I’ve returned to the UK and I’m overjoyed at having a garden again, even if it is going to take a lot of work to sort out how over grown it has become. One of the best things about my garden is that it has an apple tree. When I left 3 ½ years ago it was a spindly little thing that produced about three apples a year. Now it has been somewhat left to its own devices it’s become a bit of an overachiever and is weighed down with fruit.
It has so many apples on it that it was listing very badly to one side. My mum (who I consider to be the next best thing to an expert on these things) had to come and strategically prune it to shed some of the weight and we’ve had to anchor it to another tree!
I couldn’t quite bring myself to toss the fruit which we sacrificed into the compost so I’ve turned it into this yummy apple butter. It’s great spread on toast and English muffins, or if you feel particularly decadent in the mornings even on warm Scotch pancakes.
makes about 2 jars
800g windfall apples
1 tsp ground spices (I like nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger but use any combination you like)
Roughly chop and core the apples but don’t bother to peel them. Put them in a large pan and cover them with water. Bring this to boil and then reduce the heat a little and let it simmer until the fruit has become soft and pulpy.
Strain out the fruit and put it in a blender. Blend until it’s fairly smooth and then push the pulp through a sieve with a wooden spoon to leave you with about 500ml of very smooth puree. Return this to the pan and stir in the sugar and the spices. Bring this to boiling point too and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Carefully stir the apple butter occasionally and let it simmer until you have reached a soft setting stage. You can test this by dropping a spoonful of the butter onto a chilled saucer, letting it cool and then pushing your finger through it. If it gently wrinkles then it’s ready to be poured into sterilised jars and sealed.