Apples from the country are sometimes (well, very often) ugly, but they taste great. Each fall season I collect the apples from my yard (the small green ones that taste like pears) and go to my neighbor’s house to pick apples from their orchard. By the time that we are well into the season, I have so many apples that I don’t know what to do. I started making an easy apple butter (I’m calling that for lack of a better name) that I freeze and eat during the winter. It’s great on pancakes, toast, crackers, yogurt, in crepes, you name it. Here is the recipe:
EASY LUXURY APPLE BUTTER
6-8 medium apples
1/2 cup of pineapple juice
1/2 cup of maple syrup
1/2 up of brown sugar ? (up to you – see below)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of ginger
Clean and cut the apples into slices that are about 1/4″ thick. I leave the skins on as I don’t mind them in the mixture. THEY GET QUITE SOFT AND ARE A GREAT SOURCE OF FIBER AND VITAMINS IF PICKED RIGHT OFF THE TREE. If you don’t want to eat them, then peel and core the apples first.
Combine the spices, or, you can use 2 teaspoons of FRONTIER pumpkin pie spice.
Get a large (4qt will do) saucepan and pour in the pineapple juice. I recommend a brand such as LAKEWOOD. turn the heat on low. Add the apple slices bit by bit and pour the maple syrup, sugar and spices onto the apples as you are adding them. then stir and raise the heat until the mixture starts to boil. IMPORTANT – the minute it starts to boil, reduce to a low simmer and cover with a lid. Check every 15 minutes. The great thing with this recipe is that you can cook it so that the slices are still intact (about an hour), or, if you cook longer (1.5-2 hours) it will reduce itself to more of an apple sauce type of mixture. ONE NOTE ABOUT SUGAR – I do not eat refined sugar so I do not put it in. It depends on how tart the apples are of course. You can always up the dose of maple syrup to 1 full cup if you like. Remember, you can always put more sweetener in, but you can’t take it out.
When friends come to visit, they are amazed (“you are such a good cook” – no one said ever) that I am serving home made apple butter. I usually put it in a nice pewter and glass jam serving bowl. You can change the recipe as you want, adding more or less spice, orange or lemon rind as you prefer and use it for filling crepes! -VLR