My family eats a lot of fruit. I think we spend just about as much if not more on fruits and vegetables than we do on meat and other things. Having said that, there are some times when something is not eaten before it becomes too ripe (or it was on its way to being too ripe when I bought it and it became too much too soon.) It usually happens with bananas and I have the perfect excuse to make banana bread.
Recently, I had some plums and apples in the fruit bowl that were too ripe or no longer pretty in the apples case, that I didn’t want to throw away.
This is the time of year when people are taking all the wonderful fruits and vegetables and canning or preserving them for future consumption. I didn’t have enough plums to make a batch of plum preserves by themselves. I could take the apples and add them to a cake or fry them up, but I had decided to make a Champagne cake this weekend and I like my apples a little firmer for fried apples so no go.
What came to mind was Apple Butter….more specifically, Plum Apple Butter. I didn’t want to make something full of sugar because I’m trying to drop 22lbs. At the same time, I need this to taste good. I don’t want the after taste of a sweetener; I don’t want to sacrifice favor just to cut back on calories and I can taste the difference. When I’m cooking, I want it to taste just as good as the original, but modifications that are healthier. I don’t do it to everything I cook, but if I can find a substitution that will work, I go for it. Looking on the internet, I found a few recipes that used agave nectar instead of sugar. Ding-Ding-Ding! I have agave nectar. Most recipes call for water as the liquid, but I was looking for ways to add a little something extra – some POP. There was another recipe that used apple juice. I didn’t have apple juice. A quick search of the frig revealed I had 100% pomegranate juice. Let’s go with that.
The first step to making the “butter” is to prep the fruit. I knew I didn’t have 4lbs of fruit, 2lbs of plums and 2lbs of apples; so, I brought out my scale to weigh everything to determine how to modify the recipe that I came up with. I knew I had more apples than plums; but it turned out I had about 1lb 10oz of plums. I quartered my plums and removed the seed. For the apples I decided to remove the skin and seeds and quarter them as well. Once I added the apples, I came up with a little under 3lbs of fruit.
I didn’t want to think in terms of ¾ of the recipe, more like 2/3. I went with that for the recipe.
I had to simmer the plums and apples in the juice covered for 15 minutes.
After that, I used my emersion blender to puree everything. I tasted it to see what I was working with and MAN; it was good. I let Babydoll taste and she was like, “I will eat that as is.” It was a really good tasting apple sauce at that point, but I wanted “butter” so I continued.
I decided to add ½ cup of the agave nectar because it really didn’t need too much more sweetening.
The spices I used were 1 ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp of allspice. I saw some recipes that had cloves and ginger, but I didn’t want to go there.
I needed to let the “butter” simmer for 20-30 minutes on low with the lid off to allow it to reduce and thicken. I made sure to stir occasionally to prevent sticking. (The first time I went in to stir, it began bubbling like crazy; I had to remove it from the burner to get it to calm down).
What I made was enough to make 2 pint jars and about half of another pint. I decided to process the full pint jars so that I could store them in my pantry.
The half pint I placed in the jar and allowed it to cool before closing it up and storing it in the frig. I didn’t have biscuits or bread around for dinner, but Babydoll wanted some “butter” so she toasted a half of an English muffin to go with dinner. She said it was so good, no real butter was needed….just the homemade fruit butter. She let me have a nibble, I agree….it was delicious. I had some with breakfast the first chance I got. I’m glad I decided to write stuff down, I have to be able to duplicate this one again.
I bought peaches this week. I think I’m going to take some of them and make a small batch of peach preserves. A coworker brought in a peach vanilla preserve that she made. It was like peach cobbler in a jar. I’m either going to get her recipe or play around to see what I come up with. I really want to do it without needing to use pectin. I’ll see what I come up with. If you have any suggestions, please leave me comment below; I welcome them.
When I plugged the recipe to the nutrition calculator, it came out to be:
This is if you cooked it according to the recipe that I would make with 2 lbs of apples and plums. I figured you would get 80 tbsp out the recipe size that I made. The nutrition calculator only went up to 72 servings; this means that the calorie count may be lower, but 14 calories is what I will use in my daily calculation. If you decide to make this, please share how it turns out.