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Old 14.02.2011, 22:57
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Jersey Black Butter (in US "Apple Butter")

Not butter at all, but a thick sweet and spicy preserve made from apples, cider, treacle and spices. It's a traditional Jersey recipe, a way to use up surplus apples and cider. It's great on toast or with cheese etc and judging by the reaction of my US customers on Saturday it seems to have made its way over the pond at some point in the past and is known there as Apple Butter.

It was actually a number of Swiss customers who asked me for it that persuaded me to bring some over and I can see why the Swiss would like it, it's like Pear Bread and Apple Glühwein (not that there is such a thing) combined in a spread. Not sure what the price will be yet, depends on the cost of getting a pallet from Jersey to London and what our friends at the Swiss Zoll will classify it as, but it's 7.50 at the moment. We have about 30 jars left and if you'd like to try it, ask at our Zurich markets this week as it will be "under the counter" .

From the La Mare Wine Estate on Jersey where ours is made...

Between 1600 and 1700, twenty percent of Jersey’s arable land was made up of orchards. Cider was made by farmers to give to their staff, making up part of their wages. A great tradition that exists as a result of Jersey’s proliferation of apples is the production of ‘black butter’ or ‘Le Niere Buerre’. Made from cider apples, the new cider is boiled over a fire for many hours - up to two days! When the cider is ‘reduced’ by half, apples, sugar, lemon, spices and a hint of liquorice added. The mixture is continuously stirred with a wooden ‘rabot’ or paddle. Production of the butter is a very popular community event following each winter crop with traditional singing, dancing, storytelling and chatting going on into the early hours of the morning.

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