Saturday, July 20, 2013

Monkey Butter with Cherries

I have had so much fun in the kitchen today canning a recipe I first discovered in the canning group to which I belong on Facebook.  It is a lovely, fun group!  There are always new ideas popping up to keep the canning excitement going, and someone is always there with a quick answer if trouble arises in the middle of a recipe.  Someone's question there about Monkey Butter sent me straight to the internet and Pinterest in search of a recipe I could save.  Goodness did I find a lot, and for the most part, they are all the same!  For that reason, I don't feel I am "stealing" anyone's work when I post the recipe.  I know I have at least one Monkey Butter recipe pinned on my Pinterest 'Can It' board.

My recipe, though, has one special ingredient:  cherries!  I normally do not like cherries, but yesterday as I walked through the produce to go to the checkout, there were so many bags of beautiful, dark cherries.  My canning imagination kicked into high gear.  I vaguely remembered the monkey butter recipe I had pinned.  I couldn't remember if it had cherries or not, but I knew I was going to can something with the beauties that were nestled nicely in my buggy!  I had to make another round through the store to pick up a couple of items I thought I might need.  I can hardly believe I actually remembered coconut and 20 oz crushed pineapple! Luckily, I had already picked up bananas, because I had totally forgot they were one of the main ingredients!

Today, the children got up eager to help!  They cut up five bananas, and my oldest helped with stirring for a short while until her arm got tired.  :)

We added a half cup chopped cherries, a half cup of shredded coconut that I chopped in the food processor, three cups sugar, and three tablespoons of lemon juice concentrate to the bananas in a large stock pot.

Doesn't it look beautiful and delicious just like this?  From this point it was cooked on medium until hot stirringly constantly.  Then the stove was turned to low.  The mixture simmered until thick.  I stirred it often to make sure there was no sticking or sugar burning.  Once it was as thick as I wanted it, I spooned it into six hot and sterile jars, and water bathed the jars for 15 minutes once the water came back to a boil.

I love the dark pink color!  The little bit that remained in the pan was immediately spooned over small bowls of vanilla ice cream!

OH.  SO.  GOOD!!!  We were ape happy!  ;)  Try it, and let me know what you think!

Monkey Butter with Cherries
5 spotless bananas, sliced
1/2 c shredded coconut
20 oz can crushed pineapple with juice
1/2 c chopped, pitted cherries
3 c sugar
3T lemon juice concentrate

Combine all ingredients in a large stockpot and cook over medium heat stirring constantly until the mixture is hot.  Then turn the heat to low and simmer until desired thickness, stirring often.  Once mixture reaches desired thickness, spoon mixture into hot, sterile jars.  Close jars with canning lids and rings.  Place in a water bath.  When water comes back to a boil, time for 15 minutes.  Remove jars to a toweled area.  Leave and let them cool completely before moving or touching them.  

There is a lot of controversy as to whether canning monkey butter is safe to sit on the shelf.  Many people do it.  As for me?  I am still on the fence as to whether my jars will go to the frig or sit on the shelf.  Let me know what you think!  :)

Until we meet again, may you be blessed!

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