Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Apple butter

I love apple butter.
That's it.
That's the blog post.
Though if you scroll to the bottom you'll see a cool cooking tool.

Apple Butter
I used Rome apples because they are usually cheaper than other apples (except for Red Delicious, which are disgusting). They aren't quite as tart, so that's what the lemon juice is for. Also, the reason for the tall sides on the pot is because as the apples cook (especially in the early stages), they spit steam and hot apple.

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
4-3/4 pounds Rome apples (about 7), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Combine the sugar, lemon juice and water in a tall-sided, heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven.
2. Add the apples. Cover and bring the sugar mixture to a boil over high heat, about 1 minute. Reduce to a high simmer and cook until the apples are very tender, 35 to 40 minutes, stirring once or twice.
3. Sprinkle the apples with the cinnamon, allspice and salt. With an immersible blender, blend the apples until smooth (or transfer to a food processor or regular blender to do the same).
4. Bring the applesauce back to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the mixture is very thick, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. This will take 1 hour or more, depending on the size and weight of the pot, the heat of the burner and the moisture content of the apples. The apple butter is done when you can draw a spoon through it and it is very slow to close back up again.
Makes 1 generous quart

And just in case you feel the urge to make a truly gigantic batch of apple butter, you'll be happy to know that for $130 you can buy a lovely hardwood apple butter stirrer (say that without sounding drunk) from Lehman's. The paddle of the stirrer is 2 feet long; the handle is over 5 feet.

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