Apple Paste

The final challenge for the year in the highly enjoyable Food in Jars mastery challenge was fruit pastes.

Selecting a fruit to experiment with was a fairly simple choice: I had a glut of apples and I had gone slightly overboard buying a wide range of different cheeses for Christmas so I thought a thick, sliceable apple paste would make an ideal partner to many of those cheeses, something like the classic British “fruit cheese” or Spanish quince membrillo.

Apple Paste from britinthesouth.comThe technique is fairly simple and recipes abound online.

I went for the simplest approach I could find, using just fruit, sugar and a little lemon juice. The apples are coarsely chopped, skins and pips included, and then cooked until soft in a little water. They are then drained and passed through a food mill to produce a soft pulp to which sugar is added and then cooked low and slow until a dark, rich, thick paste is produced.

Apple Paste from britinthesouth.comI tried it with a number of cheeses. It worked particularly well with Thomasville Tomme, an aged raw cow’s milk cheese from the South of Georgia, but would also be great with a mature cheddar.

Apple Paste

2.5lbs apples

12oz granulated sugar

2 tbs lemon juice

Wash and roughly chop the apples. There is no need to peel, core or deseed them.

Put in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil over medium high heat and cook until soft, 12-15 minutes.

Pass through a food mill or sieve, leaving the skins and pips behind to yield a soft, mushy apple pulp. Return this to the pan, add the sugar, and cook over a low heat, stirring regularly, until the apple pulp darkens and solidifies to a thick, spreadable paste. This can take 2-3 hours so you need to be patient and regularly check and stir to ensure the apples don’t stick or burn.

Apple Paste from britinthesouth.comLine a suitable food container with parchment paper. This quantity will produce a paste approximately 6″ x 6″ x 1″.  I split mine between a couple of glass containers about 3″ x 4.5″ to produce an attractive looking small slab of paste for the Christmas cheeseboard.

Spread the paste in the container so it is even, then leave for at least 2-3 hours, preferably overnight, before using.

You can serve in simple slices but if your paste is solid enough you can use a cookie cutter to turn it into decorative shapes for your cheeseboard.

Apple Paste from britinthesouth.com

 

 

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