Previous falls have found me on apple picking excursions where I seem to overzealously use my fruit picker, resulting in a bounty of apples that one couple alone can hardly consume. In these times of extreme harvests, I need to justify this apple excess. I'm always on the lookout for good ways to use pounds of apples: pies, crisps, applesauce, and most recently, apple butter.
Four pounds of mixed apples are cooked until softened, then puréed in a blender until very smooth. Then it's back to the pot where they slowly simmer for hours with sugar and spices until the mixture becomes a deep brown, very thick, and fits nicely into one mason jar.
Now I haven't gone apple picking yet this season but as I sat on the porch on one of the first crisp, clear fall days, eating this sweet and appropriately spiced spread on a crusty baguette, I felt the desire to get out to the orchard and haul back boxes of apples to fill my kitchen.
4 pounds mixed good cooking apples (such as Fuji, Granny Smith, or Courtland), peeled, cored, and cut into large chunks
1 cup apple cider
2 cups white sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Place apple and apple cider in a large heavy pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook until apples are completely tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Place half of the apples in the jar of a blender and purée until completely smooth. Pour into a medium bowl and repeat with remaining apples.
Pour puréed apples back into large pot and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Stir in sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. Continue to simmer, uncovered, until sauce turns a deep brown and thickens, about 1 to 2 hours, stirring regularly to prevent burning.
Let apple butter cool to room temperature, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 25g||9%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||5%|
|Total Sugars 23g|
|Vitamin C 7mg||33%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|