Congratulations Tricia Pittman on winning 1st Place in the Jelly, Butter and Jams category!

Caramel Apple Bourbon Butter

For the apple butter:
15-20 apples, peeled, cored and quartered (about 6 pounds)
1 cup of apple juice or cider
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
pinch of ground cinnamon

pinch of cardamom
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice

Combine all of the ingredients in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Place over a medium-high heat and cook, stirring often with a large wooden spoon to prevent scorching. Cook until all the apples are broken down and the mixture looks like apple sauce. This will take about an hour. Mash any large pieces of apple with the wooden spoon.

Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until the mixture really thickens and a good amount of moisture has evaporated. There’s no set time for this – just watch until it’s a little thicker than the consistency that you’d like it to be once combined with the caramel. While the sauce is thickening, make the caramel…

For the bourbon caramel:
2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 Tbls. butter
2 Tbls. bourbon

Combine the sugar and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat. Without stirring, cook the mixture until dark amber in color by swirling the pan carefully while cooking, about 20 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low. Slowly add the cream, stirring with a wooden spoon. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the pan, and add the pod. Add the lemon juice, butter and bourbon. Stir to combine. Then carefully pour the caramel into the apple butter until well mixed together. Immediately pour the boiling hot mixture into the prepared canning jars and process for 10 minutes, remove from water and let stand till completely cooled.

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