Black Gold

Black Gold

It’s apple time. In fact, it was Apple Day last week, in case you missed it. My landlady has a big apple tree in her garden, and she gave me a big bag of them with the advice: “They’re not very good this year.” Nevertheless, I immediately conceived a plan.

After deciding that making cider was a bit too much work, I realised I could make Black Butter….

Yes, Black Butter. Possibly the most ludicrous recipe in the book. Ten gallons of cider. Seven hundred pounds of apples. And a cauldron. Sounds ridiculous.

But actually, it’s pretty easy. You just need a pile of apples, a bottle of cider, a lemon, and some licquorice, sugar, and spices – and plenty of time. After some strenuous mental calculations, here are the revised quantities I came up with:

  • 33cl cider (Weston’s Vintage)
  • 2.75kg apples
  • 80g sugar
  • 3 pieces of liquorice (I used sweetshop chewing pieces)
  • half a lemon
  • 12g allspice

And let me tell you, it did the trick. It was about ten hours in the pan rather than the original thirty, and tastes lovely. It’s strange stuff – similar consistency to butter out of the fridge, but really dark and fruity, and gorgeous on toast. Here’s the vid:

P.S. There’s now one address where you can see out all the Cooking With Booze videos: check out

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