Friday, November 13, 2020

Cran-Apple Butter - Toast Topper #89

Cran-Apple Butter is a sweet-tart spread that is perfect in its simplicity - nothing more than diced apples, fresh cranberries, apple juice, honey and brown sugar with a big pinch of time!

I'm going to make a confession here - I had to look up when American Thanksgiving was. Even though I live in Canada, and we absolutely have Black Friday and all the network feeds from the States, we aren't that crazy about the holiday (or sales) in my household. That said, I now know that it is November 26, which means that if you are still wondering what to cook up as a twist on this anything-but-normal holiday you have time to try this lovely Toast Topper on for size! 

Since I still had apples from our orchard adventure sitting in the fridge, I had to start thinking of ways to use them before they turned into vinegar (the basement was starting to smell like a brewery due to the other bags in the not-so cold cellar). Along with a compote, an apple-onion jam, a batch of this lovely conserve and a classic apple butter, I tried a twist on the cranberry butter I saw on The View from Great Island, adding one to add even more pectin and a little more of a mediating smoothness to the mixture. Like most fruit butters, this one is really easy to do, but it is also very time consuming. You can't really wander off while it cooks in the second half, since you need to stir it every so often, but it is great if you can pop a movie or something on for the afternoon and just bask in the aromas of the holiday. 

The resulting puree is a perfect blend of tart and sweet, with a gorgeous crimson colour and just a hint of vanilla. I canned one jar to gift at Christmas, but the other I stuck in the fridge for toast. Turns out it is also a perfect addition to sandwiches with sharp cheese and roast chicken, as well as adding to a balsamic vinaigrette base for a pop of flavour (we also added fennel and black pepper). It definitely gets better overnight, which is great for planning ahead!

Here is hoping everyone can bring a taste of the holidays to their table this year. Be safe and have fun!

Cran-Apple Butter
Makes ~2 cups
1 large apple, peeled and diced (I used a Northern Spy, but any sweet-ish apple will do)
1 (12-oz) bag fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup honey
2/3 cup apple juice
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
  1. Combine all the ingredients (except vanilla) in a pot and place over low heat.
  2. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, until all the berries have popped and the mixture is very mushy.
  3. Puree with an immersion blender or a small blender and return to pot over low heat.
  4. Simmer, half-covered, for another hour, stirring often to prevent burning. It is ready when it "mounds" on a spoon.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla if using.
  6. Spoon into jars and waterbath can for 20 minutes or store in the fridge up to 1 month.
  7. This can also be frozen.

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