Spiced Crab Apple Butter Recipe
1. Halve the crab apples and put them into a suitable sauce pan with the water, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. Bring them to a boil and then reduce heat to keep a steady simmer on for about forty-five minutes or until it can be beaten into a thick pulp. Make sure to stir occasionally.
2. Put the pulp through a vegetable mill or fine sieve and measure the final weight of the resulting apple purée. Return it to the cleaned pan and stir in 350g (12oz) of dark brown sugar for every 450g(1lb) of apple purée. I ended up with 313g (10.5oz) of apple purée with my small batch so used 245g (8oz) of dark brown sugar.
3. Set the pan on a low heat and stir for the sugar to dissolve. Bring to a boil and keep boiling, stirring frequently, until the butter is very thick. If you draw a spoon through the mixture it should leave a path behind it. This can take up to an hour to achieve but mine only took about twenty-five minutes.
4. Put the butter into a warmed and sterilised preserving jar(s) and tighten the lid immediately. The butter will be ready to use as soon as it’s cool and can reasonably be stored as-is for up to a year. Since the recipe includes high-acid fruits, there isn’t a need for hot-water bathing or any further preservation.