My grandfather passed away several weeks ago, after a long battle with emphysema and lung cancer. Granddad grew up in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia, but spent the last few years of his life in Williamsburg, Virginia. Today’s recipe is inspired by a place he loved: Colonial Williamsburg. I love and miss you, Granddad.
When I was in elementary school, I was fascinated by the American Revolution. I was more interested in the time period than the politics and spent hours studying how people lived. My American Girl Doll, Felicity, provided a window into the past. Felicity’s character lived in Williamsburg in 1774, and I read her stories over and over, then dressed her up in historical outfits and made up my own colonial adventures. I was probably the only girl in my class who begged my parents to take me to Colonial Williamsburg rather than Disney World. We finally took a family vacation to Virigina and I finally got to see Felicity’s world first hand. (Unfortunately, this was before Granddad moved to Williamsburg- how he would have loved to take us!) I was able to bring back a little taste of Colonial Williamsburg with Felicity’s cookbook.
Felicity’s Cook Book provides historical recipes updated for a nine-year old palette and tips for throwing a proper 18th century party. I thoroughly enjoyed the cookbook as a child (and yes I did throw several colonial parties) and still find myself using it today. This apple butter recipe is easy (it was written for a nine-year old) and delicious. I’d describe apple butter as somewhere between apple sauce and jam, sweet, tart, delicious and perfect for fall.
- 3 cups apple cider
- 2 pounds apples (about 6 large apples)
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- In a large saucepan, boil cider for 15 minutes.
- While cider boils, peel apples and slice. The recipe recommends cutting the apples into small cubes, but I've discovered it works just as well to slice each apple into eighths.
- Carefully add apples to boiling cider, taking care not splash hot cider.
- Cover and simmer the apples over low heat until tender, about one hour, stirring occasionally.
- Once apples are tender, remove from heat and mash apples with a potato masher.
- Stir in honey and spices.
- Simmer apple butter for 30 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring frequently.
- While apple butter cools, prepare glass jars for storage (learn how to sterilize glass jars here ).
- When apple butter has reached desired consistency, remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes. At this point, you can puree your apple butter in a blender to get perfectly smooth apple butter. I love the texture as is!
- Spoon cooled apple butter into jars. Serve on toast, with pancakes or biscuits. Or eat it straight out of the jar. I won't judge :]
- Refrigerate leftovers.