Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Apple Butter Is Better Then Butter

I have had more then one request for this recipe.  Are you ready? Pay attention, because its super duper hard (*insert sarcasm here*)

First you need apples.  I picked mine up from Aunty Jeans tree. I don't know how many pounds, but I'd say I used a good 4-6 LBS

                                  
So there they are.

Next, my cooking unit

                                   

Yes, my favorite piece of equipment.

So now that we have these two main things lets move on.....

Preparing the apples is this simple. You cut, you core, and drop them in the crockpot (yes, peels and all.....I am that lazy.....or just think the peel is an essential part of the apple and find it a huge waste to discard)

                                     

                                     

                                     

So there is the basic start to your butter (or sauce, but we'll discuss that later)
So next I'd like to point out very important facts ... #1) we are not making pie filling so your apples do not have to be pretty, or perfect (trust me, after making 3 different types of apple preserves in the last two weeks I'd much rather do something simple like this then waste so much trying to make it "pretty") and #2) you are not cutting these apples up to serve to your toddler, it's okay to put bruises in the pot, they are not going to effect the taste ;)

See the top here? That is where the apple fell to the ground 
                              

Look at the bruise, doesn't matter, still putting it in...

                               

Follow this, just cutting out the REALLY bad spots and tossing the good stuff into your crockpot until full (fill to your comfort level, you will be stirring this up along the way)

Here's my pot, and I have extra apples! So I guess more work for mum tomorrow ;)

(Ps, for those of you worried about Tiny Man, he had the whole day with daddy, and he came to Aunty Jeans to pick apples with me, he was well taken care of)

                                
Now here's a decision....I know these apples have great taste, I know mum inlaw does not add sugar to her apple sauce. Therefore I do not put a lot of sugar in mine. I put.....

      
1 cup sugar 
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 Tsp salt

Most 4 LBS of apples call for 2 cups sugar, so it's up to you.  Same with the spices, it's your taste buds not mine, do it to your liking. Just remember, You can always add more its harder to take away.

So add it all in...

     

Now for a bit of "not in the recipe". Being this was a request and I didn't want to stay up all night I cranked this sucker up to high....if you do this keep an eye on it.  I was scared it would start to scorch on the sides, so I added liquid.....

                                     
Yup, good 'ol cider (or apple juice whatever you have) 
Remember to stir it every now and then. On high stir often.

On high it cooked in less then 4 hours.
Cooking on low, it will take up to 8 hours
It's whatever you would like to do. You are wanting a cooked (not necessarily pulverized cooked) apple, when you pierce it with a fork it gives way.

This is what mine looked like at this stage (bruised pieces will cook faster and pulverize, IT'S OK)

                                     
Oh, I added vanilla (if you have some rum on hand it would taste great in this) 

                                     
No measurement just tossed some in.

Now. Lets see. Do you have an emersion blender? You could use that. Or a food processor? You can use that. I use my blender. Just scoop your apples in small batches and whirl away....

                                    

                                    
*SAFTEY* crack top to let steam escape. Otherwise, the pressure build up can pop the top and send scolding hot sauce all over you!

                                     

                                     

Now pour it back into you crock pot.

                                     

Oops, I am Such a mess! Trying to pour while trying to snap a pic with an iPad is harder then it looks!

                                     
                                     
So there is the sauce. So you can do a few things now....
1) Taste. It may need more spice or sugar.
2) check consistency. If you'd like it more like apple sauce can it now.  Or if its thick enough can it now.  If you'd like it thicker read on (ps, canning info will be further down)..

So mine was not thick enough to be called "butter" that's really the only difference between sauce and butter here. 
They say to take a spoonful of apple butter and tap it on a plate.  If it holds its shape you're good to go.  

Well, mine wasn't just right.  So I left it in the crockpot on low for a few more hours, checking and stirring it (in all honestly I had to run to town, so I turned it to the "keep warm" setting and back to low when I got back)

So, I've told you about what "they say" with the spoon and all...I say sorry to "they", I already have a dirty spoon, I'm going to use it. And when mine can stick like this and not fall....

      

It is time.

Get your jars ready. Wash and hot water bath.


Get your lids ready in a pot of boiling water (when it starts to boil just turn it down, the water will stay hot)

     

Now I couldn't hold the jar, hold the spoon, and hold the iPad to take pictures. So fill your jars up, leaving 1/2" to the top for head space. It will get a little messy, unless you have a wide mouth funnel tool (which I don't)

Here's the rim looking all messified 

                              
So take a paper towel, or clean kitchen rag and clean that up, or it won't seal properly.

So after cleaning your rim, you are ready to add the lid.  They are now in boiling water. This is a nifty little tool that has a magnet on the end to help you pick them up (make sure you also have a cleaned and ready ring)

  

Place on top of your jar and add a clean ring. Tighten as tight as your hands allow. You will be using just a water bath, so there will be no pressure to ensure the ring gets a proper seal. 


Place in to a FLAT bottom pot (I used a pressure cooker With an insert that allows for a flat bottom)

Cover your jars with water, just clearing the tops. But make sure they are indeed covered.

                              

Bring water to a boil. Time for 10 minutes uncovered.

Make sure you can safely remove from the hot water bath after the ten minutes is up.

And, voila.

You have just made Apple Butter and canned it. 

                               


It really is simple, I just wanted to make all the steps clear. Give it a go! You won't be sorry, and neither will your belly!

Now on Face Book there is a great little page run by Miss Tina.  She has drawings, and to enter couldn't be simpler! Go like her page

https://www.facebook.com/handnhomemade
 She has a daily drawing, and will let you know how to enter each day! So much fun. She loves fall and is having a special "Fall Giveaway" many business's have donated fun little items for this! I am donating these Fun Fall accessories 

                     
So stop on by, give her a like, and enter for a chance to win some rad prizes!


*side note* 
Children did help, homework was done, trip to town successful, late dinner with their cousin Toby in tow, Vincent said blessing and thanked god for letting Toby come visit.

And one more thing to say before goodnight.  It is Bikes Blues And Barbecues (BB&B) in Northwest Arkansas this weekend.  I know and love many riding. So be kind. Be courteous. Be safe.  Look twice and save a life.

As always.
Welcome to my Crazy house!
-Keesers  





 






 






   


 


  


    





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