Local dish: Biscuits and apple butter

By on March 16, 2017

The Moose Cafe at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market serves up warm and delicious biscuits.

 

Ask 100 North Carolinians where to go to get the best breakfast biscuit and you’ll probably get about 100 different answers. We are passionate about who makes the softest, fluffiest, best-tasting, melt-in-your-mouth, worth-every-calorie biscuit. Ask these same residents what goes on a good biscuit and expect mix opinions again. Some might like local honey. Others prefer molasses mixed with a little butter.

At Moose Cafe, located at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market and the WNC Farmers Market, fresh hot biscuits are served with delicious apple butter. In fact, these restaurants use fresh, local produce with many of the ingredients bought from the farmers market right next door. Next time you are in Greensboro or Asheville, stop by for a biscuit and a meal.

Or, pick up some apples this weekend and try making your own apple butter with this recipe provided by N.C. State University Cooperative Extension and the USDA Guide to Home Canning.  Generally, one pound of apples will be about 2 large or 3 medium apples, yielding about 3 cups of diced fruit.

Apple Butter (8-9 pints)

  • 8 pounds apples
  • 2 cups cider
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground cloves

Wash, remove stems, quarter, and core fruit. Cook slowly in cider and vinegar until soft. Press fruit through a colander, food mill or strainer. Cook fruit pulp with sugar and spices, stirring frequently. To test for doneness, remove a spoonful and hold it away from steam for 2 minutes. It is done if the apple butter remains mounded on the spoon. Another way to determine when the butter is cooked adequately is to spoon a small quantity onto a plate. When a rim of liquid does not separate around the edge of the butter, it is ready for canning. Fill clean, hot jars with hot apple butter leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles with plastic straight edge and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with dampened clean paper towel. Close with a new canning lid that has been placed in boiling water and secure ring only finger tight, do not over tighten.

The USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning recommends processing the following recipe in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes for half-pints and pints and for 15 minutes for quarts at altitudes of 1,001-6,000 feet. The boiling water bath canning process kills spoilage microorganisms to give canned fruit a longer storage life.

Place jars in a boiling water canner covering the jars with 1-2 inches of boiling water, and count the processing time when the water in canner returns to a boil after jars are added. Leave lid on canner during processing. When processing time is up, remove from heat and after 5 minutes, remove jars from canner to place on a towel away from a draft. Check jar lids after 12 hours to ensure they are sealed. Jars that did not seal, can be reprocessed with a new lid within 24 hours, or the unsealed jars can be placed in the refrigerator to be used within a week or two. Once sealed jars have cooled, remove the ring, and store jars in a cool, dark place.

As for which biscuits to pick up, we’ll let you debate that.

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