Thursday, 15 October 2009

Making Jam: Apple Butter

October is one of my favorite months and it's my birthday month!  This year for my birthday, I took the day off to go get apples and pumpkins from one of my favorite places, Jaemor Farms. I've been having so much fun canning and jamming this season that I wanted to try my hand at making apple butter and possibly applesauce. My tastes tester said that apple butter was his favorite so of course I had to make some. 

I came home with several varieties of apples: Jonagold, Golden Delicious and Mutsu.  We've been eating the Jonagold and Golden Delicious apples as snacks but I wouldn't let my sons eat the Mutsu apples because I wanted to use them for the apple butter. They're good for making apple butter because they're a little bit tart.  I had never had Mutsu before, but they are delicious!  I had a few left over from making the butter so we ate them!  Yummy!

Apple Butter Recipe
Makes: 5 or 6 pints

This particular recipe utilizes the whole apple (including the peel and core) for added flavor.  Once the apples are cooked, you use a food mill or sieve to separate the apple pulp from the seeds and peel.  I didn't have a food mill so I used a sieve.  It was a rather ardous process rubbing everything through the sieve but the end result was definitely worth it.  Even so, I just ordered a food mill so I won't have to do that again.

The recipe is from Keeping The Harvest: Discover the Homegrown Goodness of Putting Up Your Own Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs by Nancy Chioff & Gretchen Mead.

  • 6 pounds apples (24-26 medium apples)
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 quart apple cider
  • 3 cups sugar
  • Cinnamon, ground
  • Cloves, ground

Wash the apples and cut into small pieces, leaving the skins and cores.

Add the water and boil the apples until they are soft (about 30 minutes).  Put through a food mill or rub through a sieve.  This part took awhile as you can imagine. 

In the meantime, boil down the apple cider to half its volume.  Add the hot apple pulp, sugar, and ground spices to taste, and cook until thick enough to spread.

Stir the mixture occasionally to prevent sticking or scorching.

Ladle into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace, and seal.

Process in a boiling-water bath for 5 minutes, up to 1,000 feet altitude.  If you live in a higher altitude or need more detailed instructions on water-bath canning, please refer to the instructions on this site: National Center for Home Preservation.

Remove the hot jars from the canner using the jar lifter and place them on the counter overnight (for 12 hours).  The jars should making a popping noise as they seal.  If any of the jars don't pop, that means they didn't seal properly so you'll need to place them in the refrigerator. 

This apple butter tastes great!  Definitely worth all of the effort.  When my oldest son tried it, he said "this isn't enough!"  I agree, I plan to make more.  I'm going back to get more apples this weekend.  Yummy!

This apple butter tastes great on Anadama Bread  (the 1st BBA Bread) and Oatmeal Pumpkin BreadI imagine it would taste great on most breads.  I plan to find out.

Happy Canning!

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