Home Miscellaneous How to Make Cherry Butter – Preserving Cherries

How to Make Cherry Butter – Preserving Cherries

by Adina 08/07/2019 3 comments

cherry butter on bread

 

How to make cherry butter using a glut of sweet cherries.

 

CHERRY BUTTER RECIPE

 

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This cherry butter recipe is THE recipe for using tons of sweet cherries. If you happen to have a cherry tree in the garden or a nice neighbor, who has one.

Otherwise, you might want to look for something else to do with cherries, as making cherry butter using a small amount of cherries is not worth the time you invest in it and buying cherries to make cherry butter can become an expensive business.

But if you do have access to lots of sweet cherries, this cherry butter is probably the most delicious you can do with them in ways of preserving.

An incredibly flavorful, smooth, deep colored cherry butter, perfect to put on your toast in the morning, to mix with yogurt for a quick dessert or snack, to use as a topping for semolina or rice pudding, to use in cakes or to make presents of.

 

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You can make fruit butter using an array of fruits. I make cherry butter almost every year (depending on how many cherries there are in our tree – usually more than I can manage), rhubarb butter every two years or so, occasionally apple butter (when our neighbors have more apples that they can manage themselves), peach or nectarine butter or blueberry butter.

I love all of them, but cherry butter is definitely my favorite. While I am not particularly keen on sweet cherry jam (I find it too bland compared to sour cherry jam or berry jams), I absolutely adore cherry butter.

What makes it so good is the concentrated cherry flavor, sweet and tangy, obtained by cooking the cherries with very little sugar for a very long time. The liquid cooks away and you are left with a delicious, thick and smooth puree, so good you will probably end up eating it every morning.

I usually make 2 or 3 batches of this cherry butter every year. We eat lots of it ourselves and I also fill some into smaller jars, which I then give away as small gifts when invited somewhere or for Christmas.

 

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CHERRY BUTTER VS CHERRY JAM

Cherry butter or any kind of fruit butter is a thick, smooth, butter-like puree made by slowly cooking the fruit and only lightly sweetening it.

Jams are also cooked fruit with sugar with the addition of pectin, they are usually thicker and you will use much more sugar when making jam.

Differences between jam and fruit butter:

  • Sugar amount: to make fruit butter you will need less sugar than you will need when making jam.
  • Pectin: jam is usually made with pectin or cooked with lots of sugar until it starts to jelly. Fruit butter will not have any pectin added to it and despite the very long cooking time, it will not jelly. The consistency is that of a soft, smooth spread.
  • Spices: jam doesn’t normally contain any spices, while fruit butter usually does. However, I prefer my fruit butter pure, so I don’t add any spices to it.
  • Preserving: jams can be filled in the jars and that’s it. Fruit butters need to be preserved in hot water to make sure that they will keep as long as jams do. The low amount of sugar doesn’t make their shelf-life very long, unless you preserve the jars.
  • Taste: jams are very sweet and that is their main taste characteristic. Fruit butters are less sweet, they retain more of the natural flavor of the fruit, they have a more defined fruit taste.

 

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HOW TO MAKE CHERRY BUTTER

  • As mentioned above, making this cherry butter recipe is only worth the time when you have a glut of cherries, as the cherry butter will cook down a lot. It also needs a much longer cooking time than regular jam, so if you do decide to waste so much energy, then it should better be for more than just 2 tiny jars of cherry butter, I suppose.
  • I use my largest pot where I can fit in 3 kg/ 6.6 lbs cherries and I only have about 5 jars of about 350 g/ 12.3 oz in the end, which is not so much considering the amount of fruit I started with.

 

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  • That being said, the amount of cherries you use to make cherry butter is not important. If you have 2, 3 or 5 kg/ 4.4, 6.6 or 11 lbs fresh cherries is not important. Just the pot you use should be large enough to fit them all at the beginning.
  • The amount of sugar you will add is to taste anyway, it doesn’t really matter if you use less or more as the sugar doesn’t have to help the cherry butter jelly or have a longer shelf life.
  • You will need a large pot that will fit all the cherries at the beginning of the cooking process. It is preferable to use a wide lower-sided pot than a deep high-sided pot. This will help the liquid cook off quicker.

 

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  • I weighed the cherries after pitting them, so I made cherry butter from 3 kg/ 6.6 oz pitted cherries. Scroll down the linked page to find more information regarding the equivalents of unpitted to pitted cherries and read more about cherries.
  • The best way of removing the stone is to use a cherry pitter%name How to Make Cherry Butter – Preserving Cherries, it costs very little to buy it and it will make your life so much easier if you have a lot of cherries to pit.
  • You can add spices to fruit butters. I used to do that, but then I’ve realized that everybody in our family prefers a pure cherry butter, no spices added. The spices are nice for a small sample, but too much if you eat cherry butter regularly. So you can decide if you make only a small batch of spiced cherry butter or if you leave it all pure.
  • You can add some cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom and a little nutmeg, everything to taste.

 

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Homemade cherry butter step by step:

  • Place the fruit in a large wide pot together with the apple juice.
  • Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to medium low and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, every 10-15 minutes or so.

 

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  • Add the sugar, stir well and continue cooking for 30 minutes, stirring more often now and making sure you scrape the bottom and the edges of the pot well while stirring, to prevent the cherry butter from catching.
  • The cooking time depends on the quantity of fruit you are turning into butter and on the size of your cooking pot. If you cook a smaller amount of cherries, you will need less time, if cooking more cherries it might take longer.
  • A large, wide cooking pot will accelerate things a little bit.
  • Puree the fruit with an immersion blender. Make sure to wear something with long sleeves and maybe even gloves. The butter might splatter and that can be really painful.

 

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  • You can add more sugar, if you wish, but I don’t find it necessary, the cherry butter should remain a little tart and tasting more of cherries than only sweet. If using spices, you can add them now.
  • Carefully pour the cherry butter into sterilized jars using a jam funnel.
  • For more information on sterilizing jar, have a look at this post Simple Apricot Jam and How to Sterilize Jars.

 

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How to preserve fruit butter:

  • Preserve the cherry butter by boiling the jars in a large pot of water.
  • Place the closed, hot jars in a large pot lined with a textile kitchen cloth and fill the pot with hot water. The water should come about halfway up the sides of the jars.
  • The jars should not touch each other, neither should they touch the bottom of the pot, they should all fit snugly into the pot and onto the folded kitchen towel.
  • Boil the jars for about 20-25 minutes. Carefully lift them out of the water, place them on another kitchen towel on the counter and let get cool.

 

preserving cherry butter How to Make Cherry Butter – Preserving Cherries

 

How to store fruit butter:

  • Store in a cool, dark place, it will keep for at least 6 months, I had it for longer and it was perfectly fine. Use your common sense when opening a jar of fruit butter that has been kept for longer. If it looks and smells OK, then you can eat.
  • If you see mold or anything strange, if it smells weird, discard it. It never happened to me, but you never know.

 

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MORE PRESERVES?

 

HOW TO PRESERVE APRICOTS IN JARS

HOW TO PRESERVE CHERRIES

HOW TO PRESERVE BLUEBERRIES

RHUBARB BUTTER

WATERMELON RIND JAM

PIN IT FOR LATER!

 

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How to Make Cherry Butter – Preserving Cherries

Yield: 4-5 jars
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

How to make cherry butter using a glut of sweet cherries.

Ingredients

  • 3 kg/ 6.6 lbs fresh sweet cherries, weighed after pitting them (See note 1)
  • 350 ml/ 12 fl.oz/ 1 ½ cups apple juice
  • 300 g/ 10.6 oz/ 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • spices, optional (See note 2)

Instructions

  1. Place the fruit in a large wide pot together with the apple juice. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to medium low and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, every 10-15 minutes or so.
  2. Add the sugar, stir well and continue cooking for 30 minutes, stirring more often now and making sure you scrape the bottom and the edges of the pot well while stirring to prevent the cherry butter from catching. A large, wide cooking pot will accelerate things a little bit.
  3. The cooking time depends on the quantity of fruit you are turning into butter and on the size of your cooking pot. If you cook a smaller amount of cherries, you will need less time, if cooking more cherries it might take longer.
  4. Puree the fruit with an immersion blender.
  5. If using spices, you can add them now.
  6. Carefully pour the cherry butter into sterilized jars using a jam funnel.
  7. Place the closed, hot jars in a large pot lined with a textile kitchen cloth and fill the pot with hot water. The water should come about halfway up the sides of the jars. The jars should not touch each other, neither should they touch the
    bottom of the pot, they should all fit snugly into the pot and onto the folded kitchen towel.
  8. Boil the jars for about 20-25 minutes. Carefully lift them out of the water, place them on another kitchen towel on the counter and let get cool.
  9. Store in a cool, dark place

Notes

  1. Here you will find more information on cherries and the equivalents when it comes to pitted and unpitted cherries. But, as mentioned in the blog post, the amount of cherries you use to make cherry butter is not an exact science.
  2. I don't like adding spices to the cherry butter, but if you like, you can add some cinnamon and vanilla and even cardamom and some nutmeg, to taste.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1 jar
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 647 Total Fat: 1g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 4mg Carbohydrates: 165g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 13g Sugar: 144g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 7g
Nutritional information is not always accurate.

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3 comments

angiesrecipes 09/07/2019 - 06:07

Lucky you, Adina, having such a nice neighbour 🙂 The cherry butter looks amazing!

Reply
Sissi 12/07/2019 - 13:09

I’ve never tasted cherry butter. It sounds fantastic! Especially the low sugar content speaks to me. I bet it would be amazing with sour cherries!

Reply
Adina 12/07/2019 - 15:07

I can rarely get any sour cherries, I would love to try it! You would probably need a bit more sugar, but otherwise it should work fine.

Reply

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