Recipe Apple Butter

SatNavSaysStraightOn

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I was given some apples by my mother who had been given them by a friend.... they were a variety of unknown eaters from her garden and I was at a loss as to what to do with them when @Berties mentioned Apple Butter. Now I have had a jar of apple butter in the past, and loved it and suddenly it was the obvious thing to be doing to them. If only I could decide on a recipe! well I was stuck between 2 recipes. I liked the ingredients of one, on the whole but didn't like the fact that it didn't use incorporate the peel or the core into the initial product, but I didn't really like the final cooking method of a recipe that did and the minor issue of it asking for a Dutch Oven which I don't have... so I mixed and matched and came up with my own recipe and here it is.

Ingredients
  • roughly 4lbs assorted apples, (do not peel, just chop with skins, pips and all except stem)
  • 2 cups/500ml apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (go easy on the sugar if you don't like very sweet things!)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of ground cloves (or 4-8 whole cloves which get removed later on)
Method
  • Add the apples, cider vinegar, brown sugar (whole cloves if using) and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a large saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  • Cook until the apples are very soft, about 20 minutes possibly longer.
  • Now allow the mixture to cool slightly and pass it through a sieve. This will take some time. You basically want to extract the peel, whole cloves (if using) and the pips. You need to recover as much of the apple sauce as you can.
  • Once you have the sieved mixture, stir in the lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla and clove powder (if using).
  • Puree the mixture in a liquidiser in batches until smooth (or use an immersion blender...).
  • Preheat the oven to 250F, 120C or Gas Mark 1/2 (I should point out I used Gas 2 and was fine!)
  • Now pour the mixture into a flattish oven proof dish and put it into the oven uncovered. The flatter the dish, the less time this stage will take, so consider 2 dishes if necessary.
  • Now for the tedious but essential stage, you need to stir the mixture every 30 minutes, until thickened and a deep, deep amber. It should start to caramelise but it is essential it does not burn or form a crust on the top. It will thicken and start to hold its own shape on the top of the dish.
  • Mine took a very long time because it was a deep dish but you should end up with about 1/2 to 1/3 of the amount you started off with. Expect this to take around 3-4 hours, longer if you dish is deep like mine was :)whistling:).
  • In the meantime you can sterilise a couple or three jars and lids to put the apple butter in when ready.

I filled exactly 2*411g jars with this apple butter which if you knock all of the air bubble out, and put the lid on when hot so it forms a good seal, will keep for months and months.

I'm going to try another recipe for it next week. One with just apples, pears and dates in it. That should be fun because I will be working blind on the ingredients!

This is the deep amber colour I obtained before I 'bottle' the apple butter.

DSC_0616.jpg


I'll add the images of the end product in the jars shortly (I haven't got any photos of them yet :whistling: )
 

winterybella

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I'm impress. I love when a mix and match comes together. I can't say it's something I will try as no one here likes stepping too much out of the box. It is definitely inspiring to see a twist is put on anything in the kitchen and it has a great outcome.
 

SatNavSaysStraightOn

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I'm impress. I love when a mix and match comes together. I can't say it's something I will try as no one here likes stepping too much out of the box. It is definitely inspiring to see a twist is put on anything in the kitchen and it has a great outcome.
I have a batch of Gooseberries on at the moment, sweetened with date syrup. I have no idea what it will come out like, but I can't take the gooseberries with me so I may as well try!
 

kgord

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I have seen apple butter made outside in a big kettle over a fire. It is quite a process and how early pioneer families used to do it. It smells really good when it is being made. I think I am with Shermie though, why go through all that when you can get a jar at the store for a couple of dollars? Whenever, I have apple butter, it always goes bad, before I can eat it all anyway...lol
 

SatNavSaysStraightOn

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why go through all that when you can get a jar at the store for a couple of dollars?
There are a couple of reasons... 1) getting a jar of it in the UK is not easy, 2) I know what is in it 3) I can control the sweetness, 3) it uses apples I have been given free and finally 4) that jar you can get in the UK is £3.99-£8.50 for a 340g jar. That's $6.00-$12.50 for what amounts to just over a 1.25 cups! It is probably cheaper and easier to make it in the UK and tbh, it is not that difficult to stir something every 1/2 hour for a couple of hours and once you know how to make it (use a flatter container and not overfill it) it does not take that long.

I'll be making another batch on Friday with some more apples I have been given. This time I intend to use some Date Syrup that I have going spare to sweeten it, if it actually needs sweetening.
I've also make a batch of gooseberry butter as well. 700g of fruit made a single 340g jar though, but the fruit was free, so again it is not an issue, it is just my time and I have plenty of that.
 

SatNavSaysStraightOn

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So. How do you eat all this apple butter (and gooseberry butter)? I mean, what do you eat it with?
I was also thinking that given my husband and I put jam in our porridge, there was no real reason as to why we could not use apple or gooseberry butter instead. :hungry:
 
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