Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ancho Apple Butter

Fall in New England means apples. There has been a steady stream of the things running through the house for about a month now. Our housemates have been canning up a storm, but this week we finally got around to some apple projects of our own. When we started canning, this crate of apples from a friend's property was full. As you can see, we're making progress. More on other canning projects later.

First up: ancho apple butter. I got the idea (and the base recipe) from a blog I much admire: Tigress in a Jam. Really a go-to blog for canning ideas and insight into the joy of preserving, for lack of a better word, the tradition of preserving food.

Though I take no credit for the brilliance of the flavor combo, I did make some changes to the recipe, so I'll share my own with you:

Ancho Apple Butter

10 lbs apples, stemmed and quartered
18 allspice berries
1 package dried ancho chiles

1. Stem and quarter apples. Place apple quarters and 2 cups cold water in a non-reactive (stainless or enameled iron) stock pot and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until apples are soft - about 20 minutes.

2. When apples are soft all the way through take off the heat and pass them through a food mill. Return the sauce to the pot. Add allspice. Simmer for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.

3. Transfer to a crock pot set to high and cook for 12 hours. (You could do this immediately after milling the apples, but simmering seemed to cut some time off the process).

4. In the morning, place the ancho chiles in a bowl with enough hot water to cover. When soft, blend the contents.

5. The apple butter is done when it has reached a dark brown color and a thick consistency. Add ancho chile paste to taste.

6. Prep canner and jars and place in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

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