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Saturday, October 23, 2010

granny smith heaven.

See our cabin...it's right up there at the top toward the center,see it. Yep that's the one! Actually nope that's not it but it's looks to be a pretty swanky place to stay.
         So this past weekend we visited Gatlinburg,Tn. It's a lovely little town,tons of shopping and amazing views.It was a wonderful trip and really nice just to get away for the weekend with some pretty wonderful people.One of the moments that will forever stick in my memory is driving through Cade's Cove . We got to see the amazing landscape that really humbles you quickly. The greens and browns and deer and horses and oh my gosh,what a treat. The real treat was towards the end of the drive when we were waiting patiently in the line to drive out this incredible landscape. We were hungry,needed to use the facilities and were about to scrap over the last peppermint I had in my purse. I know not desperate but nonetheless hopeful. Thank heavens my in-laws (saintly,generous folks) have a snazzy mid-size SUV and the have sirius radio installed in that baby. We found the blue collar comedy station (channel 103,if you were wondering...) and that made the ride back into the big city super funny,like so funny you-might-for-a-split-second-forget-you-needed-to-use-the-facilities funny.And then snap your fingers,you drive this steep,windy road and ta-da! you're back at the red light at the tail end of town and it takes you right to a pretty amazing Italian restaurant,but more to come on that another day.
  
  The slightly less funny,but nonetheless awesome moment that will stay with me in my culinary mind, will be the moment I tasted the apple butter I made specifically to enjoy with breakfast, on that very same trip. Maybe it was the feelings of fall and the crisp,applely (it's a word for now,thanks) thoughts that a trip to the Rockies, I mean Smokies might conjure up or just a nice breakfast with a big ol' cup of coffee and some toast that was the gusto I needed to make this jam. Its a pretty classic recipe as apple butter recipes go,but it does take a little patience to stir all of the crisp,applely (last time I promise),spicy flavors and fit all into one jar.You've got it in you I just know you do and you WILL pat yourself on the back when you taste this granny smith goodness.Enjoy!
Apple Butter
adapted from the folks at simplyrecipes.com
(I haven't made a recipe from these people that
wasn't amazing and definitely a keeper,give 'em a try,
thank me later.)
makes about 3 pints or 6 8-ounce jars
Ingredients:
4 lbs of good cooking apples,I used Granny Smith
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
Sugar (about 4 cups,see cooking instructions)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
Equipment needed:
1 wide 8-quart preserving pan
food mill or a chinois sieve (cone-shaped colander of sorts)
A large 8-cup measuring cup pourer
6-8 8-ounce canning jars
Directions:
1. Cut the apples into quarters,without peeling or coring them (this is the best part of this whole recipe) much of the pectin is in the cores and flavor in the peels,cut out the damaged parts.
2. Put them into the large pot,add the vinegar and water,cover,bring to a boil,reduce the heat to simmer,cook until the apples are soft,about 20 minutes. Remove them from the heat.
3. Ladle the apple mixture into a chinois sieve (or foodmill) and using a pestle (or cranking the foodmill) force the pulp through the sieve into a large bowl below. Measure the resulting puree'. Add 1/2 cup of sugar for each cup of apple pulp. Stir in to the apple pulp to dissolve the sugar. Add a dash of salt,and the cinnamon,ground cloves,all spice and lemon rind and juice. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
4. Cook uncovered in a large,wide,thick bottomed pot on medium-low heat,stirring constantly to prevent burning. Scrape the bottom of the pot to make sure a crust is not forming at the bottom. Cook until thick and smooth (here comes that patience part I mentioned... this part will take 1-2 hours,it will go quicker than you think). A small bit spooned onto a chilled (in the freezer) plate will be thick,not runny. (you can also cook the mixture on low heat stirring occasionally,but this will take WAY longer) * note the wider the pan the better,as there is more surface area for evaporation.*
5. Prepare your canner,jars and lids. Pour the apple mixture into hot,sterilized jars and seal. Wipe the rims of the jars clean before applying the lid. Process the jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes to ensure a good seal. Let cool overnight. (oh did I mention this apple butter defies gravity,if it sets correctly,you can turn the jar over and it shouldn't move from the jar,it's that thick,darn fine.)

2 comments:

  1. hey guh! hooray! you went to cades cove! looks like y'all loved it as much as we did. isn't God's creation amazing :) glad you had a great time!

    save some (or most) of that apple butter for us!!
    caroline

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your friend Amanda looooves apple butter! (wink wink:)

    ReplyDelete