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Cook the bramley apples, sugar, lemon juice, 100ml of the cider and all the spices in a pan over a medium heat, uncovered, for about 8-10 mins until soft. Remove the star anise.
Blend to a purée, then return to the pan. Add the Granny Smith apples and cook over a low heat for 1 hr until soft but still with a bit of a bite. Will keep chilled for three days. To serve, reheat if chilled and stir through the thyme and remaining cider.