Monday, December 12, 2005

Part of what makes my apple butter so special to me is that I know which tree the apples came from: the last producing one in an abandoned orchard I visit downeast. The fruit that comes off it is smaller than what one would buy in a store, but larger than crabapples. Green with traces of blush, these feral sweethearts are sourer than anything when eaten raw, but very tasty when cooked with the right complements.

I like to play around with the spices, sweetners and cooking liquids from year to year, so it's never the same recipe twice. This year's batch was really an experimental one, as in addition to changing the spices, I tried a new cooking liquid:

Apple-of-my-eye Butter

I started with:

4lbs apples - washed, quartered, stems and blossom ends removed

Cooked these down in a large pot with two cups of red wine.

Ran the fruit through a food mill. Added 1/2 cup brown sugar to each cup of pulp, then mixed in 4t cinnamon, 3t cloves, 2t nutmeg and 1t berbere (Ethiopian red pepper). Simmered, stirring constantly (important! Don't want the stuff to scorch) first until the sugar melted, then until the mixture turned dark brown, thickened, and jelled a tiny bit (about 20-25 minutes). Poured into sterilized glass jars, then sealed.

Yield: +-12 pints.

2 comments:

nappy40 said...

How nice of you to include the recipe.

Be said...

Well, it's the next best thing to sending jars of it outright.