We went apple picking last weekend. It was sunny, the air was crisp, the fall colours in the mountain surrounding the orchard were like a painting. Exactly how an apple-picking day should be.
We picked up a generous harvest of perfectly crisp-sweet-sour McIntosh apples (we’ve eaten about 6 different kinds before all agreeing that they were by far the best). I went straight to the kitchen the next morning to make this.
I’ve made two batches of this recipe already and still have approximately 50 more apples in the fridge. Your suggestions for best apple pies/crumbles/etc etc are welcome!
This recipe is by no means a traditional apple butter – where you cook down apples for a long time until they transform into a buttery spread. I’m instead going for a super simple throw-in-the-food-processor version with cashews blended in. The cashews are what give this butter its super smooth texture and lovely cream/pinkish hue. The seeds of a vanilla bean added in there transforms it into a luxurious, delicious little treat. I like to add a bit of maca powder for its adaptogenic effects and for its subtle caramel-like flavour, but this recipe is just as good without.
Here’s a little how-to video I created for you! Scroll down below for the full recipe.
Seen in the video: Le Creuset Stainless Steel Saucier Chef’s Pan
Notes: We’re going for a rich vanilla flavour, so I wouldn’t go with vanilla extract here – try to use a whole vanilla bean or vanilla powder if you can.
Apple Vanilla Butter (Vegan)
- 3 large apples cored and cut into chunks (skins on)
- The juice of ½ lemon
- 1 cinnamon stick (or use more ground cinnamon)
- ⅓ cup cashews (ideally soaked for 2-3 hours)
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- The seeds of 1 vanilla bean (or ¼ tsp pure vanilla powder)
- 1 tbsp maca powder (optional)
- 2-3 tbsp pure maple syrup to taste
- Pinch of sea salt
Place the apples in a saucepan along with the lemon juice, cinnamon stick and ¼ cup of water. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are fully cooked and completely soft. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Transfer the cooled apples to a food processor. Add the cashews, cinnamon, vanilla, maca (if using), two tablespoons of maple syrup, and salt. Blend on high until completely smooth. Taste and add more maple syrup as needed until it's sweetened to your liking.
Transfer to a jar. The spread will keep in the fridge for about a week.