Thursday, September 24, 2009

Canned Apple Butter

Ok, so I'm finally coming to the end of my apples. I talked to my mom tonight and she asked if I wanted more. I just laughed at her.

Then I promptly called her back 5 minutes later and said, "Yes, please."

You see I'm too practical to let it go by. And although I'm in the middle of planning a 4 year old birthday party and a women's retreat on back to back weekends, I can't let apples go to waste. And I can't pass up "putting up" more treasures for my family.

In case you missed what I've been up to the past couple of weeks, be sure to check out Homemade Canned Applesauce and Homemade Canned Cranberry Applesauce. Both of those posts not only have great recipes, but also further tips and tricks for making sure your canning is successful.

The last of my apples went into Canned Apple Butter. This was the end of my stockpile and I really wasn't paying attention. Learn from my mistake. There's no shortcutting this recipe. Follow it carefully or you'll be in the kitchen a lot longer than you'd like to be.

Canned Apple Butter
1 gallon Apple Cider
4 gallons apples (peeled, cored, and sliced)
cinnamon to taste
optional: additional nutmeg, cloves, allspice

1. Boil 1 gallon apple cider down to 1/2 gallon. Do not skip this step. That was my mistake and then it took forever for the butter to cook down. Yes, this will take some time, but it will take longer if you add the apples right away.

2. Peel, core and chunk or slice apples. Try to get all the peel. It will change the flavor of the butter and cause it to bitter.

3. Add 2 gallons of apple pieces. Stir frequently.

4. Add rest of apples after first half softens. Continue to stir and simmer slowly.

5. Mash the apples with a potato masher as you go along. You want your butter to be very smooth and very thick. You could also try a submersible wand blender, but I was too chicken since the liquid is so hot.

6. Your apple butter is cooked completely when more the liquid is gone.

7. Fill your sink with hot water. Fill jars with hot water to the rim and add flats to the sink as well.

8. Fill jars with hot butter to the rim, wipe the top with a towel, and add the flat and ring. Tighten down and return to hot water bath. DO NOT TIGHTEN RING AFTER IT SEALS. This will break your seal.

You can add spices to taste as you cook it down, but I found mine was perfect with just the apple cider.
This recipe yields approximately 8 pint jars.

My kids love this stuff on their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I can hardly keep it in the house. And Apple Butter in the store is SOOOO expensive.

We also like to eat it on waffles, pancakes, and baked goods. I think the stuff is wonderful. I was so excited when I found I could make it myself instead of buy it. It's really quite simple and great way to finish up canning season.

For more Frugal Friday ideas, check out Life as Mom.


Roxane said...

I've never had apple butter before! What do you put it on? it sounds so yummy :)

Lee said...

We eat a lot of Peanut Butter and Apple Butter sandwiches. They kids love it. You could also use it as a topping for pancakes.

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