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nosh friday: rustic apple butter

November 5, 2010

For the longest time, I labored under the suspicion that I didn’t like apple butter.

Why exactly I had this notion or what caused it, I’m not sure. But something about the name “apple butter” sounded unpalatable and funky to me. For years, I never tried it because I imagined it to be cold and goopy and bland.

Then, a few weeks ago, I found a unopened jar of homemade apple butter a co-worker gave me last fall and decided on a whim to stir some into my yogurt. And holy cannoli, it was DELICIOUS. I can’t believe I’ve spent 26 years in opposition to the stuff.

So last weekend, armed with a bag of apples from a local orchard that needed cooking and my arsenal of spices, I went to work, chopping, stirring, blending and canning. Needless to say, I was eating it out straight out of the pan by the end of the day.

May the lingering scent of apple butter fill your kitchen — and your cupboards.
Happy noshing!

Rustic Apple Butter
Adapted from Growing a Greener World

10-12 large apples, skins on and cut into large chunks
2 cups apple cider
3 cups sugar
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp. allspice

Place a large, heavy dutch oven (or similarly-sized pan) on the stove. Wash and core your apples, cutting them into large chunks. Leave the skins on — it gives the apple butter more flavor and color, as well as keeping all those tasty vitamins. Toss the apple chunks into the pot and pour the apple cider over top, then clamp the lid on. Turn the heat to medium and let it cook for about a half-hour, until the apples are tender and beginning to fall apart.

Remove the pot from the heat and, using an immersion blender, puree the apple and cider mixture until thoroughly combined and smooth. (You could also do this in batches in a food processor or blender; only fill it 2/3 of the way and once the mixture is smooth, scrape it back into the pot.)

Add the sugar and spices to the pureed apples and cook over low heat, covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for an additional hour or more, stirring occasionally to keep it from sticking, until the apple butter is thick and can be mounded on a spoon.

This can be kept in the fridge in a tightly covered container for about a week or two, or you can can it in jars, processing them for 10 minutes using the boiling method to seal the jars. (For better instructions on how to can properly, you could check back to my post on canning blueberry lavender jam.)

Makes 6-7 half-pint jars

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Nancy Carr permalink
    November 6, 2010 9:07 am

    Ok, youngster, now you have learned one of my secrets for longevity. 🙂 Applebutter….and then to compliment it, cottage cheese. Yes, really. There was a restaurant in Akron that served, to every table, these two things. I’m sure that your Mother remembers. Love you…Grandma

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