I must say I was completely honoured (I’m half Canadian so you might see the queens “u” pop up every now again in my blogging. Jus reppin’ my Canadian brothers & sisters!) when Katie approached me about the book. What happens when everything comes together perfectly? Jenga! No, I'm pretty sure it's called Jenga. Anyhow, moving right along...
The bible says, “Man cannot live on bread alone".... Well obviously the man in question was not a Stuckey, culinarily speaking of course. He clearly had no knowledge of the carb hussies we were bread from. (No pun intended.) You see most of our meals revolved around what we were soaking, soppin', or toasting. So naturally half of our fridge and cabinets consist of condiments for said bread. Since we all know from my interview that my desert island food is Cinnamon Toast we were never short on Cinnamon Sugar - But that’s more of a lazy comfort food. So for this, my first blog post, I thought we would keep going with the Cinnamon craze, but instead find it in my favourite duo: Welcome to “the Butters.”
|Remnants of a homemade batch by Katie|
If you have ever been to the Essenhaus’ you will find a very curious squeezy bottle on the table full of what I can only describe as Eve’s Evil - Apple Butter - so perfectly spiced, so perfectly smooth. I will never go back to jam or jelly if I don't have to, and I’m guessing if you know the joys of Apple Butter you wont either. If at all possible I will always pair my fruit butter with it’s perfect counter part - Home made fresh butter. So here's my favorite apple butter recipe followed by what some folks this is magic (but is actually quite simple) - homemade butter!
14-16 Macintosh Apples
20 ounces Apple cider ( I use Wellesley Organic)
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
Ground cinnamon to taste
Water as needed*
Some people use pressure cookers, some prefer over ripe apples, but after many tests I fell in love with my recipe. It just takes patience and a good nose J
1. Peel, core and roughly chop 14-16 Macintosh (Macs are my preference but any apple will do thought they'll give you slightly different results. If you want more tang try a granny or gala apple.)
2. Place apples, apple cider in a large heavy bottom pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer...
Once the apples are mushy and apple cider is reduced, add the cinnamon sticks and brown sugar and stir til combined.
3. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally until apples are saucy and a dark brown color.
Note: Much like you would want to carmelize onions, let your apples reduce a bit each time before you stir them. You want to ride a fine line between carmelizing the sugars and burning the bottom of you pot. If they do start to burn, add a bit of hot water, but do so sparingly as you want to keep the sugars moist - Too much water will give you an applesauce taste and texture.
5. Once you’ve got the desired color and taste, remove cinnamon sticks and add ground cinnamon. As you're adding cinnamon, keep in mind that it will develop over time as well.
6. Then use a hand mixer or blender to blend and create the smooth, buttery texture. Be careful as mixture is thick and hot. Splattering hot Apple butter on your arm is not part of this recipe!
Note: If using a regular blender, do not close the lid entirely before you turn the machine on - the heat and pressure of the butter will make it basically explore and splatter out. So leave the top cap lifted slightly as you turn it on.
7. Cool and enjoy!!
Picture making homemade whipped cream and then going way way way too far with it. The method here uses a stand mixer but you can also do this by hand... it'll just take a bit longer. Though you'll have some muscle to show for it!
2 quarts of heavy cream
Coarse sea salt (to sprinkle on top of finished butter, if desired)
1. Use the whisk attachment on a standing mixer. Cover ever so carefully with plastic wrap, or towel and turn on high. Keep very close attention as the fats will form around the whisk and the buttermilk will fall to the bottom of the bowl. If you don't wrap it with plastic or a towel it will splatter all over your kitchen... Ask Katie about this!
2. Unwrap mixer when the liquid and fat have separated and remove all butter from whisk. If you want to use this butter in baking, form it into a ball and smack or squeeze out the excess buttermilk/water as it may affect your baking. If you run your finger across the butter and there are no beads of water - you’re good! Store butter in airtight container in the freezer.