The big surprise of the 2010 canning year was the butters. I had never made fruit butter before because I always thought of apple butter and really I think applesauce is a better use for apples and jam is better on toast. Last year though I was intrigued by Marisa‘s blueberry butter and gave it a go, making apricot and peach butters later in the summer as well. Turns out blueberry butter especially was a hot commodity at our annual tree-trimming party. Who knew? So when I had some strawberries in the fridge that needed to be used stat I knew just what to make.
Now, I didn’t have enough berries for a full batch so I halved it and as far as spices the only thing I added was the seeds of a vanilla bean. I ended up with two-and-a-half half-pints and they were so good I knew I’d need to make more. So I knew last weekend was pretty much my last chance to get any decent quantity of strawberries since the season was winding down. I bought a flat of seconds to turn into butter and fruit leather. This time I made a full batch and added the seeds of three vanilla beans — they were stingy with their seeds. It didn’t reduce very quickly so I left it on low overnight. Try sleeping with that smell wafting through your house. The next morning I put on the canning pot and got seven half-pints by scraping every last drop out of the crockpot.