One of the best things about fall is apple picking at an orchard. But once you bring home a bushel, you might be left wondering what to do with all those apples. Apple pie, cobbler and crisp are the usual suspects, but to take your freshly picked apples to new heights, turn them into luscious apple butter.
Apple butter is essentially just apples cooked down and flavored with a hint of cinnamon and spice. Because it’s so concentrated, the apple flavor is intense, so it’s perfect as a spread on biscuits, toast and even scones. It doesn’t actually contain any butter, but it sure spreads like it.
If you have a food mill, you won’t need to peel the apples before cooking as the food mill will separate the skin from the fruit. But if you don’t have one, a blender will do just fine — just peel the apples first to ensure a smooth and silky texture.
As for the apples, any variety works, but if you’re a fan of tart Granny Smith apples, this is a great place to use them. Apple butter is just one of many classic apple recipes you should make this fall.
2 pounds apples
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Peel, core and cut the apples into wedges. Place into a deep pot and add the apple cider vinegar, salt and water.
Turn the stove on medium heat. Cover lightly (but not all the way) and leave it to simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the apples are soft and most of the water has evaporated, turn off the heat.
Pour the apples into a blender and puree until smooth. It should be a fine sauce consistency.
Pour the apple mixture back into the pot over medium heat and add brown sugar, spices and vanilla. If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can double the cinnamon or just leave it out.
Simmer and stir every few minutes until the sauce thickens and turns a deep, rich brown. It should take about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat. After the mixture cools down, pour it into jars and store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks or can for long-term storage.