Celebrate the start of fall with our favorite apple recipes. This month, we’re partnering with Sara Forte of Sprouted Kitchen to share tips, insights and recipes featuring fall’s favorite fruit.
If your first instinct when you hear “apple butter” is thinking of some heavy, fat-laden butter mixture, fear not. Despite being called “butter,” there’s actually no dairy or fat at all in apple butter. Instead, it’s a wonderfully concentrated and thick spread (hence the “butter” name) that can play sweet, savory and all things in between.
You make apple butter essentially the same way you do applesauce, but with a longer cooking process to reduce even more of the liquid off.
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As for the type of apple you use for apple butter, it is pretty flexible. Ideally, go for a sweet variety like Fuji, Jonagold, Honeycrisp or Braeburn. All of those should be easy to find at a well-stocked market in the fall.
The trick to doing sweet-and-savory well is to not overdo the sweet and blur the line on what flavor should be taking the lead. Cheese pairs so well with fruit because of the salty counterbalance that cheese tends to lend. So, taking that one step further, apple butter on a grilled cheese is akin to melty sandwich perfection.
Because it’s being used in a savory sandwich in this recipe, keep the apple flavor straight-forward and don’t add any sweet spices like cinnamon, ginger or vanilla. That said, if you’re looking to use your apple butter on things like toast or muffins, those warm spices are a nice addition.