Grocery and Equipment List:
* Apples (17-20 small apples) 6 lbs, I use organic Fuji apples
* 1 1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon
* 1 tsp ground cloves
* 1/2 tsp allspice
* 2-3 cups of sugar, taste after two and add more to suit your taste
* Jar funnel
* 1 crockpot
* Large spoon and ladle
* Ball jars
* Large stock pot
The fist step to apple butter is applesauce:
Step 1- Apples
This step is the most important! I use organic Fuji apples, they are sweet and usually very juicy. You can use whatever kind of apples you would like to use. You really don't want to use Granny Smith apples because they aren't sweet enough. You should you something like Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Rome.
Step 2- Wash the jars and lids
If you wash the jars now you won't have to worry about them later. I wash them by hand, you can wash them in the dishwasher. The lids and rings you don't have to wash, you can just boil them in hot water in a small saucepan. Once you have washed the jars they should be arranged in a large stock pot, fill the jars with water and pot with water. The water level should be about an inch above the tops of the jars. Boil the jars on high for 10 minuets. Start the timer when the water begins a hard boil.
Step 3- Wash and Chop apples
You should start out with two bowls. I use the largest out of the three and the smallest out of three. The largest is for the apples slices and the smallest is for the garbage (cores, bad spots and whatever else).
I am sure if you don't know already how to wash and apple you can figure it out. All you need to do is run them under tap water.
Your time can be utilized much better if you use a corer/segmenter. If you have never used one before, you just place the stem in the center of the center hole and press down. I keep a small knife on hand to cut out any core that was left on the slices and also to cut out any bad spots. YOU DO NOT NEED TO PEEL THE APPLES.
Step 4- Cook the Apples
Picture one represents the apples before them are cooked. Once you have placed the apples into the stock put about one inch of water in the bottom of the pan.
Picture two is the apples cooking. Once you have put the water in the bottom of the pan, then place a lid on the pot and cook on high until the water gets a really hard boil then you can turn the temperature down to medium/high. Cook until the apples are really soft. It usually takes about an hour.
Picture three is what the apples should look like when they are done cooking. DO NOT DRAIN THE JUICE.
Step 5- Puree the Apples
Things you can use:
*Large food processor (14 cup or bigger)
*Small food processor
Which ever of these things that you have will work. Some may take longer than others, but they will work. I use a 14 cup fp so I can put all of the apples in at one time, if you have a large fp it will take about 3 or so minutes. All you are doing is pureeing the apples to the consistency of applesauce. The picture below shows what it should look like once they are pureed.
*NOTE* If you are making applesauce only, your applesauce is done. You may leave it plain or season it with some cinnamon. The only other thing you would need to do is fill your ball jars and put them in a hot water bath. Arrange the jars in a caner or large stock pot, when the water comes to a rolling boil set your timer for 15 minutes if they are pint jars, 10 for quart jars, and 5 for jelly jars. Voila, you have applesauce!!! ENJOY!
Step 6- Add the spices
Your applesauce should be in your crock pot now.
*1 1/2 TBSP Ground Cinnamon
*1 tsp Ground Cloves
*1/2 tsp Allspice
*2-3 cups of sugar (go off of taste, start with 2 cups and if you want it sweeter you can add either another cup of sugar or you can add apple juice)
Add all of these to your crockpot and stir together well!
Step 7- Cook the Apple butter
Set the crock pot to low or medium heat.
Cover it loosely or you can use two butter knifes laid across the top so that it doesn't too much of a mess, but the steam is still able to get out. I cook mine usually overnight. It takes awhile for the butter to thicken and reach the proper consistency. Let it cook anywhere for 6-12 hours. The time will depend on the size and power of your crockpot. I stir mine occasionally but it really is not necessary. It should reduce in volume by half. If your crockpot can not originally fit all of the applesauce you have made, you can add the rest of it when the butter has reduced in half and cook for a couple more hours.
Step 8- Fill and seal the jars
From left to right: Jar tongs: they help you remove the hot jars from the very hot water. Ladle: helps move the apple butter from the crockpot to the jars. Jar funnel: makes it very easy and clean to fill the jars. Fill your jars to the bottom lip, seal and arrange in the stock pot. Add water the the bottom of the metal ring and set your timer for 5 minutes when the water comes to a rolling boil. Once your five minutes is over use the jar tongs to remove the jars from the water and set jars on a towel on the counter to cool and seal. You should hear each jar pop.
|This shows you how full the jar needs to be and where the bottom lip of the metal ring is!|