Also known as
Concentrated Apple sauce
Many might confuse it with being a form of a compound butter, but in reality it is one of the most concentrated forms of apple sauce. Because of its thick and soft texture which makes it spreadable, it gets the name "butter" attached along side it. It finds its roots in colonial America where it was one of the fancy ways to cook apples. In the late fall season, people celebrate Apple butter making day when apple butter is cooked in huge copper kettles over open flames throughout the day.
Apples are cooked along with water or cider (drink made from natural fermentation of apple juice) till the sugar in the apple caramelizes, turning the end result to a creamy and deep brown apple butter. One can flavour it with ground cinnamon, ground cumin, cloves or other spices, as required. If you want a little tart flavour, you can add little vinegar or cider vinegar while cooking for that different flavour.
How to select
If purchasing bottled apple butter, ensure that you check the manufacturing date and expiry date details. However, if you are cooking apple butter at home, ensure to use good quality apples (cooking apples) for the recipe.
· Since it is cooked for a longer period than apple sauce, it has a longer shelf life Thus, it makes way in the kitchen pantry as a very good preserve.
· It is commonly seasoned with ground cinnamon or cloves and spread on buttered toast.
· It can be used as a condiment, or in bakery recipes like pies etc.
· Use it as a spread for your sandwiches if you are bored with the same old fillings.
· To make "ready to eat" apple butter, combine ready made apple sauce, apple cider, honey (as per sweetness), cinnamon, allspice and cloves in a broad pan and cook on a slow flame for few hours till it reduces considerably, while stirring once in a while. When the mixture turns dark brown in colour, remove and cool. Store in sterilized glass jars and use as required.
How to store
Since the concentration of sugar is high (which acts as a natural preservative), it has a long shelf life. However, store in a sterilized glass jar/ bottle or air-tight container.
It is said to have higher calorific value and higher potassium content as compared to applesauce.