My cousin was in town a little while ago. I took her out to the tomato farm and then decided we should pick apples together since it was such a gorgeous, late-summer afternoon. My family has two 100-year-old apple trees, and there are some more wild ones growing in a meadow across the road from the farm. To get to this forgotten apple orchard, you have to scramble through a thicket of blackberries, and once through, you'll find yourself in a peaceful field of golden grass, speckled with ancient apple trees and a few small Hawthorns. My cousin and I picked all sorts of apples that day: tiny pink apples, skinny yellow apples, and big, fat green ones. With such an abundance of fresh apples, I had one thing on the brain: apple butter! Mmm, after being slow-cooked with spices, homemade apple butter is absolutely heavenly spread on some toast. I made some right away, here's my recipe- you have to try this:
10 cups peeled and seeded apples, cubed
1 cup apple juice or cider
Cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove to taste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons brown sugar
Throw apples and cider into a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes. When apples are soft, saucy, and brown add the spices, lemon juice, and brown sugar and mix well. Slowly begin mashing the mixture. Using a hand blender, blend the apples until smooth and creamy. Get out some good bread and enjoy! Goes well with peanut butter too for an autumnal spin on the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
I also have jars of this apple butter up on etsy: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31220354