Making Apple Butter

This year we decided to make apple butter for the first time. It was fun! You definitely need friends to help because there is work involved. First we stayed up late peeling and pureeing the apples. We used Roma and Golden Delicious from a local orchard. Dave said that Eli Whitney had nothing on the inventor of the apple peeler/corer/ slicer. We made 19 gallons of apple mash in a few hours with only 4 people working!

The next morning we woke up early and got the fire started. We used our friend’s copper kettle and stirring paddle. We stirred and stirred and stirred and stirred. We had 5 gallons of apple mash that wouldn’t fit in the pot so we made apple sauce as a side project.  Toward the late afternoon the apple butter was almost ready so we sterilized jars, lids and rings to hold our beautiful apple butter. The stirring crew added sugar, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. We had a crazy assembly line of pouring hot apple butter into jars, capping it and carrying it into the kitchen. We made 75 pints of apple butter in one day! We were all exhausted but very happy with the finished product. We listened for the jar lids sealing all evening. It is absolutely delicious!!!…a day well spent!

Our secret apple butter recipe:

In a 15 gallon copper kettle put as much apple puree as will fit and cook down. We added 14 gallons of apple puree total. Cook the apples for 7 hours while stirring constantly.  Put a couple tablespoons on a paper plate. Run a spoon through the middle of the apple butter if no liquid appears in the gap then it is time to add the sugar and spices. We added about 17 lbs. of sugar, 1/3 cup cinnamon, 1 small container cloves and 1/2 small container of allspice. Let the mixture cook a little longer and then do the paper plate test again. If no liquid appears again then it’s ready. Start canning it! The spice mixture is according to person preference so taste the apple as you add them a little at a time. Did I mention there is a lot of stirring involved.

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