I am getting very excited about apple butter. It’s popular in America, Netherlands and Germany, but given the enormous variety of apples we have in the UK it seems surprising that we haven’t really got into it here. But what is it? Apple butter is simply a very (very!) long and slow cooked apple sauce, containing just pureed apples, sugar, lemon juice and sometimes spices. The long cooking causes the sugar in the apples to caramelise, creating a deep brown silky smooth richly flavoured apple butter. No actual (dairy) butter in sight! I’m currently experimenting with pink lady apples, to get ready for the Autumn when I’ll be testing out a range of apple butters using different varieties of our brilliant English apples.
Here’s a quick picture summary of how I’ve been making it.
The apples are cooked for about an hour with some water to soften down- before and after:
After an hour-ish the apples will be super soft ready to puree. This is where the amazing mouli comes in. It pushes all the apples through a fine grate, leaving behind all the bits we don’t want. This results in a super smooth apple puree (or apple sauce, if you want to stop here!)
Now I add the sugar (unrefined I’ve found works best here) and lemon juice. And cook, long and slow for hours… and hours…. and hours! I’ve found it needs at least an 8 hour cook to start developing the delicious caramelised brown flavour and colour. See the photos before and after:
And the finished product, voila! So far it’s been equally as delicious as part of our Sunday dinner and also simply on toast (with lots of real butter!). And our friends at Gourmet Griffin used the Pink Lady Apple Butter on one of their delicious hot dogs at the Foodies Festival last week. Check them out at www.gourmetgriffin.co.uk
The Pink Lady Apple Butter will be available to buy at all our markets, details of which will soon be available on our website and twitter.