Well, it’s a bit early, but the raccoons have been at my tree so I’ve had to start harvesting my apples and making my apple butter. A couple of friends have asked how I make my batches so this post will attempt to show you what I do. It’s not so much a recipe as a process.
The photos above show the initial pot of apples soaking to clean them off, my apple peeler (a must have), my cooking, straining and canning tools, the other ingredients, the finished product and the final picture is all that is left over when done.
First off, I start with a batch of apples. How many depends on how many are on the ground and are ready to be picked from the tree. The first photo shows the apples. I clean them and then run them thru my apple corer/peeler.
Peels and cores go into a pot with water and a little lemon, just to cover them. Apple slices go into another pot with water and lemon, again just to cover them. When all peeled and sliced, I add sugar, cinnamon and apple cider to the pot with the apple slices. I bring the pot to a boil and turn it down to a very slow simmer. The other pot is put on to boil as well.
When the cores and peels are soft, I strain them through a fine sieve and add cider, sugar and cinnamon and start another apple butter batch from the apple sauce created from the scraps. I try not to waste any apple material if possible. You can see from the last photo that not much is left.
After the apple butter has turned a nice dark brown, and has thickened, I add it to hot, cleaned jars. Cover the jars and process in a water bath, leaving boiling for 10 minutes. When you remove them from the water bath, make sure you hear the lids pop as they seal properly.
I have never used an official recipe. The apples are sweeter some years and not others, so I add sugar based on taste. The same goes for cinnamon. For the large pot of apples you see here, I used about a half a gallon of apple cider for the total batch. There were about 30 apples.
That’s the process. If you don’t have an apple tree, you can use apple sauce as a subsitute. You won’t need to add as much sugar to the batch.