Mr. L planted a lilikoi vine in our backyard years ago, and we have been battling it ever since. Between his green thumb and the ideal conditions, the vines grow like crazy here. Should the world come to an end, lilikoi vines will still be around with kudzu and cockroaches. If you want to start a plant, allow a lot of space and plan on cutting it back regularly. Drink your coffee, read the paper, and cut back the lilikoi.
This lilikoi butter is not the only recipe of its type around, but I am partial to it. I have also tried one that uses pectin, but I'm a big "texture" person and I think this recipe has a creamier texture. It spreads nicely. Some of them I have tried have a Jello-y texture, and while I don't have anything against Jello, I just don't want it on a waffle.
For those of you not familiar with lilikoi butter, you're in for a treat. If you have had lemon curd, this is similar . . . but better. I once heard it described as "sunshine in a jar" and while that's sort of corny, so am I, and it's an apt description.
I normally make a double recipe of it, because a single recipe only makes one and a half cups. If I am going to all the trouble of canning (and it's a lot of trouble) I am going to make at LEAST a double batch. I have quadrupled it before and that was a massive effort. With this double batch, the yield is nine 4-ounce jars of butter.
It takes a good two and a half hours to make this. I include in that my set-up and clean-up time, as both are significant. Photos are at the bottom of this post.
Before you embark on this or any other canning project, first start with a clean kitchen, or you'll be adding to a mess. Plus, you are going to need the room.
My next step is to fill up the canner and my big stockpot with water to get the water boiling. It takes a while to heat that much water.
Wash your jars, lids, and rings in hot, soapy water. Rinse and sterilize.
Here is the recipe (doubled). Tips and pictures follow.
Lilikoi Butter (adapted from Star Bulletin, 2005)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup lilikoi juice
8 eggs, beaten
10 Tablespoons butter
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, lemon juice and lilikoi juice; stir until sugar is dissolved (you won't be able to feel gritty sugar with the spoon or see the crystals).
Whisk a little of the lilikoi mixture into the beaten eggs to temper them. Don't skip the step of tempering the eggs, or you will make lilikoi scrambled eggs. Yuck.
Once tempered, return the whole mixture to the saucepan. Stir constantly over medium-low heat until mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon.
Remove from heat. Cut butter into cubes (this will make it melt faster) and stir it into the lilikoi mixture.
Fill jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe rims, add lids and rings. Tighten rings so they are "finger-tight," not extremely tight.
Carefully put jars into canner. Can for 10 minutes. Remove jars and put onto dishtowel to cool. They will make a popping sound. That's normal - the jars are sealing. Once cooled, tighten the rings and store in a cool, dry place.
Lilikoi butter is wonderful on toast, pancakes, waffles and plain cheesecake. It is my most-requested preserve.