Apple Butter is a great way to celebrate the apple season. Spread it on toasts, pancakes, waffles or even serve on a cheese platter.
After many rescheduling, we finally went to apple picking last Saturday. This is our 2nd time. Ever since the 1st time a few years ago, I have always dreamed of going back. And my dream came true! 🙂
Apple picking is in Oak Glen. It is about a 2-hour drive. It is like a mini road trip. Since it was early in the morning, I packed up a few croissants and a couple mocha frappuccino bottles for the road. We were nicely fed and ready to go.
When we arrived at Los Rios Rancho, there were lots of people already. After all, it is apple and pumpkin season. We went straight to the apple farm. It wasn’t exactly easy to find good apples. Many of them had holes and were eaten by worms. But we managed to pick 5 1/2 pounds of Rome Beauty apples. Surprisingly, strawberry picking was still available. My sister was thrilled about it. We ended up picking 2 pints of strawberries too. They were ripe and pretty sweet. It was a nice bonus.
After that, we grabbed a quick lunch. We sat under a tree to enjoy the food, live music and fresh air. It was a great escape from the busy city scene. Before we left, my sister and I tried all the samples out there that they offered. We bought a gallon of our favorite fresh apple cider. We also picked up a loaf of their homemade apple cream bread. That bread was heavenly. It is not the yeast kind. Think pumpkin and banana bread. You can taste the apple flavors in every bite with a hint of spices. We love it so much that we finished it in two days. I will have to figure out how to make something like that.
So long, Los Rios Rancho! We had an amazing time! We will see each other soon!
Back at home, this week has been all about apples. I have been making all kind of food with apples. Some turned out great, and some didn’t. But no matter good or bad, Bryan and I have to finish them. I am sure Bryan will soon be sick of apples and start to complain.
The first thing I made was this apple butter. It is called apple butter. But as most of you know, it has no butter in it. It is more like a jam. It is made with apples, cider, brown sugar, lemon, and spices. The recipe is very straight forward. It is a lot easier to make than I thought originally. All you need is a little patience. YES, it requires a couple of hours of time. But don’t freak out… Your oven is doing most of the work for you. I promise it is all worth it! Intense apple flavors, sweet, and smooth. Put it on toast, pancake, waffle, ice cream, and pork chop. It will be great on a cheese platter as well. YUM! Enjoy a great apple season!
- 2 pounds assorted apples (peeled, cored and cut into big dices)
- 1 cup apple cider
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of ground cloves
- Preheat the oven to 250˚F (130˚C).
- In a large ovenproof pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, combine the apples, apple cider, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer with a lid partially covered. Cook until the apples are soft, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla extract and cloves. Let it cool for 5 minutes.
- In a blender, puree the apple mixture in batches until smooth.
- Return the mixture to the same pot. Bake uncovered until thickened and reached your desired consistency, about 2½ – 3½ hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Once cooled, transfer to airtight containers and keep in the fridge up to 5 days.
- If you can, use a couple different types of apples. Some tart and some sweet. That would give a nicer flavor to the butter. I used 2 Rome Beauty, 2 Fuji and 1 McIntosh.
- Use creamy apples (like Cortland, Rome Beauty, Gravenstein, Golden Delicious) for better result.
- Apple picking guides: Read & Read
Oana | Adore Foods says
So glad you had a great time! There is nothing better than an apple orchard and all the goodies that come with it. We have to go back this weekend too, to stock up on some more apples before the cold wether comes. I am daydreaming of fresh, warm apple cider donuts 🙂 I am really curious how is your apple butter recipe. Never tried before but that’s going to change after I am getting some apples.
I still haven’t tried any cider donuts! Next time! I love this apple butter. It is like a thick applesauce, but more intense. We are going to serve it with some ice cream tonight. 😀 Have fun apple picking!
Yi @ YiReservation says
Saw the apple butter on IG and I had to check out the recipe. It sounds delicious and will go well with my milk bread. Thanks for sharing!
It sure will go well with your milk bread! I love it on vanilla ice cream too! 😉 Thanks Yi!
Kathleen | Hapa Nom Nom says
Oh my gosh, apple picking looks like SO much fun! And you must have read my mind, because just the other day I was thinking that I needed to find an apple butter recipe – I’m so glad I have yours now 🙂
YES! So much fun! I won’t mind being there every weekend. Enjoy some apple cider, apple bread and all the sampling.
I really like this apple butter. It is not strong with spices and the apple flavors come through nicely. Let me know how it goes if you try it. 😉
peter @feedyoursoultoo says
What a great way to use apples. Fun day and fun to eat!
Thanks Peter! Yes, it is a nice way to get all that amazing apple flavors in a little intense bite. 🙂
Apple picking is a fun fall tradition for us too! The great part about apples, is that they last a long time and I don’t have to use them all up at once. I have been finding lots of cookie and cake recipes that call for apple butter. I bought it in a jar from the supermarket, but it would be fun to try making my own and I am sure it would taste better!
I have to make apple picking our tradition too. 😉 It is true! They do last a long time in the fridge. I do think homemade apple butter would taste better, especially if you use the blend of apples you like.
So nice that you had such a good time apple picking! Sounds like a wonderful day. I think we take it for granted here after a while. : ) I have always loved the idea and sound of making a batch of apple butter. It is a very smart way to use up some of those apples! I’ve been telling my husband I’ll make him an apple galette soon but there just never seems to be time and there are so many things to make!
Haha! I know what you mean by having too many things you want to make. It is the same for me. I have promised Bryan to make him pound cake for a while, but that still hasn’t happened. This is the problem of food bloggers. 😛
Christine | Vermilion Roots says
I am crazy about apples right now. Went apple picking and have a photo of myself doing that on my blog too. Apple butter is a fantastic idea but requires patience. 🙂
HAHA! It is the season, right? I know it does take time to make this apple butter, but once it goes in the oven, you can go back to your normal routine. Just come back to stir every 30 min. It really isn’t that bad. 😉
I always wondered why it’s called butter, I’d call it marmelade 🙂 But yours really look like delicious spiced butter. Yum!
I was wondering about that for the longest time too! I really love this. Intense and easy to make. Thanks Teresa!