Long looong time ago i had my best summer ever. I was spending all the vacation at home, almost 3 months and everything was just perfect. The weather was boiling hot and smiley sunny – the swimming pool cristal clear with freshly cool water. All my friends around every day having lots of fun and georgeous dinners… My little garden was packed with heavenly vegetables and fruits: amazing little tomatoes in all shape and color of the rainbow, ripe juicy courgettes, shiny purple aubergines, sweet and spicy peppers etc etc… with these was pretty easy making beautiful and healthy meals for a bunch of people.
However, i could never use all the treasure of my garden – even if i invited the whole city – so needed a new hobby… the preserving. After a couple of basic jams i relized how funny is this – and not just because of the bubbling boiling hot sweet stuff… but u can totally use your creativity to create something absolutely unique. The real reason has just disappeared somehow in the background – the PRESERVING: giving to food a longer life – this was not important any more, but the crazy flavour combinations and textures, playing in the edge of the “sugar ratio”…. made it so excited. After all u can fill up your shelf with really sexy tiny bottles with their own label and date, make it a bit more posh and become a perfect gift to your friends to take home after a pleasant dinner-party…
This was what i was keen on and doing every day for hours and hours and hours using everything close to me… making jam, chutney, relish or u can call them however u fancy. I filled up little glass bottles with cooked and/or pickled vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs etc etc (i did even made a georgeous raspberry jam with vanilla and dark chocolate…. so this sh8t is a bit addicted, pretty hard to stop if u started once and u have a little summer-kitchen filled up with fresh organic vegetables and fruits….
Luckily i didnt have this problem recently here – unfortunately i need to pay for everything in the shop since my little dog killed all my balcony-tomatoes and herbes… but anyway. My boyfriend (who actually DOES NOT EAT ANY FRUITS and VEGETABLES ONCE A YEAR) brought a big bag of tiny organic “home-grown” apples from their own garden in Granada. Well well well…. i love apples of course, but i just can not finish a “whole tree” by myself cause my Dog prefers watermelon to be honest… :)
Once i ve seen a blog-post of the ‘apple butter’ (- very thanks to Mikiko) and BANG! Thats what im gonna try… so i did it. Actually u could call it preserved apple sauce, the original recipe calls for “butter” just because of the consistency. BUT… i made it. I did make an APPLE BUTTER using peanut butter and rosemary – just for a twist as always. And its working.
In most of the recipes u need to start cleaning the apples – except this one. The skin, seeds and core contain hell”lots”of” PECTIN which helps to reach a kind of ‘jellied’ textures (thats why it called butter). So here u just discard the little worms and ants from inside, cut half and ready to go for roasting in the owen. Dont make any mess (we do not want to soak then scrub the tray for days after the caramelizing), use baking paper under so u can be brave with sprinkling the sugar and/or honey… my case i used half-half ratio, half homemade rosmary sugar and half rosmary honey. This is the first heat. When it looks ready place the apples in a big pan on the stove and add your love, whatever u fancy and season. Water or cider needed not to let it burn and u can reach nice balance with a touch of apple or sherry vinegar. Here just use your fantasy: go for cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, vanilla bla bla bla.… cook it for a bit to infuse – second heat – and become soft enough to push thru a sieve. After this there is just one more round: i put the püréé back to the stove to melt my peanut butter in and voilá. Its really ready with a pinch of salt. Get your nice little bottles, fill them till top and close them really carefully with the lid. Cover all with a cloth and let them cool down really slowly together. Job done.
Yes yes…. but for what the f8ck?
Well… im not really a big bread eater so i wont spread this to my thick toast in the morning – however u could. Simply get pancakes, waffles, icecreams… or “back to England: beautiful with roasted pork on a chilli Sunday”… in my case i guess just gonna spoon in the morning cornflakes. Enjoy it.