Maple and apple butter is delicious. I adapted this from Tigress in a Jam’s recipe that uses maple sugar–which sounds incredibly delicious but which I didn’t have around. I am one of those people who decides to make something, and that something must be made NOW. So I looked at her tasty recipe and scratched my head and wondered if I could substitute maple syrup. The results are probably a bit different, but I like how it turned out. It’s subtly maple-y, but the apples I used were also sweet and not overpowering so it all balanced out nicely. The bay leaf and cloves bring everything together, giving the apple butter a bright flavor while making your whole house smell like comforting, delicious food. If you want a more intense maple flavor, use a darker syrup (grade B rather than grade A). And make sure to give Tigress’ page a look, there are many tasty things to inspire you!
5 lbs sweet apples (I used 3 lbs Gala and 2 lbs Fiji)
2 bay leaves
½ tsp sea salt
¼ c sugar
1 ¼ c real maple syrup (please don’t use the caramel colored corn syrup stuff or I will cry)
3 whole cloves, crushed with a mortar and pestle
-Core and chop apples and add to a large, non-reactive pot, tossing with fresh lemon juice as you go.
-Turn heat on medium low, add bay leaves, salt, sugar, syrup, and cloves to pot.
-Turn heat up to medium and cook for about an hour, stirring frequently, until apples are very soft. You can add a little water or cider if needed.
-Using an immersion blender and/or a food mill (I use both) blend the apples until very smooth.
-Can the apple butter in jars using hot water bath processing. Process for 15 minutes to seal the jars.