Apple Butter Greater Than Either Apples Or Butter
June 25, 2017 8:37 PM   Subscribe

Help me make the dopest fucking apple butter.

I have lots of small apples and want to preserve them without the fiddly work of peeling and slicing, so I have been using a dicer/instant pot/food mill combo to get applesauce. I'd like to make something phenomenally succulent with this.

My favorite thing to do with apples is a chunky, spicy, bourbony applesauce with real butter in it, that you can barely tolerate doing anything with besides eating on a spoon. I'm looking for something that good, but I understand that canning with a fat like butter is a no-go. Or is it? In any case, point me to your astounding apple butter secrets.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I don't think I've ever had apple butter that contained actual butter... here's a recipe with the bourbon and spices you like, but sans butter, that cans well.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:10 PM on June 25, 2017 [4 favorites]

Food in Jars has a good summary of fruit butter techniques for canning.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:28 AM on June 26, 2017

Yeah, Apple butter doesn't actually have butter in it (like peanut butter).

Basically it's just cooked down applesauce, sometimes with spices.

Maybe make a batch of your applesauce, except cook it down more and wait to put your additions in at the end so they don't get too concentrated.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 7:52 AM on June 26, 2017

Also, please post your recipe.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 7:53 AM on June 26, 2017

I've had good success using the oven rather than the stove for some of the reduction phase. The stove offers a lot of potential for burning your fruit, or (at least in my case) putting it up before it's really magical because it is too boring to manage the fumaroles of blurping lava while reducing it & stirring. Instead: spread your applesauce into a shallow layer of a baking sheet or lasagna pan or whatever and dry off a lot of the water in a very slow oven (like, 180-200F). You can put it back on the stove to caramelize it as much as you like near the end. I usually add a small amount of liquid back in when I'm rinsing the last product off the baking sheet, but that reduces pretty quickly and gives me some time to adjust the seasoning as needed.
Also: Leave the peels in as long as possible to extract the natural pectin. That will help with the silkiness of the end result.
posted by janell at 8:01 AM on June 26, 2017

I bet some Angostura bitters would play well with the apples (and it will definitely work with the bourbon).
posted by mmascolino at 8:42 AM on June 26, 2017

I used to make apple butter many years ago by cooking the apples in apple cider, I think that's a pretty traditional way to do it; here's a recipe that looks close to what I did except I never added sugar, between the apples and the cider it was plenty sweet cooked down. I also didn't use much cinnamon or cloves, liked to let the apple taste rule.

Some recipes call for apple cider vinegar.
posted by mareli at 8:53 AM on June 26, 2017

From The Complete Book of Year-Round Small-Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard: Sweet and Chunky Apple Butter.
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:28 PM on June 26, 2017

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