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Author Notes: An avid canner, I'm always playing around with new combinations of flavor and texture. Lately, I've loved adding a savory twist to traditional sweet jams. I had a bunch of rhubarb in my fridge and a Ginger Gold apple leftover from making chutney. Allspice is one of my favorite spices and I thought it might pair nicely with juniper berries. What resulted was a really pretty, wonderfully rich, layered fruit butter. —em-i-lis
Makes 1 pint and change
- 4 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1/4" pieces
- 1½ cups unrefined, granulated sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon allspice berries
- 1 teaspoon juniper berries
- 1 small-medium Ginger Gold apple (or a similar type), unpeeled but cored and diced
- 1½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, toss together the chopped rhubarb, 1 cup of sugar, vanilla, allspice and juniper berries. Let sit for about an hour, stirring occasionally. In the meantime, if you want to preserve this, set up a waterbath canner and ready 2 half-pint (or 1 pint) jars.
- After the rhubarb has macerated, pour that mixture into a heavy-bottomed, non-reactive pot and set over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, the apple and the lemon juice. Stir to combine, and when the sugar has all melted, up the heat to high.
- After 15-20 minutes, the fruit should start to thicken. Perhaps some has started to lightly adhere to the sides of your pot. Great! Stir regularly to prevent any from sticking to the bottom, and lower the heat to medium-high. After another 8-10 minutes, it will seem as if there's no liquid left in the pot, just the fruit which is now like a thick(!) jam. Remove from heat and ladle carefully into your prepared jars. Bubble it well because air is probably caught in the thick butter. Apply your lids and bands and process in the boiling water bath for 12 minutes. Remove and let sit, undisturbed, until cool. Eat the bit of extra with a spoon or refrigerate until you want to.
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