Nope. I wasn’t kidding. The apple-fest continues. And this apple butter recipe uses seven and a half pounds of apples, so, really can you blame me for making this?
The good thing is that this recipe isn’t so much about the apples as it is about the vehicle to eat the apples: brioche. I have explained my woes with yeast in the past, and have even overcome some issues I’ve had with it. But this had to be a no-fail situation for me. It had to work. I mean, brioche! You know what I’m saying: sweet, eggy, buttery bread that’s light and fluffy and just perfect. And once you master brioche, think about the possibilities: sticky buns, brioche filled with pastry cream, rolled in cinnamon sugar. Yum. I really thought that yeast would give me a break and let me win this one.
It did not. My brioche did not rise. It was neither light nor fluffy. It was dense and crumbly and, dare I say, even slightly dry.
People, it was delicious. The lesson of the day is, even though yeast may not be your friend, and may even hate you, if you use it in a recipe that also calls for 5 whole eggs and 3 sticks of butter, well, whatever you are making is just gonna be divine. It was pound-cakey and sweet and just lovely. Lightly toasted with a slather of apple butter, and you are simply in breakfast heaven.
I spent a good majority of a morning and afternoon making this brioche dough. Spent another half day actually baking it. And after all of that, still lost my ongoing battle with yeast. So no, I will not be taking the time to rewrite the recipe here. Because I’m tired! And defeated! (Even though the bread was quite tasty.) The link will take you exactly where you need to be. And you follow those directions and have faith that you will overpower the yeast.
The apple butter, on the other hand, did not take too long to make. I lie, it took 6 hours. Time consuming, but not labor intensive. And with only several ingredients, I’m more than happy to type here.
And to continue with this tangential passage, you will be happy to know that even though my brioche did not turn out in the most…traditional of manners, this actually did not matter when turned it into an aforementioned brioche treat! I speak from experience. You just stay tuned.
7-8 pounds of apples, a variety, peeled, cored and diced into 2 inch pieces
2 cups apple cider
scant 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. all spice
In a large stock pot, cook the apples and apple cider on medium low to low heat for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. The apples will create a lot of liquid, boil up and then settle. Add sugar and spices, and continue to cook on low for an additional 3 hours until the apple butter turns a deep brown, caramel color. Adjust spices and sweetness as necessary. Blend with immersion blender, or let cool slightly and blend in blender. Or do neither because you are tired from all the brioche making and apple picking and enjoy the slight chunkiness.