Not Your Average Apple Butter
Recently reading Heather Taylor’s post on her apple butter canning visit with Jen Smith made me yearn for a farm of fresh apples to make my own apple butter with. The beautiful photos and write up of the day on Heather’s blog L.A. In Bloom inspired me to wake up early this past Sunday morning and seek out the next best thing: fresh apples from my local farmer’s market. Later in the afternoon, I returned home with a huge batch of locally grown apples and two very special ingredients in Jen’s recipe– rosewater and cardamom.
I can’t say that I wasn’t envious of Jen’s apple peeler, but looking forward to a peaceful evening of slow cooking, I was happy to take my time with my regular old traditional peeler. After two hours of occasionally stirring Jen’s apple butter recipe in a large pot, the aromas in my kitchen were incredible and I couldn’t wait to taste the finished product. When I finally took a bite, I don’t think my taste buds knew what to do with themselves. If you have the time to monitor the cooking apples, make this apple butter! It is one of the most incredible things I have tasted. Even Bodega (my kitten) couldn’t resist a little taste…
One thing to note is that you’ll need a lot of apples to make a decent amount of apple butter– eleven large apples only yielded a jar and a half for me. Next time (because there will definitely be a next time) I plan to stock up on more apples and can this as gifts for people. Here is Jen’s simple in technique but complex in flavor recipe for apple butter…
5lbs Organic Fuji Apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 T lemon juice
4 two inch slices of Ginger
20 Cardamom pods in cheese cloth (I couldn’t find cardamom pods, so I added a tsp of ground cardamom halfway through cooking)
1 T Rose Water
Combine first four ingredients.
Simmer for two hours, stirring regularly to prevent burning, or until almost no moisture is left. Remove ginger slices and cardamom bundle.
Mash or puree the apples.
Add rose water.
Sterilize jars. Fill jars with butter. Process in water bath for 10 minutes.
Makes about 5 half pints.