DIY for the Holidays: Fruit Butters

Load apples in your slow cooker today, pack up jars of apple butter tomorrow.
The final installment of SFoodie's guide to food-crafting gifts for the holidays.

No, seriously! It's not too late to make food gifts. Our last installment of DIY gifts is all about one of the easiest and yet most satisfying: Fruit butters.

Quite simply, fruit butters are fruit that has been puréed and cooked down to a thick, dense consistency. They are easy because they require minimal processing of the fruit, and you don't have to worry about things like pectin. Best of all? You can make them in the slow cooker. So you could buy some fruit right now, get it into the slow cooker this evening, and have gifts at the ready tomorrow, while barely lifting a finger.

Apple butter is the classic, and you can do it in a classic Amish style, or kick it up with sweet spices, ancho chiles, or apple brandy.

Pears work beautifully as well. Some basic spices bring out the wintry flavors, or go more exotic with white wine and fennel or salted caramel.

Got quince? They can be used to enhance a pear butter and give it hue and aroma, or stand on their own with an herbaceous rosemary note.

Persimmons make a gorgeously colored butter ― but be sure to use fuyu persimmons, as hachiya have too much tannin even when ripe.

So go on, get your butter on for those last-minute stocking stuffers. Your recipients will thank you as they enjoy it over their holiday morning toast or waffles.

Previous projects
-Homemade liqueurs

Sean Timberlake is the founder of Punk Domestics, a content and community site for DIY food enthusiasts. Follow SFoodie on Twitter: @sfoodie.

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