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May 21, 2024
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From My Kosher Jerusalem Kitchen: Apple Butters

It’s not fall in Israel, but when the apples come into season, I immediately think of making apple butter. Apple butter originated with the monasteries which grew fruit, during the Middle Ages, in Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. It also was popular in 19th century colonial America.

The first recipe is one I repeat every year because it is the easiest and my favorite.

Microwave Apple Butter

4 cups

  • 8 cored, sliced, unpeeled apples
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1. Place apple slices in a deep casserole with juice. Microwave on high 4-5 minutes.
  • Stir, continue microwaving 4-5 minutes more.

2. Place in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

3. Return to casserole. Add sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Cover and microwave

10-12 minutes until thick. Pour into jars, cover and refrigerate.

Baked Bourbon Apple Butter

3 cups

  • This recipe came from Food & Wine by Paige Grandjean, a recipe tester and developer from Birmingham, Alabama.
  • 7 peeled, cored apples, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 4 cups unsweetened apple cider
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

(recipe calls for salt, which I eliminated.)

1. Preheat oven to 300 F.

2. Combine apples, apple cider, sugar, bourbon, cinnamon and ginger in a frying pan. Bring to a boil, cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.

3. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, process apple mixture 1-2 minutes.

4. Transfer frying pan to preheated, 300 F. oven. Bake, stirring every 30 minutes, until mixture is thick, glossy and reduced to about 3 cups 3-3 ½ hours).

5. Remove from oven, stir in lemon juice, let cool at room temperature. Cover and chill at least 4 hours.

Apple-Pumpkin Butter

  • 3 pints
  • This came from an old Food magazine.
  • 3 pounds peeled and cored apples, reserving peels and cores
  • 2 ½ cups apple cider
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 ¾ cups pumpkin

1. Preheat oven to 300 F.

2. Place peels, cores and 2 cups cider in a saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat,

 cover and simmer 30 minutes. Press through food mill or sieve to extract juice. Reserve juic; discard peels and cores.

3. In a saucepan, combine apples, sugar, cinnamon stick and ½ cup cider. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add reserved juice, bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer uncovered 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally until thick. Discard cinnamon stick. Stir in pumpkin.

5. Pour mixture into a roasting pan. Keep oven door slightly open and bake 1-1 ½ hours, stirring every 15 minutes.

6. Spoon into sterilized jars. Wipe rims and threads clean. Top with lids. Place in boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Cool completely. Store in cool, dark place.

Sybil Kaplan is a journalist, author, compiler/contributor/editor of nine kosher cookbooks (working on a 10th) and food writer for north American Jewish publications. She lives in Jerusalem where she has led weekly walks of the Jewish food market, Machaneh Yehudah, in English since 2009. She wrote the kosher Jerusalem restaurant features for, the oldest, largest website for English speakers from 2014-2020.

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