker works with butters.
So, once your strawberries have cooked down to a dense product that doesn’t have any visible liquid on the surface, it is done. I like to hit it with an immersion blender at the end of cooking, to ensure that it’s perfectly smooth.
Once you like the texture, you add maple syrup to taste. My batches each produced about three half pints, which I sweetened with 1/3 cup of maple syrup. I also included two tablespoons of lemon juice to help keep the color, brighten the flavor, and increase the acid load just a little (strawberries are typically quite high in acid, but maple syrup is low in acid, so a little extra lemon juice makes sure that all is well, safety-wise).
You can process this butter in half pint jars for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner. It’s a good one. If you can still get beautiful strawberries, I highly recommend it!
I don’t follow food blogs for the photography, just for the recipes and inspiration. So this is a perfect post for me. Fabulous butter! Thanks!
After cooking….Can I just freeze this? I don’t have any of the supplies needed for canning.
Strawberry season just started this week where I’m from! Definitely making this =)
I can’t wait to make this! Strawberry season is just starting for us here so this will definitely have to be tried! We LOVE strawberries in this house!
To clarify, when you write “My batches each produced about three half pints, which I sweetened with 1/3 cup of maple syrup”, you mean for the entire batch you use 1/3 cup of syrup, or for each of the pints? Same question for the lemon juice. Just nervous safety wise
The volumes quote in the blog post were for the entire batch. The 1/3 cup of maple syrup was spread across three half pints. Same goes for the lemon juice.
Do you know how many cups or pounds of strawberries went into this batch with 1/3 C syrup?
I love this recipe! I’m using the strawberry butter in my morning yogurt right now! So delicious! 🙂
Hi Marisa I’m making this today and the quantities of syrup and lemon juice per 4 lbs of strawberries in your book “Naturally Sweet Food in Jars” is different from this online recipes. Which one do I follow is most up to date?
Can’t wait to taste this. I am cooking 6lb of strawberries in the crock pot now.
If you have the book, that’s going to be the most evolved version of the recipe and so that’s the one I’d recommend you follow.
Just made this. It’s very good! Looking forward to trying the blueberry butter in the next couple of weeks. Thank you for sharing!
Greetings! I was wondering if I can make this recipe with any/all other types of fruit? I really love the idea of using maple syrup (or honey even) as the sweetener (instead of granulated sugar) in fruit butters! Also, will different fruit need different amounts of lemon juice to reach the appropriate acidity levels necessary for canning/shelf life? Any guidance with fruit butters would be greatly appreciated, thanks!!
Kelly, I’d strongly advise you to get your hands on a copy of the book I wrote called Naturally Sweet Food in Jars. It’s a whole book of preserve recipes sweetened with honey, maple, agave, coconut sugar, fruit juice concentrates and dried fruits. It should answer all the questions you have.
I made a refrigerator batch with one pound of strawberries and half a tablespoon of lemon juice. Would that give me enough acid to safely water bath can it for pantry storage? Are sweeteners even necessary for canning? I’m so scared to mess with a canning recipe, I’m so new to it!
I’d feel okay about canning that one. Strawberries are naturally very high in acid. Here’s a blog post about reducing sugar. That should help answer your second question. https://foodinjars.com/blog/canning-101-can-reduce-sugar/