Apple Butter

20 or so apples jammed into a little jar.

I wanted to pick and make apple butter this fall when the season was right. Weather rained out that plan. December apple butter it is, and closer to gift giving season anyways. The process of simmering the spiced apples down fills the house with a beautiful cinnamon smell. It a powerful feeling to transform a bucket full of round green apples into a sticky spread. This takes about 4-5 hours

Apple Butter

10 lbs of apples
(I use a mix of sweet and tart, Granny smith and Macintosh)
1/4 tsp salt
4 cinnamon sticks
juice of 1 big orange, or 1/2 cup
2 tblsp rum (optional)
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tblsp ginger powder
1/2 cup sugar

Peel, quarter, core, and chop apples into 1/2 inch pieces. Add apples* to a large heavy stock pot with salt, 2 cinnamon sticks, orange juice, and rum. Heat on high until bubbling. Stir often until apples release juices. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and puree in food processor until smooth.

10lbs of fresh apples cook down to about 4 cups of thick
spread, or as I think of it, condensed autumn.

Add pureed apples and remaining ingredients (including 2 more new cinnamon sticks) to stock pot. Heat over medium, uncovered, stirring ever 20 minutes or so. You will notice that every time you stir the apple butter will darken a shade and reduce in volume. Be careful to stir the bottom up to the top, using a spatula if necessary. The sugars in the apples are browning and will want to stick to the bottom of the pot. The bottom can burn and create a thick layer that prevents the rest of the apple butter from cooking evenly.

Apple butter will be ready after 2-3 hours when the butter is thick and a deep brown color. It may seem the apple butter is ready sooner. I wait until the apple butter holds a swirl and even pulls away when stirred. That's pretty thick, but the apple spice flavors are really rich and satisfying.

I canned mine to give away as gifts, though the apple butter will keep in the fridge for about a month. Spread on pumpkin bread, muffins, buttered toast, pancakes and waffles. I like a dab in my oatmeal. Also nice on a cheese and cracker plate. How about a peanut butter, apple and bacon sandwich? Oh dang, I am having that tomorrow.

If there are too many apples to fit in your pot, add half the apples with salt, cinnamon sticks, rum and oj. Bring to a boil, stirring for about 15 minutes before adding the other half of apples.

Thanks to for re-posting it.


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