Sunday, September 13, 2009

Apple Butter

One of the best things about living in New Jersey is the apples. We would go to a farm and pick them ourselves. Other times we would head down to Colts Neck to the produce store and buy them. Either way it was always fun.

Once home we would peel, peel and peel more apples. I would freeze 3-4 apple pies so when we wanted apple pie, just needed to bake one.

I also learned to make apple butter. I found a recipe in the canning and freezing section of the Betty Crocker cookbook. Of course I changed it. One thing is that I don't add any sugar. There is plenty in the apples. Apples also contain a natural pectin insuring they they will gel without any additional ingredients.

Apple Butter

4-1/2 pounds of apples, cored and quartered (about 14 medium)
Water to just barely cover the apples
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice

In an 8-10 quart pot, combine apples and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Cover. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Process through a sieve, food press or blender till you have 9-1/2 cups. Return to the pot. Stir in spices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook uncovered over very low heat for 1-1/2 hours or until very thick, stirring often.

Lade into hot, sterilized half-pint jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids. Process in boiling water canner 5 minutes (start timing when water begins to boil.) Remove jars and cool ion racks. Makes 8 half pints.

I also found that using a combination of different types of apples made the best apple butter.