created at: 2013-04-24
Life has started to return to normalcy since the events of last week. We’ve finally gotten our feet—and running shoes, for many—back under us and are ready to start healing.

I believe that food can play a part in that healing process. My neighborhood Whole Foods Market delivered bags of food to Brighton’s police and fire stations in the days following the explosions. Many of the city’s restaurants provided free food for anyone affected by the attacks or working in their aftermath. And several Dunkin’ Donuts remained open during the Watertown standoff, providing caffeine and comfort to the men and women involved. For many, food means family. And if last week taught us anything, it’s that Boston is one big family.

In Judaism, apples symbolize good luck and are believed to have healing properties. We eat them on Rosh Hashanah to symbolize a sweet new year, and in Talmudic times, they were given as healing gifts to people who were sick. So, I figured that a little apple butter right now wouldn’t hurt.

This may not be the most seasonally appropriate recipe, but apples are available and delicious year-round. I like my apple butter simple (this recipe doesn’t require any fancy equipment like a food mill) and to taste like apples, so I keep the spices and additional flavorings to a minimum. Spread it on some toast, or stir it into some cottage cheese for a simple, sweet breakfast. Healing never tasted so good.

Apple Butter

Makes about 1½ cups

Use your favorite apple for cooking. I chose Braeburns.

2 pounds apples, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1. Combine all ingredients in thick-sided pot. Bring to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft and broken down, about 40 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. Using an immersion blender, carefully puree mixture until smooth.

3. Return pot to low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until color deepens and mixture tastes caramelized, another 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from heat, allow to cool to room temperature, and enjoy. Apple butter will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a month.