Janet McCormick: Apple Butter (not) exactly like Granny made | Features/Entertainment

I was asked to demonstrate making apple butter. I’ll be performing this task over an open fire in a copper kettle. Besides the fact that I am elated to dig deep into our past for the skills necessary to do this, I’m even more excited to bring you the much quicker and healthier version.

Don’t worry, it’s delicious.

Healthy only means I have eliminated the task of peeling two bushels of apples. Not only have I just increased your fiber intake with a convenient shortcut mostly because I hate peeling things, but I’ve also doubled the deliciousness of a fruit spread that no doubt your grandmother slathered all over her toast once upon a time.

I’m queen of taking a long, arduous recipe and turning it into a simple, more nutritious and sometimes even more delicious preparation. This is what I told the ladies who were offering their help to peel and core the apples for the upcoming event. I think I heard a collective gasp when I said my recipe eliminated peeling. I explained that leaving the peel intact left more flavor and added necessary pectin that will assist in firming the spread, which means less cooking and standing over the pot stirring as the apples reduced in liquid. It’s very fresh and “apple-ly” tasting.

This might even earn my coveted description of “rustic” cooking. There is a small bit of skins left in the apple butter but I feel it only adds to the flavor and I also feel better knowing I’m eating a beloved breakfast spread that includes a healthy dose of fiber. It makes my heart smile knowing I used the entire apple and all its essence.

I made this “practice” version today and the time was cut substantially. Inside, I feel just as sweet and spicy as this apple butter tastes. I’ve never been more pleased with a new change than this. I can’t tell you how very “fall” it smelled in my house.

On Friday when I do this in a copper kettle the smell of the wood burning…

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