Mesquite Bean Butter 3 quarts ripe mesquite beans Water 1 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice 1 bottle liquid pectin 1 tablespoon cinnamon
Gather beans from mesquite trees when ripe. Beans that are yellow with reddish streaks are the sweetest and best for butter. Cut each bean into 2 or 3 pieces and cook in a vegetable steamer over boiling water until tender (about 30 minutes) or until bean pods pull apart easily.
Put cooked pods in a blender, 1 cup at a time with 1/2 cup water and chop with quick pulses. Put through a coarse strainer. Discard fiber and seeds. Add water as needed to make 8 cups mesquite pulp. Place in a large kettle or saucepan over high heat, stir in sugar and lemon juice, and bring to a full, rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in pectin and bring to a boil again. "Butter" is ready when a small amount dropped in a bowl of water forms a soft ball. Finally add cinnamon; stir. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal with paraffin.