Thursday, October 9, 2014

Apple Butter: How To

Step 1: Set up your pot. (You could also use a crockpot for this part, especially if you are using far fewer apples.)

Quarter the (washed!) apples and put them in.

 Add enough apple cider (or water) to cover half of the apples.

I like to add whole spices at this stage: cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom pods, star anise, allspice berries and/or mace shavings are all good.
 Step 2: Simmer and stir.

This is my favorite part!  I like to simmer for most of the day to enjoy the aroma of spiced apples!

Really, you just need to cook them until they are mushy.

I stir every hour or two.  In the evening, I turn off the heat and cover the apples.

Step 3: Strain.

The next day I push the apple mush through a strainer into a large pan. This is apple sauce.  I taste it and add brown sugar and any extra spices.  You want it like sweet apple sauce.

You could put it back into a pot and simmer it more until it thickens, but it'll scorch if you don't watch it, so I prefer to put it in the oven.

Step 4: Bake!

I leave it in the oven at 250-300 degrees for most of the day, stirring every hour or two.  The house smells fantastic!  I like my apple butter really thick, but you only need to let it bake until it's thick enough to suit you.  Just remember, it will thicken a little more when refrigerated.

If you made a small batch just for yourself, stick it in a container in the refrigerator and you're done!

Step 5: Can it.

Load it hot into hot mason jars, seal with lids and rigs, then put the jars into boiling water for 10 minutes.  If that didn't make sense to you, look at Ball's directions.

Your apple butter will be keep in sealed jars for more than year at room temperature- very nice for gift giving!

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