Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Apple Update!

Okay, a quick apple update is needed here…right after I produced my apple cranberry jam, I noticed a post on Tigress in a Jam’s website ( for Ancho Apple Butter…my taste buds snapped to attention! After my summer success (obsession) with the Chile Blackberry Syrup from 101Cookbooks, the thought of fall fruit jazzed up with the heat of an ancho chile - one of my personal chile faves - well, nothing would do but to whip up a batch! It’s a quick easy recipe, so a good one for a little evening project…I produced 6 - ½ pint jars in a couple hours!
Ancho Apple Butter - from Tigress in a Jam
5 LBS apples - stemmed & 
quartered, skin & seeds intact
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 & 2/3 to 2 cups raw cane sugar
9 allspice berries
1 to 2 teaspoons ground ancho chiles
1/2 pint or pint mason jars
food mill

yield: approximately 4 - ½ pint jars (like I say - I got 6…so have some extra jars and lids ready just in case)

1. Place apple quarters and 2 cups cold water in a non-reactive stock pot and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until apples are soft - about 20 minutes. (I used this timing and it was just right)
2. As apples are cooking prepare canning pot and jars for processing. Jars should be warmed but no need to sterilize.

3. When apples are soft all the way through take off the heat and pass them through a food mill. Discard the skins & seeds and return the apple flesh to pot. Add sugar, ground ancho, wine vinegar, and whole allspice. Place the allspice in a cloth tea bag, metal tea ball, or cheesecloth so that it is easy to fish out later.

4. Cook on medium, stirring regularly until butter thick - about 30 minutes (I found that mine was ready in about 25 minutes). As it thickens you will have to stir more often to prevent sticking. You'll know it's done when you can place a dollop on a plate and the sides don't leak.

5. Fill jars to 1/4 inch head space, tap the jars gently on the towel covered counter to get rid of air bubbles. Run a plastic chopstick around the inside rim if air bubbles are persistent.

6. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

I think this will be off the hook served with corn bread, but in the mean time I have found that toast, finger, spoon, cracker…work just fine!

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