The apple does not fall far from the tree – Oven-baked Apple Butter With Rosemary and Coriander


We have an apple tree but many years I miss out on the apples for various reasons that I am not going to explore here so when I managed to catch some yesterday, I felt like a good girl. Our apples belong to  an ancient variety called Annurca, there are some who believe it is the apple depicted in frescoes at  the ruins of Herculaneum and mentioned in Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis Historia. Who knows. The apples are very small because I’m too much of a softie when it comes to pruning the tree in springtime; I feel like a butcher when I stand there with the saw in my hand, amputating the branches and although I know I’m not doing anyone a favour, I just can’t help it and leave too many branches too long and too many. Plus I want to finish it as soon as possible because I have bad memories when it comes to pruning trees, in my teens my father managed to fall face down from the apple tree he was pruning, fortunately he didn’t hurt himself fatally but the memory is there in the back of my head. And I will not even start on all the jokes at school about apples not falling far from the tree (my father taught in the  very same school I went to between 16 and 19)… 

Oven-baked Apple Sauce With Rosemary and Coriander-3

Being baked in the oven means that this apple butter, or apple sauce if you prefer, is full of flavours. And it is very easy and un-messy to make as well if you choose to bake the apples unpeeled like I do, I prefer a more rustic feel and the peel adds more taste to it as well. The butter is denser than if you cook the apples on the stove but if it too dense for you, all you need to do is add a little water and stir.


light brown sugar
fresh rosemary, finely chopped
ground coriander seeds
runny honey or maple syrup
white wine
salted butter

   Remove the cores and divide the apples in two if they are small or in quarters if not. Put the apples in a buttered oven-proof form with the cut sides up.

   Mix sugar with rosemary, ground coriander and enough honey or maple syrup to make a paste. It is difficult to give you an exact amount of sugar to use because it depends on how big the apples but I’d say that a normal size apple needs one tablespoon. At least.

   Fill the apple halves with the sugar paste, top with small knobs of butter and then splash a good dose of wine over. Be generous because the wine and sugar will turn into a lovely toffee sauce.

   Bake in a pre-heated oven (200°C/390°F) for 20-30 minutes or until the apples are golden and soft.

   Put the baked apples and the sauce in a blender and whizz until smooth. OR you can do like I did and mash one or two apple halves with the sauce on a slice of bread.
  Oven-baked Apple Sauce With Rosemary and Coriander