Recipe: Spiced Apple Butter
Filling your entire home with the smell of apples and spice, every mouthful packs an autumnal punch. Enjoy the sheer alchemy as the apples, cider, cinnamon, cloves and brown sugar are transformed into a mass of molten, burnished heaven…
How many crumbles does it take to empty an apple tree?
If you’re lucky enough to have an apple tree in your garden – or to have access to someone else’s then this time of year is generally filled with crumbles, pies and apple cake. Not a bad way to console yourself at the end of summer but occasionally, dare I say it? One feels the need for a bit of a change… After all, there are only so many crumbles and pies you can eat in a day. Personally, I draw the line at one of each but then I’ve always been a bit of a stickler.
The thing is, even a strict regime of a pie and crumble a day doesn’t even come close to diminishing the apple glut. Don’t get me wrong, of the gluts you could suffer, apples are probably one of the best, but it’s a glut that still needs tackling, and tackle it I will!
A sticky solution to a sticky problem
This spiced apple butter is rather wonderful. Firstly, there’s no need to peel the apples – a job I find quite therapeutic for the first apple or two but by number five or six, I must say it’s pretty tiresome.
Secondly, it’s a multi-purpose apple butter. It makes a wonderful accompaniment to cheese and biccies but can also be used in sweet treats such as apple tarts or turnovers.
Wait! Before you gasp in awe and reach for your preserving pan, there’s more! This sweet, sticky, spiced apple butter comes in jars and you all know the rule about food that comes in jars right?
“If it comes in a jar then it can be given as a gift.”
I’m sure that’s a Shakespeare quote … or perhaps it was Martha Stewart…
Anyhoo, I’ve heard a rumour that Christmas is just around the corner so it seems that this glut of apples, plus a recipe for them that can be put in jars and given as gifts might be rather handy?
- 2.5 lbs cooking apples
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 3 cloves
- 1 lemon
- 1 pt dry cider
- Demerara sugar (approx 500g)
- Roughly chop the apples - no need to peel (hurrah!)
- Add them to a large saucepan or preserving pan along with the spices, chopped lemon (the whole thing) and cider
- Bring it all to the boil, then turn down to a simmer, cover and leave for an hour until the fruit has completely softened and collapsed
- Blend until smooth - the easiest way is with a hand blender but a food processor is fine too
- Now pass the mixture through a fine sieve
- Weigh what's left and then put it into a clean pan
- Measure out 80 g of demerara sugar for every 100 g of apple mixture that you have
- Now add the sugar to the pan over a low heat and stir constantly until it has all dissolved
- Bring it back to a simmer and let it bubble gently, stirring regularly, until it has approximately halved. This will normally take between 30-60 minutes.
- You will now have something gloopy and the consistency of thick custard.
- Using a funnel, pour into your warm, dry jars and leave to cool.
I’ve got you covered buddy – check out the gourmet gift section of the blog 🙂