I woke up this morning ready to watch the Toronto Santa Claus Parade on tv. I got myself settled with some toasted cranberry-pecan bread and some hot chocolate and couldn’t find the parade anywhere. What the heck?! I looked online and found that it isn’t televised until 4:30 in the afternoon! Grrrr!
I got up at the crack of 10 am for nothing!!
“What am I going to do all day now?” I thought.
I wasn’t feeling any of the crafts I had in progress and we went to the mall and the farmer’s market yesterday, so I didn’t much feel like going out. Finally, I walked into the kitchen and saw the pile of apples I bought to make another batch of apple butter. Now that will keep me busy for a while!
I spent a couple of weeks in September learning how to can. I made several jams and jellies, as well as apple butter and pickles. When Ken mentioned the apple butter to some of his co-workers, they said they had never had it before. Ken talked it up so much that now they all expect apple butter for Christmas. I didn’t have enough for all that, so I needed to make more.
So I got to work with my handy dandy apple corer/slicer. I don’t peel the apples first because, well…I hate peeling apples. I always cut myself and it takes FOREVER. Leaving the peels on doesn’t really change the taste or the texture, so why bother?
I put the apples in a stock pot with apple cider and let them stew until the apples were nice and soft. I added in some cloves and cinnamon because it makes the house smell so good!
When the apples are really mushy, I use a blender to liquefy the peels. I had to do this in 2 batches, but it was easier than using an immersion blender.
Next, the pulp goes back into the stock pot and I add sugar and spice and everything nice! My granny’s recipe uses 3 cups of white sugar, but I used 2 cups and added 1 cup of brown sugar. I added cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg and it started to smell lovely!
Once the apple butter was ready, I filled the sterilized jars, one by one.
And then all that was left was to process the jars. The normal time for processing is 10 minutes, but because of the altitude in Calgary, I had to add 10 more minutes.
20 minutes later, I had 8 little jars of apple butter cooling and waiting to be gifted! And I was finished cleaning up the kitchen just in time to watch the parade!
I was asked to share my granny’s recipe, so here it is!
Granny’s Apple Butter
- 24 apples cored and quartered
- 2 quarts sweet cider
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
Cook apples in cider until tender. Press through a food mill or sieve (I used a blender for this step). Add sugar and spices (I used a good bit more than the amounts listed here and added nutmeg – taste it and see what you like). Cook slowly, stirring frequently until thick, about an hour or longer. Pour into hot sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Seal with sterile caps and rings. Process in boiling water bath 10 minutes (or longer depending on your altitude). Yields about 5 pints.