At the Glade Hill Cannery in Franklin County, Virginia, master canner Ronald David helps his neighbors process local heritage apples—like tart, vinous Staymans—into dense, jammy apple butter (see "A Living Larder"). The concentrated natural sugars, which turn the apple butter a deep chestnut color, also help to preserve it. David also stresses the importance of adding salt, which cuts through some of the natural sweetness of the cooked apples. Virginians traditionally pair apple butter with soufflélike cornmeal-batter bread for breakfast, but in the Test Kitchen, we love it on ham sandwiches or as part of a cheese plate.
What You Will Need
- 4 lb. Stayman apples, or another tart variety such as Paula Red or Winesap (about 10), peeled, cored, and quartered
- 3 lb. Golden Delicious apples (about 8–10), peeled, cored, and quartered
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar, or to taste
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt