Friday, September 3, 2010

Agave Spiced Plum Butter

I get many requests for recipes using Agave Nectar, so I thought I would offer this little, small batch of a barely spiced, Plum Butter.  I have an event tomorrow in which I wanted to add a drizzle of something "plumy" over small wedges of lemon scented ricotta pound cake.  I loved the idea of a spiced plum butter, however most "butters" tend to be very thick, dry and a little dull when it comes to presentation.  I wanted something with a bit of shine, color and the consistency of a saucy, fruity, syrupy jam.  I can think of many many applications for this Plum Butter in it's syrupy form: add it to yogurt, oatmeal, or sweetened ricotta.  You can use this a base for sauces for pork, duck or's even great to sweeten hot tea!

For this particular application I used Agave Nectar instead of sugar, and I did not reduce the mixture as long as a traditional butter requires. But feel free to cook the fruit longer for a thicker, spreadable condiment.

Agave Spiced Plum Butter

10-15 Plums, cleaned, pitted and roughly chopped 
1 cup water
Agave Nectar ( see note**) or sugar
1/2 teaspoon good quality cinnamon
2 pinches cloves
1 pinch fresh ground nutmeg

Place plums and water in a medium saucepan and bring to boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until fruit is tender. You many need to stir it occasionally. Remove from heat.

Process plums in a food processor or blender ( I use a Vitamix) until mixture is almost smooth, (I made mine completely smooth). Be careful when processing, mixture is hot!

**Measure the mixture, and add 1/2-3/4 cup Agave Nectar for each cup of Fruit puree. 
Or Add 1 cup - 1 1/4 cup of sugar for each cup of fruit puree.  (the amount of agave nectar you use will be determined by how sweet/ripe your fruit is at the time).

Return mixture and sweetener to the saucepan, add cinnamon and cloves and return to a gentle boil, until mixture is the desired consistency. Stir often, as it will have a tendency to stick and could burn if unattended.  Skim the foam/scum that floats to the top. ~ A mere,  1/4 teaspoon of butter, will keep foam at a minimum.

Thin sauce: 30-35 minutes
Thick spread: 50-55 minutes

Once the desired consistency is achieved add nutmeg.

You can ladle hot mixture into sterilized canning jars, and process according to manufacturers instructions.  For Colorado's altitude, I would process for 20 minutes,  for everyone else below 1000 ft., it's 10 minutes.


The butter can be store in your fridge for approximately 2 weeks or in your freezer for a year.


See you at the Market !
Saturday: Longmont Farmer's Market
Sunday: Ft Collins Farmer's Market (Harmony & Lamay)

Chef Deb