Cezanne, Apples, and Leonardo DaVinci

By , Contributor

To quote Cezanne, "I will astonish Paris with an apple."

Well, I may have had the same effect in Rome but not for the same reason...

I was pulled out of line by a security agent when leaving from Leonardo DaVinci International Airport ( Rome). The culprit? A jar of homemade apple butter stashed in my carry-on for on board snacking with crackers. I couldn't figure out why I was being searched, interrogated, pulled out of line...ahh!!...until it was all over. When I asked why, a small homemade jar of apple butter was held up by the customs agent.

Apple butter is one of those foods that is still not possible to find in Italy and I do miss it so when there. I set out to make it and preserve some jars to leave and one to take back — reminiscent of the apple orchard at our country farm. Delicious, organic, pesticide free apples, just in time as apple season had just begun.

Apple butter pairs well with a touch of mascarpone cheese on a slice of freshly baked crusty bread from the local forno (bakery) in the morning for a true country farm breakfast.

Apple Butter

7 cups of homemade applesauce (if you really must, use store-bought but homemade is best)
2 cups of apple cider
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp allspice
Optional: 1 ½ cups honey

You need a slow cooker or crockpot for this. Mix all the ingredeints and place in the slow cooker, cover and let cook on low heat for 14 hours or until the mixture is a deep brown color. While the mixture is hot, place into four sterilized pint jars. Place in a hot water bath. Once the water comes to a boil, process for 10 minutes and remove jars. Cool jars upside down.

Homemade Apple Butter Recipe.jpg


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Celebrity chef and award-winning author Maria Liberati is considered one of the foremost experts on Italian cuisine and culture in the United States. Winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for her best-selling recipe novel series The Basic Art of Italian Cooking and her blog. Maria divides her…

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