Adapted Recipe from Clinton St. Baking Co. Cookbook – a Lower east Side, New York Restaurant
This apple butter will have you standing at the counter eating right out of the jar. That’s exactly what I did — just stood there taking in spoonful after spoonful. My goodness, the tartness from the granny smith and honey crisp apples had me drooling. Eventually, I did get some on my raisin bagel. A warm, toasted bagel with coconut butter and apple butter, that is.
And did I mention the buttery texture — so creamy.
Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of sweetness in here, but the tartness from the granny smith apples in here are the clincher. Homemade Apple butter. On everything. Is a very good thing.
Makes about 3 cups
9 apples (honey crisp, granny smith, and fuji varieties)
1 3/4 cups evaporated cane sugar
1/4 cup xylitol (sugar substitute) or sugar
4 oz. or 1 stick earth balance soy free spread
zest of 1/2 lemon
3 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Peel, core, and dice apples into 2-inch chunks. Put apples into a heavy bottomed medium saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients. Turn heat on to a medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Cook for about 30 to 35 minutes. Do not stir the mixture until the liquid has evaporated and the sugar has turned into a brown film on the apples, and caramelizing on the bottom of the saucepan. It will look like it has nearly burned. Now turn the heat to low, stir, and turn over the apples a few times. This will create new crust, or caramelization on the apples for added flavor.
When you see it is beginning to brown again, stir the mixture. It should now be a sauce consistency. Break up apple chunks with a wooden spoon. Stir again. Continue to cook another 20-25 minutes. It is ready when it becomes a thick, jam consistency. Remove cinnamon sticks and optional whole clove.
Let it cool until warm to the touch. Puree until smooth, using an immersion blender or food processor. Transfer to a glass container. Refrigerate for up to a month.
Note: To make it an applesauce, just cook 15-20 minutes less time before the second stage of caramelization begins and the apples have broken down.
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