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Spiced apple butter

Dips and dressings Winter
Prep 5 min
Cook 3 hr
Makes 1.2 kg

Besides its use in our apple galette, this butter is delicious spread on hot toast or stirred into porridge or yoghurt. Alternatively, decant it into sterilised jars, because it makes a great little homemade gift for family and friends. It will keep in the fridge for a week and in the freezer for up to a month.


1kg bramley apples (ie, about 6 medium apples)
1 kg cox’s apples (ie, about 6 medium apples)
700ml unsweetened apple juice (I use a cloudy variety)
65ml good-quality apple cider vinegar
300g golden (or normal) caster sugar
1 whole vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
2 cinnamon sticks
2 fresh bay leaves
1 lemon – zest pared off in 4 strips, and juiced, to get 2 tbsp
⅛ tsp salt


  1. Cut all the apples into quarters, leaving the skins and cores intact, and put in a large stockpot for which you have a lid. Add the apple juice and vinegar, cover and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium, and leave to cook, lid on, and stirring once or twice, for about 20 minutes, or until the apples are completely soft and falling apart.
  2. Turn off the heat, remove the lid and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large saute pan, tip in the fruit and pass it through the sieve, pushing down with the back of a large spoon to extract as much puree as possible. You should end up with about 1.6kg; discard the solids left in the sieve. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan, stir to combine, then place on a medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook for two hours, stirring regularly to prevent the mix scorching on the bottom, or until thickened and reduced by about half. Remove and discard the vanilla pod, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and strips of lemon zest, and leave to cool completely before using (or pour into sterilised jars and seal).