Saturday, March 16, 2019

Apple Whiskey (or Rum) Conserve - Toast Topper #83

Apple Whiskey (or Rum) Raisin Conserve. Your morning toast never HAD it so good!

Okay, so first things first - I cannot believe I didn't post a single Toast Topper in all of 2018! I really have no real excuse - I cooked and canned (albeit not as much as previous years) but I simply have lacked the time and energy to put together blog posts like I used to. As some of you know (if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram) 2018 was a pretty busy year for me - and things show no signs of slowing down! I'm now three terms away from graduating with my degree in Sociology and will be undertaking my Masters of Teaching in September of next year... then after all that I'm planning a wedding! So for those of you who have stayed with me throughout this shift, thanks! For those of you who are new to this blog, welcome and I hope you can find some inspiration in the 1958 posts I've written since 2007.

The second thing I wanted to say is Happy St. Patty's Day! While it's unknown if I have any Irish in me at all (Grandma was adopted so she's a wild card) the fact remains that my ginger haired cousin and I have still been pegged as being from the Emerald Isle. Even if I'm not part leprechaun, I do enjoy the festivities around this holiday, especially the music and dancing! Of course, alcohol is a factor this time of year too (green beer, anyone?) but the Irish are also known for decent spirits, and after hearing my mom mention some Irish whiskey she had tried I remembered the apple whiskey I had bought last year but not opened. Why not give it a shot in a lovely, sticky-sweet preserve perfect for dolloping over butter on some hearty soda bread or scones?

This conserve is originally from Best of Bridge Home Preserving, but (of course) I took several liberties when it came to specific ingredients. I kept the sugar ratio the same, but since I was out of brown sugar (yes, I'm a baking heathen) I dolloped in some molasses for flavour and a touch of honey too, because I love honey! I had no apple juice, but I did have an apple flavoured herbal tea, which when brewed triple strength tasted strikingly similar to apple juice, so in that went too. Apple whiskey made it's way in place of the rum and I nixed the walnuts because nobody here likes them. All in all, the mixture was rich, thick, spiced, and perfectly sweet, with just enough apple and raisin texture running through it. A perfect Toast Topper for St. Patty's Day if you ask me!

Apple Whiskey (or Rum) Raisin Conserve
Makes ~7 cups 
8 medium McIntosh or Cortland apples (softer apples), peeled and chopped
4 large Golden Delicious or Honeycrisp apples (pie apples), peeled and chopped
1 cup hot apple herbal tea, brewed triple strength
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
5 cups sugar
2 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp honey
1 cup sultana raisins
1⁄3 cup apple whiskey (or spiced rum)
  1. In a deep, heavy-bottomed pot, combine apples, tea, spices, vinegar, sugar, molasses and honey. Bring to a boil over high heat. 
  2. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes to soften apples. 
  3. Stir in the raisins.
  4. Bring to a full boil, stirring constantly.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, while stirring often for 25-30 minutes or until mixture reaches a soft, jam-like consistency. A candy thermometer should read 220°F.
  6. Stir whiskey or rum and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. 
  7. Process jars in a waterbath canner for 10 minutes.

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