Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Apple Butter & Candied-Pickled Apples

I love canning. Let's just get that out there right this second. I will happily make and can jam after a full day at work if my fruit is looking dangerously ripe. You just can't understate the loveliness of homemade canned goods. When I went apple picking back in October and was able to get my hands on some fun and different varieties of apples, I wanted to do more with them then just eat 'em so after baking a pie or two, I looked around for a tasty way to can my apples. Apple butter sounded pretty good but most of the recipes I was finding began with applesauce and all the applesauce recipes are made in a crock pot. I don't happen to have a crockpot. Damn. So I started by making Candied-Pickled Apples with Star Anise because the recipe says that the apple pieces turn into little jewels and I like the thought of someone comparing apples to precious gems. 

Then I found a recipe for Apple Butter that begins with roasted apple slices and finishes in a food processor. Now that is clever! So here is what I'm gonna do- I'm going to share these recipes with you and then I'll show you what I did with them. Deal? 

Apple gems
Candied-Pickled Apples with Star Anise
Adapted from Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff
Makes about 4 half-pint jars

  • 3 pieces star anise, broken up
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken up
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 2 pounds crisp red apples, cored and diced (no need to peel)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar

Put the spices in a piece of cheesecloth and tie tightly. Add the rest of the ingredients to a large pot (preferably a dutch oven) and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring very gently- don't break those apple pieces! Keep the pot as a simmer, stirring occasionally for about 45 minutes until the syrup is thick and the apples are translucent. Discard the spices and can the apples as per canning method or keep in the fridge for a month.

Roasted Apple Butter
Adapted from jam it, pickle it, cure it by Karen Solomon
Makes 3.5 to 4 cups
If the end product seems a little dry from over-roasting the apples, stir in some apple cider.

8 pounds sweet apples
2 tbls freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cardamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Peel, quarter and core the apples. Lightly oil a few cookie sheets and arrange your apple slices in a single row. Bake for for 2 hours or until brown and fragrant. If your oven bakes unevenly, you may want to switch the position of your cookie sheets and flip them 180 degrees about 1 hour into their time in the oven.

In a food processor or blender, puree the fruit for about 4 minutes or until very smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and puree until everything is incorporated and the mixture is velvety. If the apples seems a little dry, add a splash of apple cider. Keeps refrigerated for about 1 month.

You can see the flavor in this Roasted Apple Butter

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