Remember that cookbook I mentioned the other day? The Coastal Table? I wanted to stop in and offer another recipe from Karen today.
It's a quick apple butter. It's inspired by traditional apple butter—same flavors, same spices—but instead of a thick applesauce stewed for hours, it's a compound butter. This means you use a single apple, a stick of butter, and a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and sugar. That's it! It's great on toast, and even better on grilled cheese.
Karen's doing a bunch of book events in the next few months—there's one October 19th in Dartmouth, another at the Mattapoisett Library November 13th, and others in the Boston area and Rhode Island in the surrounding weeks. All the recipes in the book are inspired by local ingredients, so it's well worth checking out! Happy cooking.
KAREN COVEY'S APPLE BUTTER
From The Coastal Table, by Karen Covey
Karen likes to serve this butter with pancakes or on the cheddar biscuits you see up there. I put mine in a grilled cheese, which was delicious. For the apple, she likes to use a McIntosh, though she says other varieties will work, so long as they soften up. The butter lasts for at least a week in the fridge.
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon butter, divided, at room temperature
1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoons water, divided
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
a pinch of ground cloves
a pinch of salt
In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add apples, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon water and cook until softened, about 12 minutes. Stir apples every so often to make sure they don't stick to the pan. You should be able to easily pierce apples with a fork when they're done. If you cannot, cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt and toss together with apples, coating completely. Add remaining 1 tablespoon water, stir to incorporate, and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from heat and allow to cool, at least 1 hour.
Transfer apple mixture to a food processor along with remaining 1 stick softened butter and process until almost smooth (it should be a little chunky). Transfer butter to a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate, at least 1 hour. Bring to room temperature before serving.