Happy Sunday! Well it’s 30 degrees here is North Texas and I’ve been cooking. No surprise there huh? I started processing the apples we picked up at Walmart last week. When babydoll and I were shopping for food, he found a display of apples in the aisle, still in boxes, on sale for wait for it……
.20 cents per pound!!!!
If they were honeycrisp or Gala apples I was definately buying. Especially honeycrisp because most often I see them for more than $3-4/lb. Now being from New England I know my apples and I’m extremely picky. They had red delicious and honeycrisp so I loaded up three bag fulls of honeycrisp apples which came to about 25lbs for $5 total!
I decided to make yummy apple butter. I ended up getting 3 full pints of apple butter when canned.
-12 medium apples
-10 whole cloves
-2 cups water
-1 tsp cinnamon
-dash of freshly grated nutmeg
-2 cups sugar
-2 tsp apple cider vinegar
-pinch of salt
Prepare the apples by washing, coring, and cutting them into chunks. Leave the skin on because there are some vitamins/natural pectin in the skin and you are going to puree this anyway. Have a large bowl on the side filled half with water and 2 tsp lemon juice to keep the apples from turning brown until they are all cut up.
In a pot, mix water and spices until thoroughly mixed. Bring to a simmer and and add the apple chunks. Simmer for 30 minutes or until apples start to break down. Stir your mixture and find the whole cloves. This isn’t hard and took just a few minutes. I used 10 and then fished out 10. You dont want to eat these but the flavor is intense. Using a food processor or a blender, puree your mixture and pour back in the pot to reduce. Add 2 cups of sugar. This will make your mixture a little runny but your going to reduce it until it’s thick and creamy like. About another 20-30 minutes. The mixture will be a dark brown, thick like a sauce but with applesauce consistency. Once reduced to the thickness that you want, add apple cider vinegar and salt to further enhance the flavor of your apples. It’s like a flavor boost and so delicious. Then you’re ready to can.
With a funnel or very carefully pour the apple butter in your jars and leave 1 inch headspace. Headspace is a term they use for leave an inch from the top of the jar from the liquid. Using a knife or chopstick like object poke inside your jar. This will get out any air bubbles and prevent nasty stuff from growing. Wipe the edge of your jar with a damp rag to remove drips and moisture. Grab your lid which you soaked in boiling hot water and secure with the ring.
Canning your apples is super easy because it’s done in a water bath not a pressure canner. So anyone can do this. Fill a deep pot 3/4 with water or enough to cover your jars once inserted. The water must cover the jars by at least 1 inch. Bring to a rolling boil and add your jars. My mixture made 3 pint jars. Process for 10 minutes. That’s it! Within the first 5 minutes of your jars cooling on your counter they will pop!
These do not store for a very long time like other foods. They will keep canned for up to a year. Apple butter is not a dairy product but more like a condiment like jelly. I used no pectin and no preservatives. If you’re using tart apples be sure to increase the amount of sugar. Enjoy!