Tuesday, October 2, 2012
My Quest Has Finally Ended!
Ever since my former boss/chef/friend made apple butter where we worked, I have been obsessed with finding the perfect recipe for apple butter and here it is.
There’s no quick way to make apple butter, but the results are worth the wait. I have outlined two methods below — one is a lot faster than the other, but will require you to stand and stir it for about an hour. The slower method doesn’t require constant stirring, but it takes a few hours to reduce. If I’m going to be home, I like to use the slow method because it had the added benefit of making my whole house smell amazing!
Spiced Apple Butter
4 lb. (about 10) cooking apples, quartered
½ c. apple cider vinegar
½ c. apple cider
2 c. water
1 c. sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cardamom
1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
½ tsp. kosher salt
Combine the apples, vinegar, cider, and water in a large stock pot (I use a 5 quart dutch oven). Bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 40 minutes, or until the apples are very soft.
Place a mesh sieve over a large bowl. Ladle the cooked apples into the sieve. Press down on them with a spoon to force the apple through to the bowl below, leaving the seeds and peel behind (you’ll end up with around 4.5 cups of apple puree and a half cup of seeds/peel). Discard the seeds and peel, and return the apple puree to the pot. Stir in the sugar and the remaining spics.
“Fast” Method: Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly (to prevent burning), until the apple butter is reduced to about 3 cups and is very thick — a line drawn across the bottom of the pot with the spoon should take a few seconds to go away.
Slow Method: Cook over low heat for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally, until the apple butter is reduced to about 3 cups and is very thick — a line drawn across the bottom of the pot with the spoon should take a few seconds to go away.