Prudence Hilburn: Apple butter a tasty treat and ingredient
Whether or not we believe the adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” we all agree that apples taste good whether raw or cooked.
When I think of apples, many times apple butter comes to mind. Perhaps that is because Mauna, my friend and the best assistant I ever had, loved apple butter. I had never tasted apple butter until Mauna and I were in the Smoky Mountains testing recipes. We were served muffins with apple butter at one of our favorite restaurants, and it wasn’t long until I was looking forward to this tasty treat every morning.
Personally, I prefer homemade apple butter to the commercially prepared type that you pick up at the grocery store. This is because I prefer a lightly spiced apple butter. I like to be able to taste the apples instead of spices.
While doing some research, I found a recipe for Apple Butter Rolls that are great breakfast treats.
The following recipe is from my cookbook, “A Treasury of Southern Baking.” I use my recipe for Southern yeast biscuit dough, which is an easy to make dough that can be kept in the refrigerator and used as needed.
APPLE BUTTER ROLLS
3 cups Southern yeast biscuit dough
4 oz. cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup apple butter
1/2 cup firmly-packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons apple juice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch cake pan. Spoon the soft dough onto a well-floured surface. Knead until smooth. Roll to a rectangle about 10 by 16 inches. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, apple butter and brown sugar. Beat until smooth and spread over dough. Roll jelly-roll-fashion, starting with the 16-inch side. Cut into 1-inch slices. Place slices in cake pan. Bake about 20 minutes, or until rolls are slightly browned and no longer doughy. Turn out on a plate and then invert onto another plate so rolls will be right side up.
Combine confectioners sugar and apple juice. Beat until smooth and drizzle over top of rolls. If drizzle is too thin, simply add more confectioners sugar.
SOUTHERN YEAST BISCUIT DOUGH
1/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 pkgs. dry yeast (1/4 oz. each)
5 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup shortening
2 cups buttermilk
Combine water and sugar in small bowl. Stir in yeast and set aside until yeast becomes bubbly. In large mixing bowl, combine flour and baking soda, and stir to mix. Cut in shortening using pastry blender, a fork or your fingertips until mixture resembles cornmeal. Add yeast mixture and buttermilk. Stir with a large wooden spoon until well mixed. This will not be a smooth dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed. It will keep for about a week.
— Prudence Hilburn of Piedmont, Alabama, has won more than 30 national cooking awards and written several cookbooks, including, “Simply Southern and More.” Write her at email@example.com or visit www.prudencehilburn.com.