by Eva on July 7, 2010
From time to time I discover things in my fridge which about I totally forgot and I haven’t seen since weeks. Yesterday I found a bag half full with red apples. I am not sure for how long they have been there, but they still looked like fresh apples and not like shrunken heads. They were hiding behind some beer bottles and this might be the reason why I kind of lost them.
My first idea was the best and I decided to make apple butter of them. There is always a need for it because it is tasty with so many things: over ice cream, pancakes, crepes, oatmeal, bread, yoghurt or cottage cheese. What is your favorite?
What I don’t like about the apple butter in stores is the sweetness and the less natural apple taste, so I reduced the amount of sugar and tried to support the apple flavor with caramel and cinnamon.
Because of the low sugar you can store the apple butter for about 4 weeks. I think you can keep it for longer but I was never able to save some for trying out. As always if you make jams or jellies, make sure your jars are very clean and don’t forget the lids. After I cleaned my jars, I filled them with boiling water and let them air-dry. If you don’t want to put the apple butter into jars you can easily freeze it for several months.
You should use the apples which flavor you like most and if you are not going for low sugar you can substitute the water with apple juice and add more sugar to make the caramel.
To puree the apples after cooking I used a hand blender but you can also just mash them and you have a different texture.
caramel apple butter
1.7 kg / 60 oz. apples
4 tablespoons sugar
1 cup / 250 ml water
juice of 1/2 lemon
Peel the apples and cut into bite size chunks, cover with the lemon juice and set aside.
Put the sugar in a big pot and reheat at medium temperature so that the sugar will melt and become caramel. Let it golden brown but be careful not to burn the caramel, this all needs about 2 to 3 minutes.
Put the apple chunks and the water into the pot and stir well. Cover the pot and don’t forget to stir from time to time and make sure there is enough water left so that it will not burn. Let cook until the apples are tender, when you put a fork into the apple, it is soft and easy to fork. This can take about 15 minutes it depends on the apples.
Puree with a masher (for potatoes), hand blender or blender. Taste the apple butter and add some cinnamon, lemon juice and sugar if you want. Fill in the jars and put on the lids and turn upside down until chilled.