Apple butter is essentially a thicker and spicier version of applesauce, traditionally made by slow-cooking sliced or pureed apples in copper kettles for up to 12 hours or more. The apples are constantly stirred with long paddles. The heat causes the fruit’s natural sugars to caramelize, thus giving apple butter its distinctive deep brown color.
The spicy flavor of this spread comes from the addition of traditional apple pie spices such as nutmeg, cloves and especially cinnamon. Commercially produced apple butter is generally available in grocery stores, but the traditional homemade variety is usually canned in jars for personal consumption or sold at local farmers’ markets, craft shows and festivals.
Apple butter does not contain any dairy products, but derives its name from the buttery texture of the finished apple preserves. In fact, some people use it as a condiment or spread for sandwiches, in the same way others might use mayonnaise or mustard. The preserves are said to be especially good on ham or pork sandwiches, since many traditional Pennsylvania Dutch or German recipes combine apples and pork-based meats. Even if it is not used specifically as a sandwich spread, it is also popular as a topping for pancakes, biscuits and buttered toast.
The tradition of apple butter is thought to have been brought to the United States by Germans who settled in Pennsylvania. The so-called “Pennsylvania Dutch”, a corruption of Deutsch, or German, were very pragmatic by nature, and realized they needed a way to preserve their food during the winter months. Since apples were plentiful during the fall season, they first began preserving the fruit as apple jam or applesauce. The canned applesauce did not have the shelf life they had hoped for, however, so a slow-cooking process was developed. The extra cooking time turned the applesauce into a more stable product, and the added spices also aided in the preservation process.
Duplicating the traditional apple butter making process today has proven to be a challenge, however. Some historical societies and other traditionalists still hold sessions where it is made, using volunteers to stir the pots in shifts and also maintain the fires to provide the heat. Decent apple preserves can also be made in an electric slow cooker at home. Applesauce blended to a very fine consistency can be placed in a slow cooker along with the traditional cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and cloves. This mixture should be allowed to reduce for at least 12 hours, with a slight gap in the lid to allow steam to escape. Specific recipes for converting applesauce into butter are available in a number of cookbooks and cooking websites.
Made from locally grown pumpkins and locally produced Amish butter, our pumpkin butter is the perfect addition to your table.
We all know that pumpkins are the true taste of fall and this pumpkin butter will have you thinking of falling leaves and cozy moments whether you eat it in October or July.
There are so many ways to eat this delicious treat. You can spread it on toast or mix it into oatmeal for a delicious breakfast. Add it to your baking for mouthwatering pumpkin flavor. Spread it onto waffles or pancakes instead of syrup. You could even blitz it into a smoothie for a boost of sweetness and taste.
We love to add a spoonful to the mixture when making French toast. It will add a little caramelization as well pumpkin taste. Sprinkle a little cinnamon in to bring it all together. It’s also fantastic stirred into yoghurt or used as a dip for fresh fruit such as apples, pears and berries. Try dipping in a salted pretzel if you love the combination of salty and sweet!
If combining sweet and savory is your thing then you’re also likely to enjoy pumpkin butter with a mild, creamy cheese such as goat’s cheese or brie.
With a jar of pumpkin butter ready at home, you’ll be able to whip up a quick dessert or fancy snack in no time, even if you have unexpected guests visiting.
Add our pumpkin butter to your cart today and see what all the fuss is about!
We also recommend that you try our Amish Wedding Fruit Butters which are available in a variety of fruity flavors.
The holidays are upon us, which hopefully means lots of family sleepovers! If everyone is up and at ’em at different times of the morning, it’s tough to make the perfect hot and made-to-order breakfast for everyone. Take a look at some of these ideas for a five-star brunch experience for your guests in the comfort of your home.
With Christmas fast approaching, we thought the time had come to remind our lovely customers about our wonderful range of gift boxes.
Our Deluxe Gift Box contains more of our favorite Amish products than ever:
- Troyer’s Trail Bologna Ring 1 Lb.
- Shisler’s Gift Mug with 1/2 Pound of Heggy’s Chocolates
- Shisler’s Private Label Apple Butter
- Shisler’s Private Label Hot Mustard
- Wheel of Colby 3/4 Lb.
- Wheel of Cojack (Marble) 3/4 Lb.
- Block of Swiss Cheese
- Baby Swiss Cheese Wedge
- Summer Sausage Link
- Muffin mix
- Shisler’s Cheese House T-Shirt
The Troyer’s Trail Bologna Ring is a chunky, all-beef bologna with a smoky taste, created by the fourth generation of the Troyer family. Our gift mug helps lovers of Shisler’s Cheese House share their pride as they drink their morning coffee. We’ve filled it with 1/2 a pound of Heggy’s Chocolates.
Shisler’s Private Label Apple Butter is made from the best locally grown Apples and locally produced Amish Butter, perfect for spreading on toast or stirring into your recipes. We also love our Private Label Mustard, which can be used as a dipping mustard or spread into sandwiches.
Colby cheese is a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese native to the United States. It is very mild and creamy. Cojack cheese is a blend of Monterey Jack and Colby cheese, marbled together to create a striking effect. Monterey Jack is a buttery, semi-firm cheese which originated in California. It is usually only aged for around a month, making it a fresh, fairly soft cheese to enjoy.
Swiss Cheese is a holey, semi-hard cheese with a creamy color. It has a nutty, slightly piquant flavor whilst simultaneously being somewhat creamy. You’ll also get a wedge of Baby Swiss Cheese, which substitutes water for the milk’s whey to slow the bacterial action. This creates smaller holes and a milder flavor. With all of this cheese, we’ve given you crackers so that you have something to enjoy it with!
Summer Sausage can be kept without refrigeration, which is how it gained its name. Ours is smoked, rather than dried, with a tangy taste. It’s certainly too good to be kept for only the Summer season. Muffin mixes provide a great way to whip up some quick baking that your guests will love, without any stress.
Finally, because you’re clearly a huge Shisler’s Cheese House fan if you’re digging into this gift box, you’ll find your very own Shisler’s Cheese House t-shirt!
Our Amish Cheese and Goodies collection is another perfect gift for your loved ones this Christmas.You’ll find a 1Lb. Baby Swiss Wheel, a summer sausage link, a ¾ Lb. wheel each of Colby and Pepper Jack cheese, Shisler’s Private Label Mustard, home style Amish jam, Carr’s crackers, assorted chocolates and 6oz. REACH coffee.
One of our other great gifts is the Troyer’s Trail Bologna and Cheese box. Inside you will find a 1Lb. Troyer’s Trail Bologna ring, a ¾ Lb. wheel each of Colby and Farmer’s cheese and assorted chocolates.
We all know someone who really loves cheese, and that’s why we created the Cheese Lover’s Gift Box. This contains a ¾ Lb. wheel each of Cheddar, Cojack, Farmer’s Cheese and Pepper Jack, along with some assorted chocolates.
Check back in the coming weeks as we’ll share more reminders about our delicious Christmas gift boxes!
We know that it’s a busy time of year, so we’ve put together a checklist to help you prepare for the festivities next week.
1. The Turkey
Many tables around the country will hold a turkey next Thursday. Now is also the time to make sure that you have a big enough dish to cook your turkey in. If you’re brining your turkey, then check that you have a large receptacle to keep it in. You’ll want to start this process up to 24 hours before you are ready to roast.
2. A Vegetarian Option
If you have guests that don’t eat meat attending your dinner then you will need to prepare a vegetarian main. There are so many recipes out there these days, so have a quick search online. If you’re unsure what to serve, you could even ask your guests for ideas so that you know you’re serving something appropriate.
3. The Sides
You’ll know which sides are family favorites! Make sure that you have all the vegetables in advance. You can also start prepping and storing them ahead of time so that everything is simple on the day. If you have family coming to stay with you, why not make an evening of doing the prep the night before over a drink? If you are making the stuffing, stock up on ingredients and dry out your bread.
4. The Sauces
Cranberry sauce and gravy are absolute essentials, but they can both be made ahead of time and stored. You can even freeze gravy!
Whether you’re buying your desserts or making them, no Thanksgiving meal is complete without a sweet treat. If you need to order them then now is the time to make those last minute orders.
Make sure that you have stocked up on a range of wines and beers as well as non-alcoholic options for little ones and those who don’t drink. Put anything that needs to be chilled into the refrigerator ahead of time.
For those moments when you get last-minute guests or you all need a snack as you settle down in front of the TV. Make this even easier by picking up our Thanksgiving Menu Collection. It includes Troyer’s Trail Bologna Ring, Cheddar Cheese, Cranberry Delight Mix, Shisler’s Private Label Apple Butter, Pumpkin Muffin Mix, and Uncle Ozgood’s Popcorn on the Cob. It’ll tick this straight off your Thanksgiving checklist without any stress at all.
8. Table settings
Whether you prefer a minimalist or plentiful style, it makes the day seem like an occasion if you set the table beautifully. Use your best dishes and flatware, light candles and create a centerpiece that will welcome your guests.
9. Prepare for house guests
If you are having house guests, prepare for their arrival. Make sure the beds have clean linens and that you’ve collected together any supplies that will be needed. Providing the WiFi password written down somewhere will stop people from asking you for it when you are preparing dinner, although you might want to take the opposite approach and ask people to put their phones away at the door!
10. Prepare for leftovers
Make sure that you have bread in the house for turkey sandwiches! Collect some boxes ready for guests to take away leftover treats to enjoy in the days after Thanksgiving.
We hope this helps you to prepare for a wonderful Thanksgiving!
You might know that cheese and fruit pair very well together. But how do you choose what to combine? We’ve put together lots of ideas to help you explore your palate.
Why do cheese and fruit go so well together?
Put simply, it’s because whenever we combine foods we are looking for contrast. In the case of cheese and fruit, we get soft and juicy flavors against hard, salty cheeses. It might be crunchy, tangy fruit with soft and creamy cheese. The combination of flavors and textures create a sensation that most people enjoy. So, how to eat it?
As a general rule, try to combine fresh fruits with fresh, soft cheeses. Don’t try to combine fruit with a very dry cheese, as this won’t have a desirable texture. For cheeses with mold, such as blue cheese or chevre, go for sweeter fruits. Avoid any fruits that you might find bitter, as these usually won’t go well with cheeses.
Cheese and fruit on a cheeseboard
This is probably where you might have tried the combination before. Place cheeses on your board along with sliced fruits and bread. You can then experiment with different flavors and textures. Try to slice your fruit just before eating so that it is as fresh as possible. Some of our favorites to include on a cheeseboard are apples, pears, figs, and grapes.
Cheese and fruit in a toastie
We absolutely love to add fruit to a toastie. It’s like a dessert sandwich! Try blueberries with mascarpone, peaches with gouda, apple butter with pepper jack, or strawberries with mozzarella. An easy way to add cheese to your toastie is to use jam. Try it with ricotta or cheddar for a good contrast.
Cheese and fruit in a salad
If you want to serve a full meal, then you can’t go wrong with a fabulous salad. Feta cheese, from Greece, is an excellent choice as it is salty and creamy. Try it with watermelon or oranges for a fantastic tangy contrast. We also love mozzarella with fruit; it’s particularly good with grilled peaches and arugula in a salad. Try adding a quick balsamic glaze for the final touch!
Cheese and fruit kabobs
This is a fun recipe to make with the kids and will encourage them to eat plenty of fruit! Add cubes of cheese (try something like Cheddar or Monterey Jack), strawberries, and grapes to wooden skewers. You could serve this with a yogurt dip for extra interest.
The most important thing when trying out new flavors is to have fun with it! We know that you are all super creative and will come up with amazing ways to enjoy fruit and cheese together.
Do you like to combine cheeses and fruits? What are your favorite combinations? Let us know your most unusual ones in the comments below!