Friday, December 21, 2012

Lemon Thyme Apple Butter

Lemon Thyme Apple Butter from Hattie Kotz on Vimeo.

So, as many of you may have noticed,
 the ever-anticipated end of the world decided not to show up. 

How rude. 

However, we've all had those late days. 
Where you know you really have to be some place, but your sleep alter-ego is 
bribing you to come back to sleep with visions of delicious cuts of pork and prospects of 
revisiting that dream where you can talk to snakes. 

So perhaps the end of the world fairy is just having one of those late days,
and the world will still end, just as soon as his sleep alter-ego 
releases him from his clutches. 

And when it comes, I'll be in the great 
company of my best friend Mary of Heartfelt and Handwritten,
and well-equipped with vast quantities of apple butter. 
And in all honesty, I couldn't imagine a better way to sink ship. 

Contrary to the implicative name, apple butter 
does not contain any butter or dairy products whatsoever. 
It is, in essence, an apple jam with an opaque buttery consistency. 

While the honey and the sweetness of the apples make the spread naturally sweet, 
the earthy thyme sprigs bring a savory quality to the spread, making it fit to 
accompany anything from a crust of bread to a leg of lamb.

10-12 baking apples 
(I used Jonathans, they have a nice soft texture)

3 cinnamon sticks
(you can substitute for 1 1/2 tsp. of ground cinnamon if needed)

6 sprigs of thyme
(left on the stems)

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 cup apple cider

1/2 c. honey
(I used wildflower honey, but any will do nicely)

Combine everything (that's right, all at once!) 
in an oven-friendly pot on the stovetop. 
Bring the liquids to a boil, and let the mixture simmer for 
30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
After the aforementioned time has elapsed, you must brave the fiery depths
 of your pot and remove the thyme stems and cinnamon sticks before transferring the mixture to the blender. This is an important step, because there isn't anything delicious or buttery about twigs. 
Once the twig-less mixture is safely secured in the blender, 
blend on high until the mixture is completely purred. 
Return the apple mixture to the pot and place it in the oven at 250 degrees.
Now it's time to bust out the playing cards or fan fiction novels, 
because that babys gonna be in that oven for a while. 
About 2 hours to be precise. 
But fret not, dear lasses and lads, it
requires little attention. Nothing but a simple stir to keep it from scorching but once every 20 minutes or so, is all. 

And there you have it. Warm and delicious apple butter to accompany your bits of toast and mugs of
coffee for many blustery afternoons to come. 

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