When searching for apple butter recipes, or seeking out homemade or artisan apple butter on the market shelves, the flavor profiles are pretty basic: cinnamon and apples.
Maybe a few add a touch of cloves here and there ~ but there’s not much else.
I suppose it’s hard to wrestle with or even mess with the good old, tried and true, staple of smooth and sweet apple butter from the autumn harvest.
This time of year, slathered across a thick, hearty, toasted slab of bread, you really can’t go wrong.
However, I wanted to “spice” things up a bit – or in this case, “herb” them up, and create something new and different.
I still wanted the familiar seasonal scented sweet of this time of year, but I wanted more depth. Something more amazing.
Something to pair well with a sharp and creamy Manchego, or even a Bay Blue.
Mission accomplished –
You’ll love it.
Tarragon Apple Butter
1 1/2 lbs crisp and sweet apples, peeled and chopped into 1″ pieces
1/2 cup apple cider 
3/4 cups sugar, divided
2 tsp. fresh tarragon, finely chopped 
1/8 tsp. freshly ground cloves 
sea salt

Bring apples, cider, and 1/4 cup sugar to a rolling boil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Cover, leaving lid slightly ajar, and boil 20 minutes, or until apples are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir every 5 minutes.

Process cooked apples and cooking liquid in a blender until smooth. Return mixture to Dutch oven. Stir in tarragon, cloves, and remaining sugar, along with a pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered and stirring often, 15 minutes or until thickened.** Cool about 45 minutes. 

**Use a wooden spoon to draw a line through the apple butter on the bottom of the pot; if the line holds for 5 seconds before the apple butter merges back together, it’s finished cooking.

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