The leaves are almost all on the ground now or have been swept away. The gray skies have made themselves comfortable. And somehow we’re over half way through fall which means apple season is passing far too quickly once again. Each time this season begins I have grand plans to make a bunch of apple recipes and yet weeks flit by with little care for intentions and I’m not much impressed with how little I’ve made again this year.
The history of Apple Butter was something I assumed had a lot to do with Amish people historically in America and I was kinda right, this article on the complete history of this dish is rather informative and full of humor. It’s worth a read. Though there is a fair amount more in context for how it came about in modern day to the recipe here.
Apple Butter is in our day and age fully American, there are even apple butter festivals each October in several parts of that fifty state nation. I’m grateful for apple butter because frankly, I had never tasted apples like this and I have a jar of this sitting in my cupboard which I will treat like gold.
Patience is probably one of the things you need most when cooking this, though it’s not too hard, you just need to hover around the kitchen while the aroma of this incredible fusion of fall produce comes together with spices. You’ll hope it gets into the bones of your clothing because it’s full of warmth and will bring an easy smile to your face.
Homemade Apple Butter
Adapted from Food Network
Makes 2 cups
1 kg/2.2 pounds apples, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of ground cloves
Preheat the oven to 120ºC/250F.
Place the apples, cider, sugar and salt in a large saucepan and cover.
Cook over medium heat, until apples are soft then blend until smooth.
Return the pureed apples to the pot and add in the lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla extract and cloves, stir through. Place in the oven, uncovered and bake for 3 hours (or until the color is a deep amber), stirring every 30 minutes to ensure it doesn’t burn.
Remove and place in a sterilized jar while warm. If you plan to eat it immediately then place in a container and eat within 5 days.