By Richard Thomas
“Apple butter” always makes me think of the Civil War, Cracker Barrel gift shops, and other old timey, country-style references. This is probably because apple butter isn’t the staple condiment it used to be, and even more so because it isn’t made at home anymore due to the fairly sizable amount of time involved. Still, if you need an excuse to try making your own apple butter, what could be better than adding the word “bourbon” to the front?
5 lbs of tart apples (2.5 kg)Bourbon whiskey
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbl lemon juice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp salt
The ingredients should remind you of our bourbon baked apples recipe, and for good reason. Apple butter is basically thick applesauce, and neither is that far removed from baked apples.
Peel and chop up the apples, and dump the apple chunks into a stock pot or Dutch Oven. Pour in 1/2 cup of water and 1 cup of bourbon whiskey. If you wish more or less whiskey, adjust the ratio of water to whiskey accordingly. Want a super-bourbon apple butter? Use 1 1/2 cups of bourbon and no water.
Place the pot on the stove, set to medium-high heat, and slowly bring it up to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.
Add all the spices and turn the heat down to medium-low. Cover the pot and cook for 1 hour, stirring the contents every 15 minutes or so. Do your best to break up the apple chunks as you stir.
Remove from the stove and allow the pot to cool. Once it is cool, use a food processor to puree the cooked apples until they are a smooth, creamy paste.
Store in the short term using refrigeration, and in the long term using home canning.