Apple butter is autumn in a jar. I love it spread on toast, or along side slices of pork. It’s comforting and just plain, delicious. But, it can be quite a bit of work, and you know The Goddess is one lazy…uh, well, Goddess. So, she came up with this version and she’s happy to report, it’s delicious. The bonus here, is that it’s also pretty economical. Now, this isn’t going to make quarts of apple butter, but since The Progeny have left home to their own lives, she doesn’t need, or want, for that matter, quarts of canned goods. So this is definitely small-batch apple butter. This will make enough to have a decent sized jar in the fridge, and it’s easy enough to make more. The other good news—no seemingly endless amount of apples were peeled by The Goddess. And because we’re using already prepared applesauce, you can quite literally make this anytime of the year. Given a couple of hours heads-up, you can make a jar to take to a friend, who invites you for dinner. Your friend will be a friend for life! Not that they weren’t already, but this will seal it up!
It pretty much boils down to dumping everything into a large heavy-bottomed pot (very important, that heavy bottom!), place over low heat and let the mixture bubble ever-so gently away. Partially cover the pan. It will take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours. Stir it now and again, so it doesn’t burn and stick to the bottom of the pan. You’ll need to increase the frequency of stirring and it thickens. If, say a friend calls and wants to share a cup of coffee with you, just turn off the burner and leave it. When you return home, you can just pick up where you left off…easy-peasy! You’ll note that this is not cloyingly sweet. The sweetness comes from the apple juice concentrate and applesauce, with just a bit of brown sugar added. If you want it sweeter, add more brown (or white) sugar. Bear in mind, the more sugar, the easier the mixture burns. Also, I add the spices near the end. I use ground spices, because I want more depth of flavor, but they do darken the mixture. Pour into a jar, cool to room temp, pop the lid on and into the fridge. It will keep at least a month. Canning will allow for longer storage.
Short-Cut Spiced Apple Butter
This is a not-too-sweet version of apple butter, but with a nice spice and very apple-y.
- 1 24-ounce jar unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/3 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground Vietnamese cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Put all the ingredients, except the spices, in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to just allow the mixture to simmer gently. Partially cover, stirring occasionally, making certain to reach all over the bottom of the pan. You will need to stir more frequently as the mixture cooks down. When the mixture has thickened significantly, (for me, it was after about an hour), stir in the spices. Continue to cook until the mixture is very thick and mounds easily on a spoon. Cool to room temperature. Pour into a container with a tight-fitting lid; store in the fridge for up to one month. You may can, for longer storage.
Short-Cut Spiced Apple Butter Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2019. All rights reserved.