When Dan and Ty were in Boy Scouts, the church troop would sell bushels of Apples every year that we were more or less pressured into buying to support our sons and the troop. This is the recipe that I used to make something useful out of 30 lbs of ripe apples.
Making apple butter is a great way to preserve the fruits of an apple harvest. In contrast to what the name implies, there is no "butter" in apple butter. The name comes from its smooth and buttery texture. Apple butter is delicious on buttered toast. This is so Good on pancakes!
- 16 cups apples
- 8 cups sugar
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 wide 8-quart pan (Stainless steel or copper with stainless steel lining)
- A large (8 cup) measuring cup pourer
- 6-8 8-ounce canning jars
Preparing the Fruit1 Peal, core, and cut the apples into quarters, cut out damaged parts.
First Stage of Cooking2 Put them into large pot, add the vinegar and water, cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cook until apples are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
Measure out the purée and add the sugar and spices3 Ladle apple mixture into a blender. Add 1/2 cup of sugar for each cup of apple pulp. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add a dash of salt, and the cinnamon, ground cloves, allspice, lemon rind and juice. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Second Stage of Cooking4 Cook uncovered in a large, wide, thick-bottomed pot on medium low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Scrape the bottom of the pot while you stir to make sure a crust is not forming at the bottom. Cook until thick and smooth when a bit is spooned onto a cold plate and allowed to cool (1 to 2 hours). You can also cook the purée on low heat, stirring only occasionally, but this will take much longer as stirring encourages evaporation. (Note the wider the pan the better, as there is more surface for evaporation.)
You can water bath or steam your jars.