APPLE BUTTER (Makes approx. 3 litres / 5 pints)
A good way to use up some of your apple harvest - especially the windfalls. The jars of delicious, fragrant purée can be used throughout the year.
3kg / 6 lbs apples, wiped
600ml / 1 pint cider or apple juice
200 - 300g / 8 - 12 oz sugar
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
Get ready some clean jam jars, with lids, and sterilise the jars in a hot oven (200°C / Gas 6) for 10 minutes. Sterilise the lids in boiling water for a few minutes, then drain and dry thoroughly.
Roughly chop up the apples, no need to peel or core them. Put them all in a large preserving pan with the cider or apple juice and simmer very gently until the apples are completely soft. Mash with a potato masher to break down the fruit. Cool slightly then, placing a sieve over a large bowl, push the cooked apples through the sieve a portion at a time. Discard the contents of the sieve. Rinse the preserving pan and return the purée to the pan, together with the sugar (between 200g / 8oz and 300g / 12oz depending on the tartness of the apples) and spices. Place the pan on a low heat and, stirring carefully so that the bottom of the purée doesn't burn, bring to the boil. I use rubber gloves at this point as the bubbling purée can burn!! Simmer gently, stirring all the time until the purée has thickened. If you have a jam thermometer, bring the purée up to 'sterilise' point and keep it at this temperature for a few minutes. Carefully ladle the purée into hot jars and wipe the rims with a clean cloth. Cover the hot purée with waxed discs and seal.Recipe: Cecily Illingworth
Here are a few ways of using Apple Butter...
- With yogurt, cream or ice cream.
- With rice pudding, apple tarts, crumbles, pies.
- In mousses, trifles or charlottes.
- In steamed or baked puddings.
- With roast pork or chicken.