A batch of apple butter for gifting

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.

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11 thoughts on “A batch of apple butter for gifting

  1. I’ve been meaning to learn how to can food. I bought most of the stuff in September, but I think I’m going to wait until next year to try and do it. I put it off for too long this year, now I’m swamped in Christmas crafts!!! However, this recipe is definitely going into my stockpile to try out!!!

    1. It was something I had wanted to learn for a long time, too. I finally decided to just give it a go this year. Ken was out of town for work for a week and I just dove in and did it while he was gone. It helps a lot to read the recipe through a couple of times and make sure you know all the steps. The first time I did it, it took a really long time because I was reviewing everything as I was going, but I’ve gotten a bit faster each time I’ve done it.

      1. That would probably be the only problem I would have. I have this habit that after I read directions once I just jump right in head first. It’s a good thing you suggested that, because I probably would have failed miserable my first try. 😀 Thank you for the tip!

  2. Looks delish! I have made applesauce, but never apple butter. I have never canned anything, so that makes me nervous (I am a spaz…). I think they will be perfect gifts! I love recieving homemade gifts from the heart.

    1. I do, too! And I love apple butter! I was nervous about learning, too because (as a friend on Ravelry said) I have a healthy fear of botulism! Haha!

      But, it was actually pretty easy and so far all of my canned foods have turned out fine. I got the Ball Blue Book and read through all of the stuff at the beginning about sterilizing the jars, processing and changing the time depending on the altitude. It’s a lot of info, but the steps involved are actually pretty easy.

      I started with apple butter and jellies because they really seemed the easiest. I made a list of the steps and made sure to read throught the recipe a few times and then set out everything I would need so I wouldn’t get flustered and have to go searching for stuff.

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