Apple butter contains no butter, in fact no dairy at all. Itâ€™s actually a thick rich apple concentrate, a Northern European invention- youâ€™ll find in supermarket and deli shelves in these parts where itâ€™s calledappelstroopâ€“ translated apple syrup.
It is also a traditional product in the States- called apple butter there and brought over by the Pennsylvania Dutch settlers, somewhere around the late 17th century.
Apple syrup or butter is a highly concentrated form of apple sauceÂ produced by long, slow cooking of apples with cider or water to a point where the sugar in the apples caramelizes, turning the apple butter a deep brown. The concentration of sugar gives apple butter a much longer shelf life than applesauce.
This brand, Â made in small batches by a farmer in Limburg (southern Holland) is absolutely the best Iâ€™ve ever tasted!
If you canâ€™t get this type, or any other apple butter, spread or syrup you can substitute it by using molasses with a few drops of lemon juice for a tart touch.
My colleagues MarianflintÂ and Maarten van der Wal Â did a wonderful foto essay for Jamie Magazine NL on the applestroop process on location at the farmerâ€™s.
I was then invited to write recipes, (find them in the recipe section) using this product and do the food styling for the photo shoot.