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Friday, September 5, 2014

Apple Butter {Canned or Not}

I'd never had apple butter until I met my husband.  In fact, I can't say I'd ever head of it either. Have you? I was missing out!  This recipe comes from my husband's Great Grandma Cookston.  And my husband's Dad has been making it even since I've known him, I feel like that's what he's famous for....and his grilling (he does it perfect), oh and his dutch oven cooking!  Yum!  My husband and I both grew up eating good - and we can't seem to stop!  So what do you do with apple butter, you ask?  We love it on toast (use it like jam), peanut butter sandwiches, pancakes/waffles/crepes/french toast, ginger pancakes (recipe coming soon), or on top of vanilla ice cream, or praline pecan ice cream, there are lost of uses.  I think it'd be really good on these Cheesecake Cups

This recipe is really easy, especially if you have an apple-corer-peeler-slicer.  We whipped out 10 pints in no time.  You can make a small batch of this and just use it up in a few weeks like you would jam, or you can make a bunch and then can it and have it stored on the shelf.  That's what we do.  We made 10 pints this past Saturday with some apples from a friends tree.  My apple tree is about to have major limbs snap, the apples are wearing it down and it needs some picking. So I'll be making more apple butter this weekend, along with some applesauce, and apple pie filling!  Mmm!  

I'll post some links below for you to check out if you are new to canning. This way you can read how to do it.  And just so you know this recipe is canning safe.  It calls for same amounts of apple pulp and sugar as the Ball Blue Book - and I called the USU Extension Service to be sure the spice variation that is used in this family recipe is safe - and it is! :) If you need canning supplies, here is a great start.

The recipe with instructions and printable are below. 

Start with fresh, washed apples.

Peel, core and slice them. This gadget is so handy!

Cook the apple pulp with the sugar and spices, store in the fridge up to two weeks or can for shelf stable storage. 

Process in boiling water bath.

Enjoy the "fruit" of your labors for the next year!

Apple Butter

Yield: about 4 pints


4 pounds apples (about 16 medium-sized apples)
4 cups sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves


****Note: You don’t have to can this recipe. You can make a small batch and keep  If you plan to can this recipe and you are not familiar with proper food preservation methods please read about it here and follow all instructions:  or purchase the Ball Blue Book here: Ball Blue Book
It is very important to follow proper canning instructions to ensure the safety of the food.  

You can also double or triple, etc the recipe if you have a big enough pot, or multiple pots.

To prepare the pulp:

Wash, peel, core and slice apples into quarters. Place apples and 2 cups of water in a large pot and simmer until apples are soft.  Drain the water from the apples and puree in food processor or blender.  Measure 2 quarts (8 cups of apple pulp).  
Combine the apple pulp, sugar and spices in a large saucepan or stockpot.  Cook slowly until it’s thick enough to round up on a spoon. I just find the consistency I like to spread on toast or a sandwich. As the mixture thickens stir frequently to prevent it from sticking to the pan. If it becomes too thick you can add water, or apple juice until it reaches the desired consistency.

Ladle the hot butter into clean and hot jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace.  Remove any air bubbles with spatula.  Wipe any spills from the jar, especially where the lid will touch and seal.  Adjust the two-piece caps on the jars - until tight. Do not tighten as tight as you can. Just enough to know it’s closed.  Process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes (adding time for altitude adjustment). See chart below.  I had to add 10 minutes to the processing time for my altitude - for a total time of 20 minutes.  

Following canning guide for removing jars and letting them cool.  (link at the top of the recipe or in the Ball Blue Book).  

Boiling-Water Canner Altitude Adjustments (from the Ball Blue Book - guide to preserving - 2009)
Altitude in feet
Increase processing time
1,001 to 3,000
5 minutes
3,001 to 6,000
10 minutes
6,001 to 8,000
15 minutes
8,001 to 10,000
20 minutes

Recipe Source: Ball Blue Book - Guide to Preserving - Published in 2009 with spice adaptations from a family recipe, all the way from my husband’s great grandmother.  

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