Hey you – Yes, you…
I’m leaving… On a jet plane… I thought you should know.
I’ll be back in a week. I’m headed to the Motherland, meaning the Dominican Republic. Yea, I’m from there. I’m going to get my fill of humid island air and way too many cocktails.
While I’m gone I thought I’d give you something to do. It’s not fall yet, but I’ll be back September. That’s kind of like fall.
So while I’m guzzling crazy copious amounts of piña coladas and Presidente beer, I’d like you to do two things:
1. Buy yourself a wicked cool fall scarf.
Why? Because you should own a wicked cool fall scarf.
Why? Because you and I are making apple butter bars. No, really – We are… I’m just trying to give you a head start, is all.
This apple butter is so good. And easy! I used a combo of apples, going hard on the Granny Smith for a slightly tart apple butter. It’s all good, though… I loves me some tartness. You can use any other cooking apple. Mix and match. Go crazy with the spices! I added a bit of ginger, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, and freshly grated nutmeg.
That’s how I roll….
I’m spicy like that.
My mom ate a whole jar in one morning. It’s that good.
I ate a whole jar by myself… Like a total porker.
You didn’t need to know that, but I was illustrating a point. Showing you my porker skillz…
So to recap:
- Buy a wicked cool fall scarf.
- Make this apple butter.
- We’re making apple butter bars. In fall scarves..
- To cook down the apples
- Cooking apples (I used Granny Smith, Gala, Golden Delicious combo) - 4 lbs
- Apple cider vinegar - 1 cup
- Water - 2 cups
- For the apple butter
- Granulated sugar* - 2 - 2 1/2 cups
- Salt - 1/8 teaspoons
- Ground cinnamon - 1 heaping tablespoon
- Ground ginger - 1 teaspoon
- Ground cloves - 1/2 teaspoon
- Allspice - 1/2 teaspoon
- Grated nutmeg - 1/2 teaspoon
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 6-8 8-ounce canning jars
Cook down the apples:
Cut the apples into quarters, without peeling or coring them, cutting out all the damanged parts. We need that precious pection and its in the peel and apple cores. Add the apples to a large pot. Add vinegar and water. Cover the pot and over medium/high heat bring to a boil. Once the liquid has boiled, reduce the heat to medium/low and cook the apples until soft. This will take about 20 minutes or so.
Remove from heat. Allow your cooked apples to cool for 5 minutes or so and either using a food mill or a large strainer, force the pulp into a large bowl. If you're using a strainer this can take about 10-15 minutes of arm work. Get it in.
Measure out the puree. You should be left with anywhere from 5-6 cups of puree. Add 1/2 cup of granulated sugar for every cup of puree and stir to combine. *Depending on the sweetness of the apples I stop at around 2 cups of sugar, but it's really up to you. Taste as you go - And if you feel you ought to add more sugar, go for yours.
Make apple butter, homies:
To the apple puree, add the salt, ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and lemon juice with zest. Cook in a large thick bottomed pot over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the apple butter from burning. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the pot while you stir, because the sugar caramelizes in the bottom and there's crust situation. Cook until the puree has thickened, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. The resulting apple butter situation should be thick and not runny.
Once cooked, ladle the apple butter into glass jars and seal. Allow the apple butter to come to room temperature then store in the refrigerator. Apple butter will last over a month in the fridge.
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