Today, I tried a new restaurant (Shine) in Boulder, well new for me anyways! The entire menu is gluten free which might scare some people, but the food was really flavorful, and I loved the gluten free bread.
I had the tempeh burger with side salad; the best part is the sunflower seed and garlic pesto, it was so tasty! My friend had the grilled cheese sandwich with avocado, a weird combination, but she said it worked!
According to the news, today is the official start of autumn, so to celebrate I made apple butter. Canning for the first time proved to be very interesting and a little time consuming. I adapted the recipe from Simply Recipes:
- 4 lbs of good cooking apples, I used golden delicious apples
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 cups water
- Sugar (about 4 cups, see cooking instructions)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
Preparing the Fruit
1 Cut the apples into quarters, without peeling or coring them (much of the pectin is in the cores and flavor in the peels), cut out damaged parts.
First Stage of Cooking
2 Put them into large pot, add the vinegar and water, cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cook until apples are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
Measure out the purée and add the sugar and spices
3 Ladle apple mixture into a chinois sieve (or foodmill) and using a pestle force pulp from the chinois into a large bowl below. Measure resulting puree. Add 1/2 cup of sugar for each cup of apple pulp. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add a dash of salt, and the cinnamon, ground cloves, allspice, lemon rind and juice. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Second Stage of Cooking
4 Cook uncovered in a large, wide, thick-bottomed pot on medium low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Scrape the bottom of the pot while you stir to make sure a crust is not forming at the bottom. Cook until thick and smooth (about 1 to 2 hours). A small bit spooned onto a chilled (in the freezer) plate will be thick, not runny. You can also cook the purée on low heat, stirring only occasionally, but this will take much longer as stirring encourages evaporation. (Note the wider the pan the better, as there is more surface for evaporation.)
5 There are several ways to sterilize your jars for canning. You can run them through a short cycle on your dishwasher. You can place them in a large pot (12 quart) of water on top of a steaming rack (so they don’t touch the bottom of the pan), and bring the water to a boil for 10 minutes. Or you can rinse out the jars, dry them, and place them, without lids, in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes.
6 Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal. If you plan to store the apple butter un-refrigerated, make sure to follow proper canning procedures. Before applying the lids, sterilize the lids by placing them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Wipe the rims of the jars clean before applying the lids. I use a hot water bath for 10 minutes to ensure a good seal.
As an alternative to stove cooking the puree you can cook uncovered in a microwave, on medium heat to simmer, for around 30 minutes.
Yield: Makes a little more than 3 pint jars.
A big thank you to my friend for letting me include her hand in this photo (thanks MB!). Peach season is over in Colorado, and now, we have a great selection of apples, plums, and apricots. The plums and apples looked and apparently were pretty delicious. I love the way the plums look beneath her hand, almost like her hand is moving towards the camera! Happy Friday!
Despite a bee stinging me yesterday, I had a pretty awesome time at the Farmers’ Market. My friend noticed these flowers, and after some editing, the photograph came out very vibrant and beautiful. My warning for the day: please beware of bees, vicious creatures, but at least I know I am not allergic!