At the end of the season, the very last of our apples are used for making a huge batch of Apple Butter.
I first discovered this on a trip to The Ulster American Folk Park in Gortin, about 15 years ago. There is a lovely lady called Maisie (we have chatted since then and introduced our own maisie to her!) who was using some apple butter on freshly made scones in the plantation house in the 'New World'. Back then, you could purchase recipe cards in the visitors centre for 50p each....for soda bread, colcannon and there was even one for Apple Butter!
There is nothing quite like the smell of spiced apple cooking, it encapsulates the season, not to mention, leaving the entire house smelling amazing..
I follow the basics of the 'New World Recipe' above, I use less apple juice though.
This is how I make it
5 lbs APPLES
1 ltr APPLE JUICE
2 lbs SUGAR
1 tbsp GROUND CLOVE
1 tbsp GROUND ALL SPICE
2 tbsp CINNAMON
Boil the apple juice for half an hour, to reduce the liquid
Meanwhile, peel, core and chop the apples
Add the apples and cook down until tender
Add the cinnammon, cloves, all spice and sugar and cook for a further 30 mins
Allow to cool a little
Using a handheld blender, blitz the mixture to a thick, smooth puree
Spoon into glass jars and allow to fully cool before sealing
The apple butter will keep in your refridgerator for up to one year
So now that you've made all that apple butter ...what are you going to use it for?
I gift most of ours each year, but what I keep, I like to use as a spread on scones and pancakes. One of my sisters uses hers as a spread on toast.
There are endless uses for Apple Butter, it can be baked in a sweet pie, with creamy pumpkin, used as a glaze for your ribs, added to cakes, cinammon rolls, served as a spread with your cheese board, served with pork chops, added to turkey sandwiches....
It is also amazing swirled into hot porridge or, my favourite, added to Greek yoghurt and fruit!
But if you are looking to make the ultimate Autumn Cocktail, then you must go and check out The Half Baked Harvest recipe for this Apple Butter Old Fashioned...cheers now, enjoy!