Apple Butter


During high school I worked seasonally at a local apple orchard.  I was employed in various capacities including tree pruning, conducting pony rides for children and working in the storefront. Autumn is my favorite time of year and while I was never thrilled about getting to work early on a Saturday morning, I would trade that fresh autumn air for my current stuffy office in a heartbeat (though, this doesn't hold for my wages).

One of the other perks of working at the orchard was unlimited access to some of my favorite foods: apples, apple cider, apple cider donuts and apple butter. I am still searching for an apple cider donut recipe that compares to those I used to enjoy, but I think I may have found a formidable replacement for the apple butter of my adolescence.



A few months ago I had the opportunity to sample the fabulous Fig-Sesame Spread from cmbsweets.  When I found a post on 101cookbooks featuring the woman behind cmbsweets and her recipe for apple butter, I was certain it would produce delicious results, and it did.  I used granny smith apples and about half again as much lemon juice.  This tartness cuts the sugar just enough to ensure that the final product stays under my overly-sweet-threshold and that the apple butter comes close to matching the flavors that I fondly recall from years ago.

*Update*  Ms. Carolina B contacted me after this post to tell me that we Chicagoans can now buy cmbsweets products at three locations: Fox & Obel, Southport Grocery and Dave's Specialty Foods in Mt. Prospect!

Today marks 3 years since I created Pro Bono Baker.  Thank you to everyone who has inspired me with new recipes and given me advice as I continue to learn more about cooking and photography. I never would have imagined that this little catalog of my personal exploits would lead to meeting so many amazing individuals. I met many of you at the BlogHer Conference, some around Chicago, others more informally at book signings or talks and even a few in international locations. 

To date I have had the opportunity to spend time with the following in some capacity:
100 Peaches Project
101 Cookbooks
A Veggie Venture
Anali's First Amendment
Blue Kitchen
Cardamom Addict
Daily Eats
Eating on Jitneys
Fat Free Vegan
Food & Thoughts
Food Migration
Gaper's Block: Drive-Thru
I Ate a Pie
Inadvertent Gardener
Inquisitive Palate
Kalyn's Kitchen
Kung Foodie
La Tartine Gourmande
Little Spatula
My Vegetable Blog
Once Upon a Feast
One Hot Stove
Oswego Tea
Pinch My Salt
Simply Recipes
Still Life With...
The Pioneer Woman Cooks
This Mama Cooks
Two Bites in Suburbia

I look forward to adding to this list!