Brooding On

Strawberry Butter: A Healthier Version of an Old Favorite

It's Bald Knob Strawberry time!  I pulled over when I saw the sign and thought I'd pick up a quart to take home to the kids.  But, then I walked in . . . and they had a fan blowing across the top of the berries . . . and filling the air with their heavenly aroma.  And before I really had time to convince myself it was more berries than I knew what to do with, I was at the register checking out with my whole flat of berries. 

So, it was time to make some jam.  But, most strawberry jam recipes use nearly as much sugar as berries.  I set off in search of a healthier option and came across this recipe that uses honey as its sweetener.  Yum! 
Here's what you need:
6 c. sliced strawberries
2 boxes (1.75 oz each) powdered pectin
1.75 c. honey
2 Tbs. lemon juice

First, clean and slice your berries.  Then, feed your strawberry hulls to the chickens and watch the chaos!

Back inside, combine your berries and pectin in a large saucepan and crush berries to blend completely. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.  Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.   

Stir in honey and lemon juice; return to a rolling boil.  Boil hard for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  (Do not turn away from the stove long enough to put the empty honey measuring cup in the sink.  That's apparently how long it takes for the sticky, gooey mess to boil over onto the stove and floor.  Trust me. I learned this the hard way.)

Remove from heat.  Skim off foam.  Ladle into clean, hot canning jars to within 1/4 inch of tops.  Seal according to jar manufacturer's directions.  Place jars in boiling water bath with boiling water 2 inches above jar tops.  Process for 10 minutes.  Remove jars from water and allow to cool away from drafts for 12 hours.  Test lids for proper seal before storing.

I'm calling this recipe Strawberry Butter because it's more similiar in consistency to a butter than a jam, jelly, or preserve.  I doubled the recipe and made just under 7 pints; then, once I'd had a chance to try it and deem it yummy, I doubled the recipe again and made 7 more!.  I love that it's all-natural and not loaded with sugar.  Enjoy!