Try your hand at fruit butters

After a full summer of harvesting the season's bounty, if you've still got enough oomph to preserve a bit more of it for your pantry or freezer, consider classic fruit butters. There's no butter in these butters, of course.

But there is plenty of fruit, and a whole lot of flavor. So during the Northwest apple and pear harvests, consider putting up a few batches of this old-fashioned treat as well.

Recipes online

Find Jan's recipe for Oven-Roasted Apple or Pear Butter in our online Recipe Box, a searchable database of more than 3,700 dishes. See Type the title into the page's search field.

To find a great selection of local apples and pears, head out to farmers markets. This is where many growers will be offering samples, so you can actually taste before you buy.

I used to steer clear of fruit butter-making activities because of the mess from lavalike glops of thick fruit puree erupting from the pot during cooking. There also was a certain amount of risk to any bare skin in the path of this flying fruit, which if prepared in a pot on top of the stove, has to be stirred almost continuously to keep it from sticking and scorching.

However, several years ago I learned from a veteran preserver that primo butters can be created in the oven, or even on the kitchen counter in either an old-fashioned or retro-newfangled, electric roaster. Risks associated with the stovetop method are reduced dramatically.

Plus, during the process, your house will smell more delicious than any apple-scented candle ever could.

Jan Roberts-Dominguez is a Corvallis food writer, artist and author of "Oregon Hazelnut Country, the Food, the Drink, the Spirit" and four other cookbooks. Readers can contact her by email at or obtain additional recipes and food tips on her blog at

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