Thursday, September 27, 2007

Apple Butter: Granny Smith Working Overtime



I have all of my ingredients set for the weekend.....it's time for me to make some Apple Butter!


Apple Butter Festivals are a great pastime in the American South, but making apple butter itself seems to be virtually unheard of in many other parts of the world, so I thought I would share a great recipe for making your own apple butter. Apple butter is wonderful as a spread on toast bread or a bagel, and even better, served on a cracker with a nice slice of brie or camembert. In some areas, making apple butter is a family or community project where everyone contributes the apples and the other ingredients and all the components are simmered together in large outdoor kettles. However it could not be more simple, in that you can make it on your own stove top or also in your slow cooker or crock pot. Once you have had a taste of this luscious treat there is no turning back. I use Granny Smith apples because I feel they offer the best taste for apple butter, however any good cooking apples can be used. The term butter is is used because when the apple butter is complete it resembles a soft rich consistency much like butter, but there is no actual butter in the recipe. I am making my Apple Butter on Saturday, and with the 4 lb bag of Granny Smiths that I have in the kitchen it should yield about (6) 8 ounce jars or the equivalent. It is helpful to have either a chinois ( a conical shape sieve) on hand or a food mill for use in this recipe. They can be purchased very inexpensively, and usually found in the gadget section of the supermarket or even in the $2 stores. The following are photos of the chinoise and the food mill, but have a look at the recipe as you may be able to improvise with something you have in the cupboard.

chinoise

food mill

Enjoy the recipe, and I would love to know how your apple butter turns out!

APPLE BUTTER

SOURCE: Simply Recipes

Ingredients

4 lbs of good cooking apples (we use Granny Smith or Gravenstein)

1 cup apple cider vinegar

2 cups water Sugar (about 4 cups, see cooking instructions)

Salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon allspice

Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

Equipment Needed

1 wide 8-quart pan (Stainless steel or copper with stainless steel lining)

A food mill or a chinois sieve

A large (8 cup) measuring cup pourer

6-8 8-ounce canning jars

Preparing the Fruit

1 Cut the apples into quarters, without peeling or coring them (much of the pectin is in the cores and flavor in the peels), cut out damaged parts.


First Stage of Cooking

2 Put them into large pot, add the vinegar and water, cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cook until apples are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.


Measure out the purée and add the sugar and spices3 Ladle apple mixture into a chinois sieve (or foodmill) and using a pestle force pulp from the chinois into a large bowl below. Measure resulting puree. Add 1/2 cup of sugar for each cup of apple pulp. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add a dash of salt, and the cinnamon, ground cloves, allspice, lemon rind and juice. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.


Second Stage of Cooking

4 Cook uncovered in a large, wide, thick-bottomed pot on medium low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Scrape the bottom of the pot while you stir to make sure a crust is not forming at the bottom. Cook until thick and smooth when a bit is spooned onto a cold plate and allowed to cool (1 to 2 hours). You can also cook the purée on low heat, stirring only occasionally, but this will take much longer as stirring encourages evaporation. (Note the wider the pan the better, as there is more surface for evaporation.)


Canning

5 There are several ways to sterilize your jars for canning. You can run them through a short cycle on your dishwasher. You can place them in a large pot (12 quart) of water on top of a steaming rack (so they don't touch the bottom of the pan), and bring the water to a boil for 10 minutes. Or you can rinse out the jars, dry them, and place them, without lids, in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes.


6 Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal. If you plan to store the apple butter un-refrigerated, make sure to follow proper canning procedures. Before applying the lids, sterilize the lids by placing them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Wipe the rims of the jars clean before applying the lids. I use a hot water bath for 10 minutes to ensure a good seal.
As an alternative to stove cooking the puree you can cook uncovered in a microwave, on medium heat to simmer, for around 30 minutes.


Makes a little more than 3 pint jars.



A Lovely Recipe Using Your Homemade Apple Butter

Baked Prosciutto and Brie with Apple Butter Recipe

Courtesy Tyler Florence

Show: Food 911 Episode: Texas Tea Party

1 loaf crusty French bread

4 tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup apple butter

16 thin slices prosciutto

about 1/4 pound 2 pears or apples, thinly sliced

1 pound Brie, thinly sliced

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut 16 (1/2-inch thick) slices out of the loaf. Butter each side of the slices and put them onto a baking sheet. Spread 1 tablespoon of apple butter onto each slice. Top this with 1 slice of prosciutto and 3 or 4 slices of pear or apple. Cover this with the Brie slices, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 8 to 10 minutes.



Wikipedia: Apple Butter

8 comments:

  1. Our favorite way to eat apple butter is with slices of crisp-fried scrapple, an Pennsylvania-dutch marriage of cornmeal and pork bits! I also have a recipe that allows you to make some really great apple butter in your crockpot (and your house smells awesome!)

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a wonderful site you have here! I love the photo of you and your bloke. My situation is similar. New York woman with English bloke living in NY!
    I will be back :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good recipe, very versatile. Never came across my mind to make this, i'm gonna try it with some duck.

    ReplyDelete
  4. wonderful...the way I make apple butter is with apples, sugar, and little red hot candies...cook it down until thick, and at the end add the candies. Yummm...

    ReplyDelete
  5. wonderful...next time try this one. apples, sugar to taste...cook down until thick, then add the little red hot candies...yummy

    ReplyDelete
  6. I like you picture of you with your husband. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi there my name is Jeena and I have started a food recipe forum that I thought you would like to join here Click here for food recipe forum

    I would love to see you on there to chat about food and cooking you can talk about anything you like and start your very own topics. :-)
    or see my main food recipe website Jeenas food recipe site

    Hope to see you soon

    Thanks

    Jeena x

    ReplyDelete
  8. Apple butter is so delicious and your recipe sound far better than mine! Thanks for sharing. I think apple butter is under-rated because people look at me funny and sayd, "APPLE - butter???" I say yes, try it! :D

    ReplyDelete