OK Autumn, I resisted, but you got me; I am beguiled. You've become a sweet taste in my mouth, now. You wooed me with golden light, blazing trees, and crunchy carpets of leaves, and closed it with apple butter: Honeycrisps cooked for hours and hours with cider and cinnamon, transformed into a spoonful of heaven on earth.
(A grateful nod to Martha Stewart)
2 tablespoons coconut oil (or unsalted butter)
7 medium apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
2 1/2 cups apple cider
small pinch salt
2 tablespoons ume vinegar (or lemon juice, but ume vinegar is divine!)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 250.
Melt coconut oil in a dutch oven or big pot, add apples and stir over medium heat for five minutes.
Add cider and salt, bring to a boil, simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Allow mixture to cool a little. Add ume vinegar or lemon juice and cinnamon. Blend using handheld blender or regular blender.
Spread into a large baking dish and bake 4 hours.
Turn oven off (don't open the door) and let apple butter sit overnight, or at least a few hours. The alchemy will happen; it will darken and thicken and become concentrated and sweet. Wait for it.
Keeps in a sealed container in the fridge for several days, but it will not last that long so don't worry about it.
Apple butter is amazing with biscuits. I was too slow to take a "before" picture.