Make this gingerbread apple butter, then check out our toffee apple brioche and butter pudding, bourbon butterscotch toffee apples and more apple recipes.

British apples are at their best during the later seasons. Go for fruit that’s not bruised and wrinkly, and don’t be fooled by shiny skin – quite a few apples are waxed for aesthetic reasons.


  • 600g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 400g Royal Gala apples, cored and chopped (cores reserved)
  • lemon zest
  • 125ml cloudy apple juice
  • 30g dark brown sugar
  • ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp ground ginger
  • ⅛ tsp ground allspice
  • large pinch of ground nutmeg
  • large pinch of ground cloves


  • STEP 1

    Put the cores from both the apples, peels from the Bramley apples and the lemon zest into a small muslin bag and put this in a large, lidded, heavy-based pan along with the apples and apple juice. Bring to a simmer over a low-medium heat, making sure the muslin is submerged among the other ingredients. Reduce the heat to its lowest setting, cover and cook for 35-40 mins or until the apples are very tender.

  • STEP 2

    Put the apples and liquid in a blender, making sure the pot is completely scraped out. Squeeze all the juice from the muslin bag into the blender, too (discard the contents of the bag). Blend everything until completely smooth. Return the mixture to the pot, stirring in the sugar and spices. Bring to a simmer over a medium-low heat. Lower the heat and continue to simmer for 1-2 hrs, stirring often, until the sauce turns a deep brown and thickens. If the mixture splutters, cover partially – that will decrease the messiness but will add some extra cooking time.

  • STEP 3

    Once dark and at the desired thickness (a wooden spoon or spatula dragged across the bottom of the pan should leave a clear path with no liquid filling back in), turn off the heat and leave to cool. If the mixture is still too loose, cook for longer, with the lid off, or, to speed it up, transfer to a wide frying pan and cook, stirring often, over a medium-high heat. Transfer to sterilised jars. Once cool, refrigerate for up to a month.

Check out more apple recipes

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