Maybe an original idea: SASS Butters and new process

October 3, 2014 at 10:25 am Leave a comment

Before I explain the acronym, I want you to know your guesses. It’s time for audience participation. Write it down. Go ahead and put it in the comments. Then vote on your favorites (I think there is a like button in the comments). Maybe I’ll send a jar of jam or necklace/earrings to the winner, or maybe the runner-up, depends how I feel. If your birthday is coming up, that might sway my decision, but I’ll need a picture of your ID to confirm (wink).

SASS. I couldn’t have asked for a better acronym. I’m really excited what you will come up with. I’m serious. Don’t read further until you make your guess.

This idea stems from a home brewing practice to isolate the characteristics of flavor in a beer brewed with one malt and one hop. It is a clever way to train the palate for these flavors and develop other recipes based on the result. The acronym for this is SMaSH. Single Malt Single Hop.

One of things I share with Miss Partner is the deep love for apple season. And I love the SMaSH idea so much, I hijacked it for apple butter. Single Apple Single Spice. It occurs to me S can also stand for Sugar/Sweetener (muscavado, demerara, maple, coconut, etc., in the natural realm; I don’t think stevia, erythritol or aspartame have preservation qualities) or Spirit (bourbon, wine, cider, gin, etc.). I will definitely be going down those roads. So far we have; Crabapple-orange zest, Crabapple-chipotle, Crabapple-ginger, Gravenstein-allspice, Burgundy-black pepper, Early Times-rosemary, and Mutsu-nutmeg. Today, I’m going to do York. What should I spice/sugar/spirit it with? Go ahead: comment!

IMG_2338

Stop coveting my stash of jars and Mutsu.

Perhaps SASS is not an original idea, but a repackaged idea for the delicious potentials provided by a myriad of apple varieties and spices, sugars, and spirits. I haven’t seen any other’s taking the SMaSH idea and tweaking it, but I’m sure you’ll post some in the comments for me. Please?

IMG_2341

Finally, another use for this grater.

I know. Recipe please. Okay. Again we go to the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. There are three variations of apple butter. Sweet Apple Cider Butter calls for cooking the apples in cider, making applesauce. The sauce is then pureed, sugared, spiced and cooked down to spreadable consistency. When canning, the headspace is 0.25 inches, processed in water bath 10 minutes, rested with lid off 5 minutes, removed from water bath, and allowed to sit 24 hours. Honey Apple Cider Butter calls for a smaller amount of honey instead of sugar. Traditional apple cider butter calls for the use of water and increase in sugar (the cider was adding sugar before). Miss Partner and I  prefer to ferment and drink the cider (not always in that order), so more often we go for the traditional recipe.

I used to follow the recipe to the letter, until crabapples. The crabapple butter recipe doesn’t call for the skinning; those little bastards are so tiny that half the apple is lost if you tried to skin them and it takes three times longer to skin all the crabapples you need for one batch. This butter also thickened quicker. Makes sense; most of the pectin is in the skin. No more peeling all day long! No more wasting peels! Very important: use only organic apples for apple butters if you wish leave the skin on (re: pesticides).

IMG_2342 IMG_2345 IMG_2346These new developments using SASS and skin-on have inspired me move to different kitchen tools. After using it to make an apple-kholrabi salad, my stand grater now gets a bag over the top to keep apple slices from flying off the mandolin-side (I also use this when making skin-on pies); the thinner pieces, a few millimeters, means shorter cook time. The immersion blender is awesome for making less bowls and pitchers to clean. The internet revealed the beauty of using the crock pot to eliminate scorching and decrease stirring, while allowing for a second (more needy) batch in the stock pot on the stove.

In clumsy conclusion, apple butter is awesome, try some new things, comment on my post, and enjoy apple season! Cheers and smears.

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Entry filed under: Canning. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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