With few ingredients you can make this delicious homemade apple butter and apple cider. You can use various apples of your choice.
Homemade apple butter excellent spread goes well toast.
. As fall came just yesterday, apple cider is not available in the store. So I decided to make it at home. Thus I made homemade apple cider and apple butter.
How to make apple cider ?
Apples ( both Gala and Grany Smith )
Zest of orange
You can make your own apple cider with few ingredients. For this you need to just cut the apples, add star anise, vanilla bean, cinnamon and zest of one orange along with some sugar and water.
First you need to boil them in the medium flame uncovered for 30 minutes
Then cover them and cook them for another 2 hours in slow flame.
When you are ready to serve just sieve it and use it as such or with booze.
You can serve them with whipped cream and caramel sauce then it becomes star bucks apple cider version. If you add some booze then it become adult version of apple cider. It is easy to make and you know what is going there.
How to make apple butter
You need following ingredients to make apple butter
Apples ( both Gala and Grany smith )
For making apple butter you can use either entire apple or use cored, peeled , chopped apples.
First cook them with the apple cider for 30 minutes until it become soft, and then add spices. I used cinnamon, mace, nutmeg and all spice and sugar and cooked for 1 ½ hours until it become soft and brown in color.
If you want really smooth apple butter, puree the cooked apples using immersion blender or food processor. It is delicious, and you can slather to your slice of bread. It has great spreading consistency compared to jam.
While making apple butter one thing crossed my mind; it is that apple butter is similar what the Indians make as fruit halwa; only difference is that halwa recipe is loaded with ghee. However in the apple butter there is no butter or any other kind of fat. It is more closely related to jam or preserve.
What is the difference between jelly, jam, preserve, conserve, butter ?
I got the answer from this page Jelly by cooking fruit juice and sugar with pectin as a jelling agent and lemon juice as an acid to maintain the texture.
Jelly is firm and will hold its shape (it shakes). Generally, jelly contains no pieces of fruit, although specialty jellies, like pepper jelly, may include pieces of jalapeño or other pepper. Jam is made from crushed or chopped fruit cooked with sugar, and often pectin and lemon juice.
Jam can be a puree of fruit or have a soft pulp, but it does not contain chunks of fruit. It is firm but holds the shape. Preserves are fruit cooked with sugar to the point where large chunks of fruit or whole fruit, such as berries, are suspended in a syrup base. It is not smooth like jelly or jam.
Marmalade is a soft jelly, often citrus-based, that includes both the flesh and peel of the fruit suspended in a jelly base. The bitterness of the peel compensate with the sweetness of the jelly.
Conserve is a mixture of more than one fruit with nuts and raisins that is cooked until it becomes thick. It is used as a spread for breads, pastries and meats. Fruit Butter, such as apple butter or prune butter, is fruit puree or pulp combined with sugar, lemon juice and spices, slowly cooked down to a smooth consistency.
The butter refers to its spread ability: there is no actual butter in the product. Fruit Curd is a creamy spread made with sugar, eggs and butter, generally flavored with citrus juice and zest like lemon curd and orange curd.
Give it try as in fall you can get bounty of apple and pumpkin. Here comes the recipe.
Homemade apple cider and apple butter
For apple cider
- 4 medium apples I used two granny smith and two gala
- 4 cups of filtered water
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar or maple syrup or to taste
- 4 cinnamon stick 2 inch pieces
- ½ fresh vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon extract
- 1 whole star anise
- Zest of one orange
For Apple butter
- 2 pounds 906g apples, peeled, cored and diced (I used 3granny smith and 4 gala apples )
- ½ cup apple cider
- 1 ¼ cup +1 tablespoon sugar
- Juice of half lemon
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground mace
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon all spice
For apple cider
- Wash and cut the apples into quarters. Add them to a large pot with about 4 cups of water and start heating. Add cinnamon stick, half a vanilla bean (or some extract), star anise, and zest of one orange and 1 tablespoon sugar.
- Cook the apples for 30 minutes without covering the pot. Then, cover and let the cider simmer on lower heat for about 2 more hours.
- After about 2 ½ hours of cooking, remove from the heat and allow to cool completely . Then, using a handheld potato masher, turn the apples into applesauce inside the pot to fully release their flavors.
- Pour the cider through a strainer to remove all the apple pulp.
- You can either use any kitchen strainer and a wooden spoon to strain the liquid.
- Serve warm, either by itself or with whipped cream and caramel sauce. Store the in the refrigerator in mason jars for 5-7 days.
For Apple Butter
- Wash and peel, core and chop the apples. Then in a large pot, bring the apples and cider to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking or burning. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the apples are soft, 30 to 35 minutes. Use a potato masher, fork or immersion blender to roughly mash the mixture. Return the apple mixture to the heat and stir in the sugar, lemon juice, salt, cinnamon, mace, all spice and nutmeg.
- Continue to simmer until the mixture has thickened and becomes a deep rich brown, about 1 ½ hours. The mixture will be relatively smooth but may have a few chunks. I wanted smooth apple butter so pureed the apple butter in a blender.
- Store the apple butter in a covered container in the refrigerator or pour the finished apple butter into sterilized jars, leaving a quarter-inch of head space.
- Seal the jars and process for seven to 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Store the processed jars in a cool, dark place. Processed, this apple butter will keep for up to six months. Once jars have been opened, store them in the refrigerator, where they will last for up to one week.
This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.