How to Make Fruit Cheese and Fruit Butter
Fruit cheeses and butters should be made with such fruit as damsons, apples, red plums, quinces, gooseberries, etc. Sometimes fruit cheeses are made from the pulp in the jelly bag after the juice has been extracted for jelly making. This should only be done as an economy measure and is not really to be recommended. As most of the pectin has been drained away, the resulting “cheese” has a poor set and is best used within a month.
A fruit cheese is of a firmer and more solid consistency than a fruit butter. A cheese can be cut into slices or shapes, while a butter, as the name indicates, is of a soft, spreadable consistency. A cheese contains an equal quantity of sugar to pulp, but a butter has half that amount and is therefore made for immediate use.
These rules will indicate the process to be followed for making fruit cheeses and butters. Those not familiar with them will find that they are especially good with biscuit and butter, or with cream cheese as a finish to a lunch or supper:
1. Prepare the required quantity of fruit and place in the preserving pan with water to come barely level with the fruit.
2. Simmer well until reduced and well pulped.
3. Rub the pulp through a sieve, preferably of hair or nylon.
4. Measure the pulp and allow 1 lb. sugar to each pint of pulp obtained.
5. Dissolve the sugar, boil, stirring constantly until setting stage is reached, then pot and tie down as for jam, in small jars or bowls.
(Make apple, apricot and quince cheese in the same way.) Damsons: sugar: water.
Put the clean fruit in the pan, add water to come barely level with the fruit. Simmer gently until fruit is thoroughly soft and pulpy. Remove as many stones as possible. Rub the pulp through a nylon sieve. Weigh the pulp and allow 1 lb. sugar to 1 lb. pulp. Now boil gently for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours until very thick, stirring constantly and taking care to scrape the bottom of the pan from time to time. Test for setting. Pot in small jars or bowls and tie down. For use, turn out and cut into slices.
This is not sieved.
4 lb. cherries: grated rind and juice of 1 lemon: 2 lb. sugar.
Stone cherries, crack a reasonable number of the stones, extract the kernels, blanch and skin. Add the lemon to the fruit and put into a bowl with the sugar, in layers. Leave overnight. Bring to the boil, simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, then boil rapidly until very thick. Add the kernels. Turn into small pots, cover and tie down.
APPLE AND PLUM BUTTER
3 lb. apples: 1 lb. plums: 3/4 lb. sugar to each pint of pulp.
Peel, core and cut apples, then cook in a little water until soft. Stone plums, add and cook until soft. Put through a sieve, add sugar and boil until setting. Pot at once.
1/2 lb. apricots, fresh: 1 lemon: 2 oz. butter: 1/2 lb. caster sugar: very little water: 2 eggs. Wash the fruit and put in a preserving pan with a very little water and cook until soft. Sieve. Put the fruit in a double saucepan, with the sugar, butter, the juice and grated rind of the lemon. When the sugar has dissolved, add the beaten eggs and stir the mixture until it thickens. Pour into hot jars and cover.