It's that time of the year again! Our CSA share is overflowing with braising greens and root veggies, winter squash and apples. The leaves have turned and it's time to snuggle up indoors with a hot cup of tea and toast with.... Autumn Butter! What the hay is Autumn Butter? It's one of my half-cocked experiments that, thankfully, turned out to be a delicious treat. It is a cross between apple butter and pumpkin pie with a spicy twist and a boozy kiss - great on toast, meat, cheese, and ice cream. I made it in the crock pot where it simmered away for 6 hours, filling the apartment with the most delicious seasonal perfume. Give it a try!
Maple Bourbon Autumn Butter
1 squash (I used Sweet Dumpling but any would do), cut in half and cleaned
1 garlic clove (skin still on)
4 medium to large apples, peeled and cut into 1” hunks
¼ c maple syrup
a pinch of kosher salt
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground mustard
2 tbs Bourbon or whiskey
2 tbs chile sauce (Tapatio)
Place the squash cut-side-down on a baking sheet
Take the garlic clove, slice off the end, leaving the skin on, drizzle with a drop of olive oil, and wrap in a bit of foil. Place on the baking sheet with the squash.
Roast the squash and garlic at 425F for 30 minutes, until the squash has softened. Let cool.
While the squash is roasting, place peeled and cut apples into the slow cooker along with maple syrup, kosher salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, mustard, Worcestershire, soy, and chile sauce. Cook on high for 2 hours.
When the squash has cooled, remove the skin or spoon the roasted flesh from the shells and slide the garlic clove out of it’s skin.
After the apple mixture has cooked on high for 2 hours, add the squash and ½ of the roasted garlic clove to the slow cooker.
Cook on high for another 30 minutes and then on low for 5 1/2 hours. Stir in the bourbon and continue to cook for another 30 minutes.
Allow to cool and then puree in either a blender or food processor to get a velvety consistency.
If you like a sweeter flavor, add honey to taste.