Although Brent and I love to hunt and prepare wild game, the summer months find us feeding the animals more than they're feeding us. With little natural food to eat when it's hot, we supplement their diet with various foods and fields planted with all sorts of deer-friendly delights. So, our focus, food-wise, turns to fruits and vegetables instead as harvest time rolls around.
This year, Brent planted us a garden (surrounded by a nice tall fence to keep the deer out - some things ARE off limits!), which didn't do as well as we'd hoped due to the amazingly cool and rainy summer we've had here in Alabama. However, our fig tree and muscadine vines seemed to appreciate the extra rain! For about a month, the fig tree has been producing a nice bounty of juicy, fresh Brown Turkey figs. A couple of years ago, I made fig bread, which was all right, but this year I wanted to learn to can foods at home, and a simple fruit butter seemed the natural choice before venturing into jellies, which require a little more care to make sure they "set" correctly.
A quick search turned up this delicious crockpot fig butter recipe from Tracy over at "Our Simple Life." My daughter and I had a wonderful time making this sweet fruit butter together. Since we had a ton of figs frozen in addition to our fresh-picked harvest, I doubled the recipe, using Moscato wine and local honey from Autumn Harvest Honey here in Birmingham.
We started the fig butter in the slow cooker in the evening and let it cook all night (true confession: all the next day too, on warm). 12 cups of figs made approximately 5 half-pint jelly jars of dark, sweet fig butter, plus a little extra for us to enjoy this week on toast.