A basic apple butter is delicious. It's made by slow cooking apples for 10-11 hours. For five pounds of apples, you'll need one cup of apple cider vinegar, one and a half cups of apple cider, two cups of brown sugar, one teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of salt. After cleaning your apples, quarter them with skins on and place them in your crockpot.
Pour the apple cider vinegar and cider juice over the apples and cook until tender. Use a potato masher to mash your apples. Push the pulp through a sieve to remove the skin and seeds. Return the apple pulp to your crockpot and add the remaining ingredients.
Stir to keep from scorching until the mixture turns dark. This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month.
For an update on apple butter, make it with port wine.
Use the same recipe as before, omitting the vinegar and cider juice and replacing it with one cup of port wine. Both recipes pair beautifully with a sharp cheddar, brie or blue cheese. Serve it with a grilled pork tenderloin and homemade cheddar biscuits.
While apple butter is fairly simple to make, maple butter can be pretty intense. It requires a lot of patience and constant attention.
Put together an ice bath and a medium-sized boiler.
Pour 2 cups of pure maple syrup into the boiler on medium heat and bring the syrup to a boil.
Do not disturb during this process.
Use a candy thermometer to monitor the heat. Once the syrup reaches 235 degrees, pour it into the cold boiler in your ice bath.
Once the syrup cools to 100 degrees, remove it from the ice bath and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon for about 30 minutes.
After about 10 minutes the color will start to lighten, but wait until it turns a light peanut butter color. Once you have reached this point, use a spatula to put it into mason jars. Spread it on artisan bread with a salty-cured meat.
Homemade butters can't be compared to store-bought. Perhaps it is simply the fact that you made it that makes it taste so wonderful. Before you host or attend your next party, make a batch and share the wealth.