Black butter pic

Jersey Black Butter, Le Niere Noir, Apple Butter … by whichever name, this is a sensational and unusual apple preserve.  Black Butter smells of Christmas, it’s mild, sweet and adds a wow factor to cake recipes and a plate of blue cheese and crackers.

In broad history, Black Butter features in Georgian cookbooks – notably Jane Austen’s Christmas.  More locally in the Channel Islands,  the making of Jersey Black Butter is a traditional November event.  Apples are stamped down, cider and other ingredients are added and cooked up into a black buttery jam.

Cooking apples are starting to fall, so now is a good time to collect and plan for this recipe.  It needs to settle for 3 months for best results.

Any excuse … Team NTG are going to have a kitchen lock-in and make Jersey Black Butter … in Guernsey.


4 lbs apples (cider apples)
2 pints sweet apple cider
1 lb sugar
1 teaspoon clove (ground)
2 teaspoons cinnamon (ground)
1/4 teaspoon allspice (aka 1 Saltspoon)
liquorice to taste
salt to bring out the flavour
clarified butter
  1. Take 4lbs of full, ripe cooking apples, peel, core and chop small
  2. Meanwhile, boil 2 pints sweet cider until reduced by half
  3. Add apples to cider and cook slowly, stirring frequently until the fruit is tender and can be crushed beneath the back of a spoon
  4. Work the apple through a sieve and return to pan
  5. Add 1lb sugar, spices and liquorice.
  6. Cook over a low heat, stirring until mixture thickens and turns a rich brown.
  7. Pour the butter into small clean jars and cover with clarified butter when cold.  Seal.
  8. Keep for 3 months before using.  By this time, the butter will have turned almost black and have the most delicious flavour.

If you make Black Butter, we’d be really interested to know any tips or tweaks and how you’ve enjoyed it.  We’ll be using Rocquette Cider, proud of local produce!