Apple, Apricot & Elderflower Butter

prep 30 mins cook 1 hour 25 mins–1 hour 30 mins
  • 1 kg (2 lb) cooking apples, quartered, cored, peeled and diced
  • 250 g (8 oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots, diced
  • 1 lemon, finely chopped, including pith and peel
  • 600 ml (1 pint) water
  • about 600 g (1¼ lb) granulated sugar
  • 15 g (½ oz) butter (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons undiluted elderflower cordial

Add the apples, apricots, lemon and measurement water to a preserving pan. Cover and simmer gently for 1 hour, stirring from time to time, until the fruit is soft.

Purée the fruit in batches in a food processor or liquidizer with the cooking water, or press through a sieve. Weigh the purée, then return to the preserving pan. For every 500 g (1 lb) of purée add 250 g (8 oz) sugar.

Heat gently, stirring from time to time, until the sugar has dissolved, then increase the heat to medium and cook for 25–30 minutes, stirring more frequently towards the end of cooking until the fruit mixture has darkened slightly to a rich amber, is thick, creamy and glossy and drops slowly from a wooden spoon. Skim with a draining spoon or stir in butter if needed.

Stir in the elderflower cordial. Ladle into warm, dry jars, filling to the very top. Cover with screw-top lids, or with waxed discs and cellophane tops secured with elastic bands. Label and leave to cool.

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