It was with some trepidation that I took over a very tiny pot of freshly made apple butter to my friend.
Lu is a straight talking lady, so I knew I would get a straight answer. She isn’t going to sugar coat any pill.
Apple Butter. What is it?
Well it is like a spicy concentrated apple jam/ spread/very versatile little make. I believe it is more well-known in America, but also Jersey seems to have its own version Black Butter. Weirdly butter plays no part in either of these things.
As I still had a huge amount of apples to deal with from my little Scrumping trip with Mrs P, I thought I would give it a go.
Basically because I have better things to do with my time than stand for hours over a saucepan, I used a slow cooker technique.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that my slow cooker is my best friend (I don’t get out much). A slow cooker is not just for winter stews, they are great for so many things, jams, puddings, spag bols, slow roasting. They are just brilliant!
Apple butter seems to be less recipe and more rough guide depending on what type of apples you have and how tart or sweet you like it.
Having put the children to bed I peeled and cut around 5lbs of apples (very dull work) and added them to bestie. I then threw around 7oz of sugar, 2tsp cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg and around 5 cloves.
Once everything was in the slow pot I popped the lid on and switched it on high for an hour, stirring once or twice.
When the hour was up I gave it a quick stir and turned it down to low, leaving the lid off this time. Then I had a glass of wine, watched a bit of TV and went to bed.
By the morning the smell in the house was divine. Aromas of apples, and spices evoked memories of misty mornings, frizzy hair, conkers, artfully arranged scarves and rushing out to buy de-icer. Autumn
So after roughly 10 to 12 hours of slow cooking with no lid on what you get is a lovely golden brown mulch.
I took a whisk to it to smooth out some of the lumps and placed it into sterilised jars.
So what did Lu make of it?
Well it was a yes from her.
We tried it on some really mature cheddar and it went beautifully, it’ fruity tartness (Naughty) complementing the creamy, salty flavours of the cheese.
We also tried it with a little butter on toast, which was really comforting and would be lovely after a nice autumn walk with a cup of tea.
It would also be lovely used as a glaze for a baked ham or chops, or even spread on a piece of apple or fruit cake.
A very versatile little jar of loveliness.