From Marisa McClellan’s Naturally Sweet Food in Jars
If you’d like more details on sterilizing jars and preparing a water bath for canning, view this post on Food in Jars.
- 3 lbs. (1.4 kg) apples
- 12 ounces (340 g) Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup (240 ml) water
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- nice flaky sea salt
- Cut the apples, cores and all, into chunks, and heap them into a large, nonreactive pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add the dates and water.
- Place over high heat, cover, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and simmer until the apples are tender enough to crush with the back of a wooden spoon, about 20 minutes. While the fruit cooks, preheat the oven to 300ºF/150ºC.
- Fit a food mill with its finest screen, position it over a large bowl, and mill the apple mash, along with all the liquid. You’re done when all that’s left in the mill is a pile of seeds and skins.
- Stir the lemon juice, vinegar, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the apple mash, scrape it into a shallow baking dish, and place in the oven. Roast the apple mash for 1.5-2 hours, stirring every 20-30 minutes (or not… I don’t stir). It’s done when you no longer see liquid separating from the fruit.
- If you wish to can the apple butter, while it bakes, prepare a boiling water bath, and sterilize three half-pint jars.
- Remove the pan from the oven. Scrape the butter into a food processor and purée until smooth. Taste. Add a sprinkling of sea salt if you wish. Purée again. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary with more salt or lemon to taste.
- Spoon the hot butter into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch (12 mm) of headspace. Use a wooden chopstick to dislodge any trapped air bubbles. Add more butter to return the headspace to 1/2 inch (12 mm), if necessary. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
- Category: Condiments
- Method: Stovetop/Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: apples, butter, fruit butter, dates