Ham and Apple Butter Panini

Ham and apple butter  panini.

Ham and apple butter panini.

The foliage this year in New England is awesome, probably due to the few chilly mornings we had a couple of weeks ago.  Even though it is still developing in our area,  north of us it has almost reached its peak.  So this year we took our annual foliage ride to New Hampshire.   It was a beautiful sunny day and we totally enjoyed our day-cation.  One of the highlights of the day was our lunch at a small cafe, situated with a  river running behind it.  There was a patio out back where we sat to enjoy not only our lunch, but also the foliage along the river.

We both ordered a bowl of soup and this Ham and Apple Butter Panini.  It was awesome, and after we returned home the thought of it kept running through my mind.  I wished I could have another one, so I made it happen.  The combination may sound a little unusual, but let me assure you, it’s all good.  Somehow it just works.  The sweet apple butter, the salty ham, crisp apple slices and melted cheese.  Irresistible.

Cheese, apples, ham and apple butter.  Superb!

Cheese, apples, ham and apple butter. Superb!

If you go to an apple orchard and come away looking for ideas to use up your apples, this sandwich is a great place to start.

HAM AND APPLE BUTTER PANINI

Yield:   4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices sturdy bread, such as sourdough, or a rustic white like Scala.
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • sliced cheddar cheese, white or yellow,
  • 2 – 3 thinly sliced apples, such as Macoun, Macintosh, or whatever is available in your area.
  • thinly sliced deli ham, about 6 – 8 oz.
  • 1/2 cup apple butter (available at the supermarket where jams are sold, or you can make your own.)

Directions:

To assemble the sandwiches, separate the slices of bread into pairs.  Generously butter one side of each slice of bread, and then place them butter side down on a work surface.  (This will be the outside of the sandwich.)

On one side of each pair, layer cheese, apple slices, and ham.

IMG_5246

On the remaining slice of each pair, spread a generous layer of apple butter.  Sandwich the two slices of each pair together with the buttered sides facing outward.

Butter the outside of bread on both sides and grill it.

Butter the outside of bread on both sides and grill it.

Warm a cast iron skillet or panini grill over medium heat.  Cook the sandwiches, turning once, until both sides are golden and the cheese is melted.  Slice in half and serve immediately.

Sweet, salty, cheesy, melty.  What's not to love?

Sweet, salty, cheesy, melty. What’s not to love?

IMG_5251

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