[NAFEX] fruit butter

Stephen Sadler Docshiva at Docshiva.org
Thu Aug 28 18:50:55 EDT 2008


Naomi,

I think most people don't realize the preserving action of sugar in
preserves; the acid part of the equation makes immediate intuitive sense.

Both the acid and sugar have preservative qualities; heat and moisture are
the other factors.  Low-sugar pickles need to be high acid; low-acid apple
butter needs a good concentration of sugar; low-acid/low-sugar canned
asparagus needs the extra heat of pressure canning.  Acids are antagonistic
to spoilage organisms that, like most living things, require a specific pH
range.  Water is drawn away from areas of less concentrated solution and
into a more concentrated solution; saturating the free water in a jam or
jelly with sugar surrounds any pathogens with a very concentrated solution.
Water moves out of the spoilage organisms, killing them.  Salt would work
equally well, and might help one lose weight - nobody would go back for
seconds of that jam...  Meats can be - and historically have been -
preserved by salting or sugaring, which preserves them by the same method,
without the addition of acids.

Sometimes people will follow a preserve recipe exactly except that they'll
decrease sugar, as one can with a low-methoxyl pectin; that can lead to
spoilage.  Low-sugar preserves will need to be frozen, or heat-treated
differently (or have high-enough acid).  So Betsy was right about her
delicious-sounding fruit butters; without assurance of safe
sugar/acid/heat-pasteurization levels, they need to be frozen.

You are so right about acid levels in tomatoes.  It's only considered safe
to can them with some added acid, as the pH can vary and sometimes be too
high for safety.  

~ Stephen

-----Original Message-----
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Naomi Counides
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 1:27 PM
To: 'North American Fruit Explorers'
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] fruit butter

It is not the sugar that is important it is the acid level.( pickles do not
have sugar but they do have acid and they can nicely) ...and the acid is
important only if you are using BW canner (I do).  In that case a bit of ph
paper and if necessary some lemon juice can see you to the correct level.

Pressure canning is different. You can do low acid stuff in a PC.  

I tend to add a touch of vinegar to my tomatoes when I can because some
varieties are too low acid.
Naomi

-----Original Message-----
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Stephen Sadler
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 2:20 PM
To: 'North American Fruit Explorers'
Subject: [NAFEX] fruit butter

Fruit butters can be canned, they usually just need 5-10 minutes in a
boiling water bath; but you would need to use a recipe for canning to be
certain you have enough sugar and acid.  

~ Stephen

-----Original Message-----
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of
Hilborn.E at epamail.epa.gov
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 1:11 PM
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Fruit butter-Pectin jell

Naomi,

Fruit butter is how I treat my excess fruit. I add some moisture with a
bit of thawed-from-frozen apple juice concentrate from the store.  I
tend not to add any additional sugar after that.  I slowly cook down the
fruit and use it for adding to yogurt, ice cream, cottage cheese, baked
goods as a way to keep them moist without a lot of oil and as a topping
on toast.

I have processed figs, apples, pears and blueberries this way.
Delicious and very easy.

The down side is that I believe that the finished mixture must be
refrigerated or frozen.  I do not can so I have not explored that
route..

Betsy Hilborn
7a NC

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