Friday, September 10, 2010

Apple Butter - Autumn, Here We Come! :)

Nothing makes it feel like fall like apple butter and preserves! Preparing for the fall is what we ants are supposed to do, right? Ha! As someone who cooks and loves to bake, I've never even considered the idea of canning until recently, and let's just say that I think I found another true passion.

The frugality in me is extremely happy with this new 'obsession' because it gives me the ability to have a skill that will come in handy when times are rough, which has been quite often lately. It also gives me the ability to give my family what it needs for much less money. I am a stockpiler when times call for it, and the times have been calling my name, quite loudly lately.

So, my first attempt at canning has been a SUCCESS!!! The sterilization process is what scared me the most...because I have no urge to poison the ones I love, at least not today! (Ha!) After experiencing the process of making apple butter and canning it, I feel much cozier now with the process and am proud to say that there will be much canning going on in my kitchen and my future!

Here is the recipe for my Apple Butter...Hope you Enjoy!

Apple Butter
~(makes 3 pints or 6 half pints - which is the size I went with)
~This recipe can be doubled (which is what I did)

4 lbs Apples (about 16) - I used med. green apples 1 C apple cider vinegar 2 C water 4 C sugar (you will use 1/2 C sugar for each cup of puree) salt 2 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. ground cloves 1/2 tsp. allspice 1 lemon - zest & juice

Step 1: Cut apples into quarters (keeping the core & peel - needed to release pectin - although I did get rid of as many seeds as possible)

Step 2: Add to large pot - Apples, Vinegar, Water

Step 3: Cover, bring to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes (around 40 if you double the recipe), stir a bit, then remove from heat

Step 4: Ladle the mixture into a food mill or chenois seive and remove pulp

Step 5: Add puree to a pot and add 1/2 C sugar for each cup puree (I ended up with 14 C puree, so used 7 C seems like a lot of sugar, but this is very important for the canning process...sugar helps keep bacteria away!)

Step 6: Stir to dissolve sugar, add all the spices, lemon zest & lemon juice

Step 7: Cook uncovered on med/low heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning on the bottom (1 1/2 - 2 hours)

Jar Sterilization:

*There are several ways to sterilize your jars, but I found this to be the easiest:

Step 1: Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees, once preheated, place rinsed/dried jars on cookie sheet and keep in the oven for 10 minutes

Step 2: Place rings and lids in a bowl and pour boiling water over them, let them soak for a bit (while the jars are sterilizing

Step 3: Remove from oven


Step 1: Put hot apple butter in hot, sterilized jars and add the lid.

Step 2: Place the rings around the top (not too tight because you're going to want air to be able to get through during the hot water bath...basically the rings are there to keep the top in line)

Step 3: Make sure your boiling pot has a rack on the bottom (so as to not allow the jars to touch the bottom of the pot) and place sealed jars in pot.

Step 4: Cover jars with water, about an inch to an inch and a half

Step 5: Bring to a rolling boil...once at a rolling boil the processing time begins.....

Step 6: Process for 10 minutes in the hot water bath (ensures a good seal)

Step 7: Remove jars from hot water bath (tongs are preferred here seeing as these jars are HOT!) and place on the counter (on a towel) and let sit for 12 hours. You will begin to hear the clicking of the lids sealing....what a fabulous sound!!!

Now your batch of Apple Butter is ready!!!! (Since these are canned you can store these for up to one year outside of the fridge! )

Hope you enjoy your batch as much as I have enjoyed mine!!!

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