Move over jams and preserves.
I’m more interested in fruit butters.
A few years ago, I was a member of this website group named “The Daring Cooks” (they also had a group named the Daring Bakers which I participated in as well). Anyway, the whole idea behind the group was to get into the kitchen and experiment with techniques that would otherwise be considered intimidating.
One month, we tackled the art of canning. Which, once you do it and realize it’s really not that bad – you want to start canning everything. I’m pretty sure I’ve saved a thousand pins in just canning recipes alone on Pinterest – because honestly, who doesn’t need an endless supply of peach chutney, sauerkraut, and pasta sauce?
Just me? Oh.
Well how about fruit butters, then? Particularly apple. With a healthy dose of bourbon added to it.
Way back when, apple butter was the first thing I opted to can. I used one of the recipes they had provided for the group and doctored it up with the recommended spices out of one of my Mennonite cookbooks. So, the result was a deep hue with flavors of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. I mean, with hindsight it was probably unnecessary to go through the process of canning the recipe since I devoured the entire thing in record-breaking time – but you know, I had kitchen goals.
Now, I try to make apple butter a yearly tradition . However, I change the recipe around each time trying to find the most perfect combination of spices. While this year isn’t going to be my ultimate, “I’ll make it every single year for as long as I live” recipe, it was still pretty dang good. Too good not to share, at least.
And the great thing about apple butter? It’s so versatile. Slather it on toast. Serve it on top of brie for a great appetizer. Eat it with cottage cheese or plain Greek yogurt for a different start to your morning. Have it as an accompaniment for the most epic autumn inspired cheeseboard. Heck, you can even mix it with some mayonnaise and slather it on this apple turkey cheddar sandwich.
I won’t even judge you if you eat it by the spoonful.
Bourbon Apple Butter
- 8 medium-sized apples (I used Gala), cored and chopped into chunks – skins left on
- 1/2 c. bourbon
- 1/2 c. light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice blend
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
In a heavy-bottomed pot, combine the apples, bourbon, and light brown sugar.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat, cover, and allow mixture to boil for an hour. You may want to stir occasionally to make sure the apples don’t burn.
Remove the lid and blend using an immersion blender*. Mix in pumpkin pie spice blend, lemon juice, and vanilla. Continue to cook mixture until it becomes thick and browned (about another hour). Blend again.
Either serve immediately, can, or refrigerate until ready to serve.
*My immersion blender is currently in storage, along with the rest of my belongings. I added my mixture to a food processor to smooth out, but it would be simpler if you own an immersion blender – but definitely not a requirement.
Hmmmm… wonder if anyone has ever made a cranberry butter before?