September 8, 2015

Caramel Apple Butter And Apple Mint Jelly

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Apple Butter and Jelly
Caramel Apple Butter

Autumn is almost here, I can already smell it. It's time to make apple butter, jam, and jelly when a wide variety of apples are available in farmer's markets (or grocery stores that sell local produce). Caramel apple butter sounds really good when I heard about it. It really is and with a little sea salt it tastes fantastic. I added a few sprigs of fresh spearmint from my garden while cooking the jelly. I love its subtle flavor. So good.

Apple Liquid For Butter and Jelly
4 pounds assorted apples
8 cups water
juice and zest strips of 1 lemon
  • Wash apples. Remove stems, leave unpeeled, do not core, and chop into cubes. Place in a large pot with the water, lemon strips, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, pushing apples down or place a plate on top so they remain submerged. Lower heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 1 hour until apples are very soft. 
  • Place a large sieve on top of a large bowl. Line sieve with a clean kitchen towel. Pour the cooked apples and liquid and let drain for 2 hours. Do not press the apple if you want clear jelly. Reserve the liquid.
  • Pass apples through a fine sieve. Save the fine pulp for apple butter and discard the seeds and skin remaining in the sieve. 
  • Yield is about 7 cups of liquid and 3 to 4 cups of pulp.
Apple Mint Jelly

Apple Mint Jelly

1½ cups apple liquid
¾ cup white sugar
2 bunches fresh spearmint
  • Cook ingredients to 225°F on a candy thermometer. [I just eyeball it; when it starts to get foamy and has slightly thickened, it's done.] Strain into a clean jar.   
Caramel Apple Butter

Caramel Apple Butter

1¼ cups sugar
1 cup apple liquid
2 cups apple pulp
½ teaspoon sea salt (do not use table salt)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • Caramelize sugar and 6 tablespoons apple liquid in a medium saucepan over medium heat until dark golden in color. 
  • Slowly add the rest of liquid (it will bubble, be careful) and apple pulp and stir until caramelized sugar has turned back to liquid. Cook over medium-low heat, while stirring, until thick enough to your preference, about 20 to 25 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in butter. Transfer into sterilized jars.
Caramel Apple Butter
caramel apple butter and a small piece of brie on crusty bread

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