September 8, 2015

Caramel Apple Butter And Apple Mint Jelly

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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

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
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 and a small piece of brie on crusty bread

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