So perhaps you need something else to make with your pile of apples? Already made jars upon jars of apple sauce? If so why not make some apple butter? It is rather simple and is amazingly tasty on fresh made honey week bread (but that might be another blog post). If you have some apples and some spices….a several hours and a heat source, you can make apple butter.
First things first, you’ll need to find some apples. As a note you are going to be cooking them for a while, so what might look like a lot of apples at first won’t produce that much finished product. Also on the apples, I would recommend some that are tart, like a granny smith. At the end of the process when you are adding in spices you can always add some more sugar if it isn’t quite sweet enough for you. Now that you have your apples (I would say start with at least 10) you will want to core them, and perhaps peel them too. If you haven’t seen it before, this device () can save a lot of time peeling and coring.
Time for the heat
The next step is just like making apple sauce. Toss your apples into a pot. Some liquid in the bottom will help the heat transfer from the heat source to the apples. You will want to stir them often as you don’t want anything to burn on the bottom of the pot. After you bring the whole thing to a boil you can back off the heat to allow it to simmer. You’ll want to let it simmer for a few hours. Just keep stirring now and then and keep an eye on how much it has reduced. If you didn’t peel your apples you might want to use an immersion blender to smooth everything out. The times that I’ve peeled the apples before had I haven’t had to break out the blender.
Control the Spice, Control the Universe
Once you get your butter to the consistency that you like (I like to be able to mound some on a spoon without it oozing off) you can kill the heat. Now is the tricky part. You will need to season, but a little bit can go a long way. First taste it as it is. Is it too tart? Add some sugar. If it tastes good other than needing spice rock and roll. As far as spices, you can use whatever you feel comfortable with. I like a combination of cinnamon, ginger, all spice and cloves, just like my apple sauce. This is an occasion where a ground spice would work a lot better than whole spices (unless you are grinding your own with would be most excellent.)
Little by little
When adding in your spice, especially your first time, go a little by little. Don’t dump in a whole mound at once. Add some, stir it in, taste a bit, wait a bit, taste again. It might take some time, but it is a lot easy to add just a touch more spice than to have to make another batch and blend it in with your first batch to even out some over spiced butter. Once you have it to where you want it, you’ll need to consider how to store it.
Where to put this
Now that you have your butter made you’ll need to consider what you are going to do with it. If you only have a bit just toss it in the fridge and use it. If there is a fair amount, more than you would use before it turns, canning is probably your best option. You’ll want to size your jar to the amount you can eat. You wouldn’t want a half gallon jar of this stuff when it takes you 3 weeks to make it through a pint would you?
So Let’s Eat!
I enjoy mine just spooned onto a piece of toast. Simple enough and delicious. If you have another way that you like yours, I would love to hear in the comments below.