test batch: apple butter

Well, lookie here. It's a post about something delicious and crafty. I knew you thought I could do it, and I can. In fact, there's more where this came from. I'm trying to prioritize the good stuff, so please bear with me.

I've yet to perfect Single Person Grocery Shopping. Not only does it irritate me beyond belief that absolutely nothing is portioned AND affordable in a single-size, but I can't even buy fruit and vegetables in reasonable quantities. I bought a five-pound bag of Washington apples at Trader Joe's the other day, which goes against everything I believe in because Virginia apples are superior, but it was there and I haven't made it out to the orchard and well, that's all. Hashtag lazy. These apples had, quite obviously, trekked across the country to get to me and thus were not necessarily in their prime. By Thursday morning, I was dreading the idea of having to eat another four-ish pounds of apples all by myself by the end of the weekend.

So I did what any reasonable person would do - I made apple butter. After my first foray into apple butter a few years ago, I was determined to find a recipe - or at least some kind of guidance that seemed reasonable and tasty - which would generate an apple butter reminiscent of the kind I grew up on. Thick, dark, rich, and spicy. I think I found it in this post from Simply Recipes. With a few modifications I was well on my way to one of the best apple butters I've ever had.

I followed the process delineated at Simply Recipes as scripted, but kind of went rogue on the ingredients. Here's what my apple butter ingredient list looked like: 

4 lbs of positively mediocre Washington apples
2 1/3 cups water
1.5 cups dark brown sugar
1.5 cups white sugar
(NOTE: the sugars will vary based on the amount of apple puree you generate)
2.5 teaspoons cinnamon (I can never get enough cinnamon!)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice

Due to the fact that 2/3s of my life is currently packed away, I didn't have my canning equipment to properly seal this batch for long-term storage. I have a pint+ in the fridge for the next week or two, and two pints in the freezer to use in the coming weeks. Apple butter is pretty durable and goes with so much. Frankly, I see a batch of apple butter cupcakes in my coworkers' near future. Lucky them! Other things you top with apple butter? Toast + butter, cottage cheese, yogurt, with a nice cheese platter, pork tenderloin, pancakes/waffles, peanut butter + apple butter sandwiches, use it as an ingredient in BBQ sauce, warm turkey sandwiches, and so on.

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All content © Meaghan O'Malley, 2009-2012. Header image by Rebekka Seale.