Tag Archives: fruit

Fall Canning: Apple Butter

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.  =)

::Apple Butter::

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.

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Summer Goodness

Last weekend we made a three day trip over to Idaho and Washington to visit all the family.  I will hopefully post a few pics of the weekend, but for now, just some summer goodness.

It was a good time, and we made a (very necessary) stop at the orchards at Green Bluff, outside of Spokane.  I really love this area, and would love to go there at least a few times every summer.  So fun to do the u-pick berries, peaches, and get your hands on all the fresh summer produce.  This time we didn’t have time to pick berries, it was very hectic (but fun) with visiting family, and having a 8 week old puppy with us on a roadtrip.  So we got a box of berries and a box of peaches.

Just freezing all of it, for wintertime baking, smoothies, and milkshakes.  It’s great to fill up the freezer with all the sweet, juicy, delicious summer fruit and be able to use it all year.  My next stops, sometime this weekend, are the cherry orchards alongside Flathead Lake!  🙂

And a 20 lb box of peaches…
I am enjoying a bowl of peaches with half and half and a pinch of turbinado sugar as we speak, a perfect midnight snack.  =)

Cobble Cobble!

I am crazy for cobblers all of a sudden.  After making them at work last week, I got to thinking about my Flathead Cherries I still have in my freezer from last summer that I pitted and vacuum packed, and thinking about how they need to be used!  A cobbler can really be whipped out in no time, and in my opinion it’s just as good as pie, or better.  Without as much work!

Over the last few years I have grown to love the use of the freezer, and learned how to really take advantage of it.  One of my favorite things is reaching in the freezer in the winter or even Spring, when we don’t yet have all the fresh berries and produce, and grabbing a ‘little piece of Summer’ to thaw and use.  Around here you really can’t miss out on enjoying Flathead Cherries in the summer time.  However, one could easily miss out on enjoying Flathead Cherries any other time of year, if you don’t go to a little extra work when you get them to store some away and take advantage of that freezer!  It is so worth it and rewarding.

::Flathead Cherry Cobbler::

I made it the same as previously mentioned, but for the filling just did:

2 1/2 lbs cherries, pitted
3/4 – 1 c. sugar
1 T. instant tapioca
1 T. AP flour
zest of 1 orange

That’s it!  SO good.

Mixed Berry Cobblers

Here’s a little Spring/Summer baking inspiration.  I made these beauty-ful berry-ful Mixed Berry Cobblers at work today.  Cobblers are so perfect for this time of year, especially during summer when the berries are ripe and fresh.  Here I used fresh strawberries, blueberries, and frozen huckleberries.  This cobbler topping is absolutely perfect, and everything that it should be.  I read that the topping is supposed to look kind of piece-y and lumpy, like cobblestones, which is how it got it’s name.

I had to take a quick shot with my phone camera as I was working, since they were looking so mouth-watering delicious when I pulled them out.  I’m not ever there in the evening when they’re plating them up all pretty and serving them in all their glory, but really these guys don’t need much dressing and garnishing, perfect right out of the oven just like this.  I will definitely be making more cobblers throughout the Spring and Summer…

::Recipe::  Mixed Berry Cobblers

Fruit filling:

2 c. strawberries, quartered or halved
3 c. blueberries, huckleberries, and/or any other fruit of your choosing
3/4 c. sugar
1 T. flour
1 1/2 T. instant tapioca
1-2 T. juice of lemon or orange
zest of 1 lemon or orange, (optional)

Toss all together in a large bowl, set aside.

Cobbler topping:

1 3/4 c. AP flour
1/2 c. sugar
pinch of salt
2 1/2 t. baking powder
4 oz. (1/2 c.) cold butter, cut into cubes
1 egg + 1 yolk
2/3 c. heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Work the cold butter cubes into the dry mix with your fingertips, rubbing into the dry mix until the butter pieces are the size of peas.  Combine the egg, yolk, and cream in a small bowl, stir together, then gently stir into the flour mixture only until combined, careful not to over-work or over mix.  The dough should be loose, lumpy, and light.

Pour fruit mixture into a buttered baking dish (9 x 9) or individual baking dishes.  Carefully drop spoonfuls of dough on top of fruit, leaving it loose and lumpy, it should look rough and rustic, like cobblestones.  Bake until topping is golden brown, about 40-50 min.

Enjoy warm or at room temperature, better yet with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream.

Cheers!