Monday, July 14, 2008
Apple butter is deeeeelicious. I don't like store bought apple butter, it's just too sickeningly sweet. I also am not fond of many recipes for the same reason, folks try to shortcut the long, slow caramelization of the natural sugars by adding extra refined sugar. Sorry kids, it's just not the same. I prefer to taste the sugars in the apples themselves after they've slowly caramelized - not some nasty ass high fructose corn syrup. Blech. So, it'll take a little time and a little effort, but it's worth it. The complexity of flavors from the apples and spices really shines through, if you have the patience. Mmm-mmm good!
P.S. If you don't have a splatter guard, go get one. Don't even try to make this recipe without one. You'll be cleaning apple butter splurts off your kitchen for weeks and, as I once upon a time found, this shit burns on contact. You may also wish to use a heat diffuser if you own one, to further guard against burning the apples.
Makes approx. 1 1/2 pints
3 lbs. Granny Smith apples
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1. Peel the apples, don't be meticulous, if a little peel gets left on it's all for the better. Core the apples. Chop into fairly uniform chunks.
2. Combine with water in 6-8 quart pot. Bring to a boil, cook until apples are softened.
3. Add sugars and spices, stir to thoroughly coat apples.
4. Using an immersion blender puree apples until completely smooth.
5. Lower temperature to medium-low. Adjust to keep at a constant simmer.
6. Stir, scraping bottom, every 10-15 minutes - depending on rate of simmer - for 4-5 hours.
7. Apple butter is finished when color has turned to a dark, deep brown and the flavor has turned from sugary sweet to caramel-like.
8. Serving suggestions: On a toasted english muffin with cream cheese - it's delish!