When I first started writing this post, I jumped in with fact about apples. Then I remembered when my brother Daniel called my older sister Rachel to tell her about the new truck he bought. It was his first new vehicle and he was really proud. He jumped in by telling her about the size of the engine and using words like “torque”. Rachel interrupted and asked three key questions: what color is it? does it have a CD player? does it have a mirror on the passenger side visor? Daniel sighed and answered. He’s had a rough go being the only boy sandwiched in the middle of three sisters. So I’m going to apply Rachel’s questions to this post….
Spiced Apple Pie Butter is a new recipe bursting with spicy tart Spitzenberg apples and apple pie spices! It’s Autumn in a jar and you’re gonna love it! Whew, now that’s out of the way, here’s the rest…
You’ve probably heard the phrase “as American as apple pie”. Well, there’s actually some truth to the saying. My local grocery store carries 10 to 12 varieties in stock. Sherwood Orchards has over 80 varieties of apple trees. Portland Nursery has an annual apple tasting where you can sample many varieties of apples. I read on the Internet (which we all know is always totally accurate), that we have over 17,000 types of apples in the US. Even if you question those numbers, it’s easy to believe that Americans love apples! Given our love of apples, how do you choose just one?
Well, back to the farmers. Sherwood Orchard publishes crop weekly updates and specifically mentioned that the Spitzenberg apples were ripe. So I did a little research. The website, Orange Pippin says they’re the “comprehensive resource for apples and orchards”. They must know! They say that Spitzenberg apples are “One of the great American apple varieties, thought to be Thomas Jefferson’s favourite. Noted for its spicy flavour, and for its susceptibility to any and every disease afflicting apples.” Translated in Aunt Becky speech: delicious and high-maintenance! I wanted them! As usual, my greedy heart won out and I came home with 46 lbs. a couple weeks ago. They’ve been chilling in the fridge waiting for a cool and cloudy Autumn Saturday.
So I gathered my ingredients, ripe Spitzenberg apples, home-made quince paste, Florida Crystals organic cane sugar and apple pie spices. If you don’t remember, quince turns a coral/red color while cooking. Mixed with the honey-colored apples, the mixture turned a caramel color. Then I added spices, loads of spices, and sugar. The mixture was a deep nut brown. I blended with my new, shiny red immersion blender. This one has a stainless steel blending shaft, so it can handle boiling fruit. Back to simmering, until it was really bubbling like a witches-brew (only I’m not a witch and I’m not concocting a poison). The resulting apple butter is bursting with tart apples, honeyed quince and apple pie spices.
P.S. As far as my brother’s truck, the answers are tan and yes it had a CD player and a mirror on the passenger side visor.