Homemade apple butter is a wonderful condiment to spread on scones, toast, or muffins. Chunks of sweet autumn apples are cooked down until they are soft and tender. Then, the apples are pureed with fragrant spices like cloves and cinnamon. Apple butter is also great served with pork chops or mixed with apple slices for apple pie. This fall, make yourself this delicious fruit butter.
Homemade Apple Butter
Recipe from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy
5 pounds of apples, peeled and cut into chunks (I used a mix of McIntosh, Fuji and Honeycrisp.)
1/2 gallon of apple cider
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Juice of one lemon
Also needed: 8 clean half-pint canning jars or 4 pint-sized canning jars with new lids and rims
To prepare the jars: Heat oven to 225 and place the jars (but not lids) on a baking sheet and into the oven. The jars will need to stay in the oven for at least 20 minutes. Wash the lids with hot water and let them dry completely on a clean towel.
To make the apple butter: Heat a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the apples and enough apple cider to just cover the apples. Bring to a simmer. Skim off any foam that surfaces. Continue simmering the apples until they are soft and tender, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and puree in a blender, in small batches. Don’t fill the blender more than halfway or you may end up with a hot mess! The puree should be the consistency of a thin applesauce.
Put the puree back in the big pot over medium heat. Bring to a brisk simmer and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Continue to simmer over medium/med-low heat, stirring frequently, until the apple butter reduces and really thickens up. This will take at least 2 hours. The apple butter will darken as it cooks. Towards the end, the simmer should become more lava-like, sputtering, gurgling and splattering. That’s when it should be done. Remove the pot from the heat.
Fill your your biggest, deepest pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. The water level will need to cover the jars. Remove the jars from the oven and fill each with apple butter to within 1/4 inch of the top. Wipe off rims with a clean dry paper
towel. Place a dry lid on each jar and close tightly. Using tongs, place each of the jars in the boiling water and boil for at least 10 minutes.
Using tongs, remove the jars from the pot and place on a clean kitchen towel to cool. When cooled, gently press down on each lid. If the lid doesn’t pop, the seal should be good. If it does pop, store the jar in the fridge and use within 2 weeks.