Apple Butter

1Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco

I was given 3 (that’s right, 3) HUGE bags of apples last week. All I can think about is how many different ways I can use them up. Pies, pastries, sliced over salads… but then I found this recipe for apple butter. What is it, you ask? No butter involved. Just a rendered down, made purely with apples, sweet spread. Use atop muffins, a slice of bread, croissants, you name it! I’m going to have to keep trying this out. This batch seemed to resemble the consistency of apple sauce rather than butter. But, foolishly I burned the first batch I made so I was extra careful about keeping the heat low (see notes below). But consistency and taste are totally up to you. I pureed it for a smoother butter. But apple chunks are also welcome. I also felt it was sweet enough without much added sugar, so I only used a little. These were homegrown Macintosh apples from the north shore, Long Island. Cooking these apples on your stovetop is going to bring the sweetest smell to your entire kitchen. It was heavenly! I wafted my nose over it several times. Just like sniffing the filling of a gorgeous apple pie. Go to your nearest farm, shop local and get picking!


Yield: About 1 full mason jars worth — Hands-on time: 55 mins — Total Time: 1 hour, 50 mins

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs crisp and sweet apples, such as Gala, Honeycrisp, or Macintosh, peeled
  • 1 cup apple cidar
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided*
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  1. Cut apples in to 1 inch pieces. Bring apples, cider, and 1/2 cup sugar to a rolling boil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Once it begins to bubble, reduce heat to medium low. Cover, leaving lid slightly ajar. Cook for 20 minutes, or until apples are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated; stir every 5 minutes.
  2. Process cooked apple mixture in a blender or food processer until smooth. Return mixture to Dutch oven and stir in cinnamon, cloves and remaining 1 cup sugar*. Bring to a boil over high heat. Be very careful not to burn, watch and stir frequently. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered and stirring often, 15 minutes or until thickened. Cool about 45 minutes. Spoon into airtight containers such as mason jars. Refrigerate up to 2 months ore freeze up to 6 months. Enjoy!

*Instead of 1 cup, I only added 1/4 cup. Why add more than you need to, right? The apples are naturally sweet.

Recipe adapted from Southern Living, www.southernliving.com

2Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco

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Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco