Okay, NOW I think I’m done canning for the year. I finished processing all of the thirty pounds of apples I got, and after doing two rounds of Applesauce, I cooked up a huge pot of Apple Butter and canned it all. Ended up getting seven half-pints and two pint jars.
I’m so excited about this one, it was my first time doing a fruit butter. It is so, SO yummy! It cooks down and the sugars caramelize, the fruit butter gets very rich, thick, smooth, and a beautiful pinkish-golden color. I could eat it in
bowl-fulls spoonfuls. 🙂 It’s just a cinnamon-y taste of the Holidays that are just around the corner. Seriously, when you have a spoonful you immediately think Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Now that I’ve canned pickled stuff: Pickled Beets, Dilly Beans, Dill Pickles, Cinnamon Applesauce, jam, jelly, and now finally fruit butter, I totally think that if I was only able to can one thing for the rest of my life, it would be this. Mostly because I can’t get enough and you could incorporate it into some holiday baking, but also because it’s so easy to make and preserve. Once it’s all in the pot, you just let it cook down, stirring occasionally and let it go for about two to three hours. Since it’s all thick and sugary it stays very hot, so you don’t have to worry about the mixture cooling down too much before you get it in the jars and then get them sealed and in the water bath.
It’s so easy, so rich, flavorful, delicious, festive, and so worth making. Even if you’re not canning, make a pot of it on the stovetop or crock pot, fill into a couple jars and they stay good refrigerated for up to two months!
I spread the Apple Butter on these crackers– the Organic Stoneground Wheat crackers- with cream cheese and it’s the perfect snack. I did this last night and my husband was surprised how good they were, he kept coming back for more. We thought they were like little bites of Apple Pie or Apple Turnovers. =)
8-9 lbs apples, peeled, cored, chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
3 c. apple cider
3 c. sugar
1-2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. cloves
Place all chopped apples in a large non-reactive saucepan or dutch oven with the lemon juice and cider, and 1 c. water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low, cover and simmer for about 30-40 min. until soft.
Move pot off of heat and puree with an immersion hand blender (or transfer it into a food processor in batches) until apple mixture is smooth. Place back onto heat and add the sugar and spices. Cook uncovered for about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours over medium-low heat until the apple butter has reduced quite a bit, is thick and mounds on a spoon. Stir often.
Fill hot, sterilized half-pint jars and leave 1/4″ headspace, remove air bubbles, wipe rims clean and seal the jars with the lids and rings, semi-tight. Process the jars in boiling water bath for 10 min. (add 1 min. for every 1k’ elevation, I processed mine for 13-14 min.). Store in a cool dry place for up to a year, if you can let it last that long! Open jars are good refrigerated for up to two months.