Tart Apple Butter [Recipe]

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The fall has finally arrived! I’m a big fan of these cool, crisp days and warm, spicy treats filling the house with the scents of home, food, and nostalgia. The holidays are around the corner, and though the air grows chilly outside – the season grows warmer and warmer with good food, thick sweaters, and time spent with the people we love.

Here’s the perfect recipe to kick off the fall season; it’ll get the house smelling like apple orchards and Christmas, and it’ll be just the taste to whet your appetite for the treats of days to come.

I’ve been on a bit of an apple butter kick lately – Making various recipes, and wanting to try various more. This one is a favourite, however, and though I may share a few of these in the coming days (hehe, bear with me… this could get excessive)… Here’s a sweet, tart, easy and delicious recipe to make your house smell like magic and to make your friends think you’re a kitchen master, when really… all you did was throw some stuff in a blender and cook it. 😉

One reason this recipe is such a favourite is that it really doesn’t call for much sugar at all – so while most jams and apple butters call for large amounts of sugar, this recipe uses mostly just the sweetness of the apples themselves to give it the flavour that it has. The result is a much healthier option to traditional jams and jellies, and wow – and if I’m honest, I might prefer the taste of it to most of those anyway.

For this particular tutorial, I used Paula Red apples, and they were perfect (and so pretty!) – but any good baking or cooking apple will work well, so don’t worry about that too much.

Scroll down for the recipe!

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Tart Apple Butter
Makes about 4 cups

Ingredients:
10 cups chopped apples (about 12 small-medium apples, or 7-8 large ones)
1 c. apple juice or cider (can also use water in a pinch)
1/2 c. lemon juice
2/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Directions:
(1)  Wash, peel, and chop the apples.

(2)  Throw the apples with the apple and lemon juice into a food processor or blender, and blend until very smooth. If your machine isn’t large enough, you may have to do this in 2-3 batches, using 1/2 or 1/3 of the liquid with each batch.

(3) Pour the pureed apple and juice mixture into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, and add the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.

(4) Bring the mixture to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer for 6-8 hours, or until reduced, thickened, and a rich dark brown.

(5) Can in sealed jars, or store in containers in the fridge or freezer until use. Use as you would any fruit jam.

Notes:
– Using a food processor is super easy, and if you have one large enough, you can even just throw in all of your ingredients and blend them until smooth. Then just pour the finished mixture into a pot and cook as directed.
– You can also leave your apples in larger chunks than I have in these pictures, but your proportions might be slightly off in measuring if you do that, leaving you with a slightly different texture and flavour to the finished product. It WILL work, though, and I know from experience – is also delicious! You can just throw some peeled, quartered apples into the food processor (8-12 for this recipe depending on the size), and see what happens. It will be delicious, and it’s much faster than chopping the apples up into smaller pieces. 🙂

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Happy cooking!

–Naomi

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