Plum Butter

Yo stone fruit, I’m really happy for you, and Imma let you finish out this season, but the fruit butter version of yourself is just so ridiculously good that I can’t wait. I don’t go back to school anymore and my jobs aren’t seasonal so I’ve found new ways to mark the end of summer… in the kitchen. I’m already daydreaming about roast meats, root vegetables, and hearty breads yet at the same time I’m hoarding all the fresh fruit I can get my hands on. It’s cool, I’m just playing the food field.

Recently a friend asked if I wanted to participate in a canning exchange that she organizes. Everyone who joins in (8-10 people) cans or pickles 8-10 jars of something delicious. They mail it to the canning master and she repackages so we all get one of everything and then she mails them back out. Edible (or drinkable) mail is my favorite kind of mail.I’ve had tons of ideas for this exchange but haven’t yet decided what I’ll make. Also, I’ve never really canned food, the proper stay-on-the-shelf forever kind of way, and I’m totally afraid of poisoning someone. I think I’ve read every “how to not give people botulism” article out there.

While I was thinking long and hard about what to contribute to the exchange, and at the same time buying up way too many nectarines and plums, I decided to test out a method for making fruit butter. This was inspired by not only the pounds of fruit laying around my kitchen but also this article I read awhile back claiming you can make fruit butters in your slow cooker.A no stove time, set it and forget it, easy way to make delicious plum butter?! Amazing.

Not only was it a great time to test a recipe (and method), but plum butter fit my book club’s theme for snacking this month at our meeting* so I got to try out the final product on a group of willing and gracious friends.*We try to theme the snacks at our meet-ups so that they’re somehow tied to the book. This month we read Gone Girl so the theme was “food that isn’t what you think it is”. I have some pretty genius friends, right? So plum butter isn’t really butter! Trust me, when I realized that it was the perfect fit, I was just as excited as you must be right now.

I’m so excited to share this recipe. It’s close to the easiest recipe I now know and the final product is delicious and versatile. It’s also the perfect thing to make right now when you realize there is, indeed, a limit to the amount of fresh fruit an adult can consume in one day even though it’s all sitting in your fridge…or in two months from now when you forget that and start hoarding gorgeous fall apples.
Plum Butter

Serves: Makes about 12oz

Ingredients
  • 2 lbs plums halved and the pit taken out (I read you can leave the pit and just take them out easily when done cooking)
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼-1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Place plums in slow cooker and toss them in the sugar (no need to add any extra liquid!). Cover and set your cooker to low for 12-13 hours.
  2. After 12-13 hours take cover off and test the plums with a fork. They will look stewed (much darker) and should fall apart when the fork hits them. If there's a lot of liquid inside keep the cover off and let it cook for another 1-2 hours. Shut the heat.
  3. To blend it up I used an immersion blender right in the slow cooker. You can also transfer the plums to another dish or into a food processor or blender. Blend till smooth. Add in the cinnamon and vanilla to taste and blend one final time.
  4. Let it cool. Eat it straight away or keep it in the fridge for a week or two. You can also can it and enjoy it later (like in the middle of the winter with those roasts and hearty breads).