Thursday, May 1, 2008

Make this because it's good for you: Homemade Blueberry Orange Butter

Blueberries and Oranges are two of the world's recognized SuperFoods. I try to eat a lot of SuperFoods, at least several each day (see to the right? I even have a category for it). My sister and I just found a cookbook specifically for SuperFoods and I spotted inside a recipe for making Blueberry Butter (not dairy -- think Apple Butter). I recognized it as a good start -- a culinary canvas waiting my improvements.

First I have to give you some important warnings, before you get started. These are very important, so write these down.

~Use a pan twice as deep as you think you need. This stuff spatters up something terrible.

~If you use a wooden spoon, it will forever be purple. Use a silicone spoon if this bugs you.

~A hand blender will not work to puree the butter.

~Wear an apron. I mean it.

~Have a wet sponge and towel near by.

~Have a container washed and ready to fill when the butter is done. Unlike me.

I'm not even going to reference the cookbook or the author because I adapted it so thoroughly (the oranges and seasonings are mine for instance), they are really different animals. So, this is how we rolled in my kitchen:

Step 1: In a deeper pot than the one you see below, add one 10 oz bag of frozen blueberries (don't use wild, they actually are kinda gritty for this purpose, according to the author); one whole orange which has been peeled and de-seeded (save the peels for zest); 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce; 1 cinnamon stick; 2 shakes of ground clove; 2 big splashes of vanilla extract, and 1/3 cup of brown sugar (I used Splenda brown sugar with perfect results).

Step 2: Stir this mixture thoroughly, constantly, while the fruit boils and combines, as shown below. Cook until the fruit is combined and very soft, approximately 20 minutes.

Step 3: The recipe calls for pouring the entire thing into a blender, and then after thoroughly blended, pouring it back into the WASHED pot (why on earth would you rinse and wash away all the remnants of the fruit in the pot only to add the now blended fruit back into the pan? Lunacy). So, I took a stick blender to it. After a good 10 minutes, I realized this wasn't happening, because either my stick was underpowered for the fruit, or more likely, the pan was too shallow and I couldn't get the thing tilted enough to really mix it under the blades, without spattering everything purple all around me (See Notes: Get a deep pot, wear an apron, and have a wet sponge or towel near by). So, after 10 minutes of what you see below, I actually hauled out the full sized blender and did what I was told and it was much better. But I didn't wash the pot. I poured the fruit back into the unwashed blueberry pot.

Step 4: Continue to cook the now pureed fruit in the pot, on a heat enough high enough to pop and bubble, but not so high it boils up, or spatters too much. I had it on medium low and it simmered away, with me stirring frequently, for about 30-40 minutes. You want to be able to drag a wooden spoon (see warning note about the spoon and notice how my wooden spoon, below, is permanently a bright purple now) across the bottom of the pan and have the fruit not seep back too quickly, as shown below.

Step 5: After the fruit butter is thick and hearty, pour into a container which you have ready (See Warning Note: I didn't have one ready because I'm lame that way). I am glad I actually grew impatient and took the butter off the stove before it was as thick as I wanted -- it thickened considerably when it cooled and I could put a finger or spoon in, and it did not run off the spoon at all. This was what I wanted. Also, once it was cool, I could really taste the subtlety of the cinnamon, the clove, and the orange. Avoid overseasoning while it's cooking -- because I didn't think I'd added enough while I was tasting it during the cooking process.

Verdict: This is not like any blueberry flavored product I've had before. I'm not a huge fan of blueberries because blueberry muffins are kinda boring and I'd never eat a slice of blueberry pie. Too fake tasting. I want to get blueberries into my daily menu however, and I eat a lot of Fat Free Greek Yogurt, so I thought this was a good way to get blueberries in without too much straight blueberry flavor -- and this fit the bill. It tasted of deep rich purple - more berry than blueberry, sweet orange, clove and cinnamon and vanilla. It was not overly sweet (I didn't add nearly as much sugar as called for) and was fabulous with a big spoon of yogurt to test it out. I'm very happy with it.

If you're on a diet, dollop this Blueberry Orange Butter on:

Greek Yogurt; Oatmeal; Cereal; Toast; Granola; Cottage Cheese

If you're not on a diet, dollop this on:

Pound cake; ice cream; rice pudding; tapioca pudding; any pudding; under desserts; over desserts; or with a spoon and a can of aerosol whipped cream.

Also, because of my crappy camera skills, that photo looks like brownie batter. It's actually VERY purple, as shown on my cottage cheese bento lunch, here:

Bento Lunch 05-02-08


  1. Very nice, that would be great on this morning's muffins! I served a blueberry sauce for a dinner with friends one night, over cake? ice cream? too long ago to remember. What remains memorable for all of us is how we moaned over the blueberry sauce, then someone smiled a very blue smile and then we ALL smiled our very blue smiles, covering our mouths with embarrassment and yet not able to stop laughing. Super Laughs from a Super Food.

  2. Alanna that IS funny but Oh No! Do I have to check my teeth and tongue now?! I did notice, this morning in the shower, that one fingernail is very blue. That's the finger I kept dunking in the sauce to taste it, because I'm a heathen and didn't use a spoon.