La Pomme

"Surely the apple is the noblest of fruits."
-- Henry David Thoreau

For additional recipes and to read a story about apples--with practical information, history, and lore--click here.

Old Fashioned AppleButter
Yield: 2 cups
6-7 large apples
1-1/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup water

Peel, core and quarter the apples; discard the peels and cores. Combine the peeled apple pieces in a heavy-bottomed pot, preferably one with a non-stick coating. Cover the pot and bring the liquid to a simmer and cook the apples for 10 minutes. Transfer the cooked apple mixture to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Transfer the purée back to the same pot.

Cook the apple purée over a low flame for 1 hour, or until it has reduced and become dark in color and the consistency of peanut butter. During the cooking process stir the apple mixture often to avoid scorching. Transfer the apple butter to a clean jar and refrigerate it. After it has cooled cover it tightly. Use apple butter as a spread on toasted bread or as an ingredient in baked goods or sauces.

Bratwurst Braised with Onions and Apple Butter
Yield: 4 servings
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-1/2 pounds fresh bratwurst
2 small onions, peeled and sliced thinly
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup apple butter
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Heat the oil over high heat in a heavy skillet. Add the bratwurst and cook them until they begin to brown. Sprinkle the onions around the sausage in the pan, turn the sausage, and stir the onions until both the sausage and onions are golden brown. Add the chicken stock and turn the heat down to a low simmer. Cover the pan and cook the sausage for 10 minutes. Stir in the apple butter, salt, pepper, and vinegar; cover the pan and cook the sausage for another 10 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes.