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Maple Bourbon Apple Butter

Servings: 4 half pint jars

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds apples cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest

Instructions

  • Place the apples in a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add the water and set the pot on the stove over medium-high heat. When you hear the water simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook covered, for 45 to 60 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree the cooked apples (peels and all) into as smooth a sauce as you can manage.
  • Set the oven to 300 degrees F and place the uncovered pot in.
  • Bake the applesauce for 2-3 hours, stirring once every 45 minutes or so. The apple butter is finished cooking when it has gone several shades darker, seems quite thick, and smells a bit caramelized.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.
  • If the butter has reduced in volume to the point where you can't effectively use an immersion blender, transfer it to a smaller pot.
  • Add the maple syrup, bourbon, and orange zest and stir to combine.
  • Using the immersion blender, puree a second time. Work the blender head around to ensure that you get maximum blending coverage, and that you also work the orange zest into the mix.
  • Funnel the finished butter into clean, hot half pint jars.
  • Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.
  • When the time is up, remove the lid from the pot and slide it off the hot burner. Let the jars cool gradually in the water to help prevent the product from siphoning.
  • Finally, remove the jars from the canner and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool.
  • Sealed jars can be stored at room temperature and will keep for a couple of years. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.