- Author: Lauria Watts
I finally made some more apple butter.
Friends down the street picked me two BIG bags full of Winter Banana apples. Some were sweet for eating, some were a bit on the tart side. All were pretty much free from bug damage. Fewer/no bugs is great news when you need to prep a bunch of apples.
Any way, the apples awaited processing in two big plastic grocery bags. Surprise, surprise, I got up the next morning, washed those apples, and strong-armed my daughter into coming out to help. Apples were cored, cut into chunks, plopped in lemon-water in my gigator stock pot. On to the stove they went to cook.
They softened up fine, so I ran them through a food mill. There were not many skins tough enough to survive the mill, so my yield of sauce to make butter with was high. Back in the pot to cook VERY slowly they went. As the weather was mild I was able to put them on our stove over a flame so low that they barely simmered. They cooked and cooked and cooked some more. Finally the reduced pulp was put into my heavy-duty blender to get an extremely smooth puree.
The puree was sweetened with some organic sugar I wanted to use up, with a bit of salt added for balance. Two tablespoons of Saigon Cinnamon and ½ teaspoon of cloves were added for a bit of spice. Back to the stove it went and cooked some more. When checked again, it was still a bit on the tart side, but much thicker. What sugar was left and perfection was achieved!
After filling and processing what butter was there in the pot, I had a little over two gallons of apple butter put away.
A couple of gallons of apple butter you ask? What do you do with that much apple butter? Well, I give it away for Christmas presents. I use it to sweeten pies and fill cakes. It can be made into BBQ sauce. can be used to sweeten drinks like coffee and tea for a fruity treat. What I am really looking forward to is having a peanut butter and apple butter sandwich. And apple butter on hot biscuits ain't too shabby either. Don't forget eating spoonfuls as candy! And you know what? I might just try to run some of this stuff run through the dehydrator; it would probably make some really great apple butter leather. And since I have lots of butter, I can use it to line french apple tarts too.
Apple butter can be made by cooking it faster. But, when cooking fast, the risk is run of burning the butter; burnt apple butter is not tasty at all. I've found that cooking too fast means there will almost always be at least a bit of molten butter splashed on my arms as it really starts to get thick. Apple butter blisters are no fun at all. It could also be cooked fast by constantly stirring small amounts in a broad, shallow pan, but the amount of active time for this was daunting for the gallons of apple butter I was making. Give me the slow cook, low active time any day.
Did all the time I spent cooking and stirring on and off pay off? Yes! I love this batch of apple butter. It's the best I ever made. That being said, my desire for apple butter will most likely be sated for the next couple of years!
NCHFP Apple Butter recipe: https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_02/apple_butter.html
NCHFP Reduced Sugar Apple Butter recipe: https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_02/apple_butter_reduced.html