After a long week of trying to get our house on the right track, LD and I decided it was time for some fun. When we went to the apple orchard two weeks ago, we weren’t able to take home more than a few apples, giving us a small taste of what we really wanted to make for some fall favorites. So, when we went to the apple orchard this time, we maybe went a little overboard….with 70 pounds of apples. Yes, you read that right, 70 pounds! So maybe we have a lot of apples, but luckily we also have a lot of ideas that can or freeze so none of the apples will go to waste. I promise.
On Sunday, it was time to make some apple butter. I adore apple butter (and pumpkin butter, but that is for another time). Made correctly, it is creamy and sweet without being overpowering. When I was younger, my dad’s cousin used to give us her cans of them with the simple rules of you get more when you return the jars. My dad and I would fight over the apple butter and a pint jar was usually gone within a couple days (if not a day). So, of course I decided to make my own.
It was actually a lot easier of a process than I expected and each batch took about an hour and a half.
Here are the ingredients to make 8-9 pints of apple butter:
- 8 pounds of apples
- 2 cups apple cider
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2 cups brown sugar
- Cinnamon and other spices
In order to weigh out the apples, I would weigh myself on the bathroom scale and then grab a bag and add or remove apples until the scale said a weight 8 pounds more than my initial weight. On a side note, this method also works for checking the weight of your suitcase before going to the airport to fly anywhere. After figuring out your 8 pounds of apples, remove the seeds and core and cut them into quarters or eighths. We have an apple slicer so I used that on my mix of golden delicious, empire, and cortland apples.
If you don’t have an apple slicer and do a lot with sliced apples, I suggest you get one. It can save a lot of time. You can find them on Amazon here. You might have to do some clean up on some of the slices, but with not cutting all of the apples by hand you can save some significant time, but that’s just my two cents.
After all the apples are sliced, put them into a stock pot with the 2 cups of apple cider and 2 cups of white vinegar, cover and cook on medium heat until the apples are soft. When they are really soft the peels will simply be falling off. Once the apples are soft, either push them through a colander so that only the pulp remains in a bowl, or use a food mill if you have one. I do thanks to a kind wedding guest so that’s what I used.
Once you just have the apple sauce, return the sauce to the pot (you may choose to rinse it out before putting the apple sauce in) and add the two cups of white sugar, two cups of brown sugar and spices. Spices that work really well are cinnamon and cloves. When in doubt, use a pre-mixed apple pie spice mix. Return the pot to the stove and cook on medium-low, stirring frequently until the butter is done. When it is done, you can scoop some out with a spoon and rest it on the counter and it will not fall off the spoon.
Doesn’t it look yummy!!! Once it is done, pack into sterilized pint size jars (or quarts if you prefer), leaving about 1 inch of head space and can in a water bath canner for 5 minutes (if pint jars) or 10 minutes (if quart jars). I hope you enjoy your apple butter!!