I love cranberries. I’m a tart person, after all. I like to pucker my lips and squint my eyes in delight. Give me a Granny Smith, you keep your Fuji.
So the idea of cranberry butter came quite naturally one day, while shopping for Thanksgiving dinner. I’m not accustomed to seeing so many cranberries. They seem to be one of the few fruits that don’t grow in the Bay Area. And unlike pineapple, they don’t cart them into the grocery stores unless it’s November. Because really, how often do you see people eating cranberries, straight-up?
So there I was, in Trader Joe’s, bags and bags of fresh cranberries (it really does annoy me that Trader Joe’s uses so much packaging on fruits and vegetables, and in general, I never purchase either from them, but the Farmer’s Market doesn’t carry cranberries) in front of me. And I thought to myself, what a yummy, tart treat cranberry butter would be. I bet it would be awesome on a scone. Or a biscuit.
It turns out I was really very right on.
I froze the berries as soon as I brought them home, knowing I wouldn’t touch them in November. I’ve found myself to be a little lazy in the canning realm, lately. I’ve had other things demanding my attention (I am so sorry, lime curd! I will get to you soon. I promise!).
Cranberry butter, thankfully, does not take much time to make. Cranberries are high in pectin, allowing them to quickly thicken. So here it is, in 1 hour or less, you can have a whole bunch o’ butter, cranberry-style.
(makes five 8 ounce jars of cranberry butter, with some left over for the fridge)
10 cups cranberries
2 cups honey
1.5 cups cranberry juice
1 tsp apple pie spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
Prepare your jars and lids.
Combine cranberries and juice in a non-reactive saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. Remove lid and let the mixture cool slightly for 5 minutes.
Puree in a food processor until smooth, then return to the preserving pot.
Add honey, apple pie spice and vanilla extract. Stir to combine. Simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, or until butter has reached the desired consistency.
Remove from heat. Ladle butter into hot, sterilized jars, filling to 1/4 inch of rim.
Run a narrow spatula or butter knife down between food and jar to release air bubbles.
Wipe jar rims clean. Cover with hot lids; firmly screw on rings, but do not force.
Process in a boiling canner bath for 10 minutes.