Walnut loaf with apple and rosemary butter
The idea of apple butter gives me a Dianne Keaton moment. I fancy myself her as J.C. in Baby Boom, cutting and cooking up apples all day in my cosy Vermont farm house then selling the recipe for millions. While this apple and rosemary butter won’t quite take me ‘there’ it does make about three cups of beautiful, deeply flavoured and aromatic apple butter that’s lovely spread on toast or slathered across oh…say a nice little walnut loaf like the one below. Or perhaps next to this Danish Almond Cake from Local is Lovely. It’s also great tossed through rolled oats and hazlenuts before spreading on a tray and baking into (amazing) granola.
I made this batch with a box of beautiful bumpy Cox Pippin apples picked yesterday with Katie from the Nashdale Fruit company. Their beautiful orchard is about ten minutes from our farm and home to over 1500 trees including some really great heirloom varieties from Red Anjou and Trout pears to Cox Pippin apples, Damson and Coe’s Golden Drop plums and White Adriatic figs. Katie, her husband Beau and father John pick to sell only at farmers markets and are all-round lovely people. If you are in Sydney have a look at the list of markets they attend and make the outing!
Apple and rosemary butter
6 large apples (I used Cox Pippins but any tart cooking apple would be good)
1 cup brown sugar
Juice of one lemon
1 cinnamon stick
2 fairly long stalks of rosemary (about 15-20cm each)
Chop the apples into nice rough chunks (don’t bother with peeling and coring as these bits give lots of flavour, colour and pectin). Tip into a large casserole dish and add remaining ingredients. Cover and let bubble away on a medium-low heat for about one hour or until the apples are soft and mushy. Remove the lid and cook on low for another hour or until the apples have turned a nice deep brown, reduced and intensified in flavour. Store in sterilised jars in the fridge for up to one month.
250g butter, softened (that’s lots I know but it’s worth it)
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1 cup wholemeal self raising flour
1/2 cup natural yogurt
120g walnuts, toasted and chopped into small pieces
Line a loaf tin with baking paper and lightly grease then preheat the oven to 180C. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, add the vanilla extract then the eggs one at a time beating well between each addition. Fold through the flour then the natural yogurt and walnuts. Spoon mixture into a loaf tin and smooth the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until top is nice and golden and the edges are just starting to pull away from the pan. Let cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack.
This keeps for a few days and is great sliced thinly and spread with the apple butter then made into a little ‘sandwich’ for morning tea.