Spicy and sweet – perfect for fall and winter – apple butter is also super easy to make.
Apples (I usually use gala or something similar)
Apple juice (1/2 cup per pound of apples)
Cinnamon and allspice or apple pie spice
Jars and lids
1. Core and cut your apples. I leave the skins on, but you can peel them if you wish.
2. Put the apples in a large pot and add apple juice. Cook until apples are soft.
3. When apples are soft, turn off burner and CAREFULLY run your hand blender through the apples and juice. Leave the amount of texture that you like.
4. Start the burner again, and add the amount of sugar and spices you like. I don’t add a ton of sugar because I don’t like my apple butter to be all sugar and no apple. I’ve seen some recipes call for up to three cups – I used about 2/3 of a cup. Taste your apple butter and adjust sugar and spices as needed.
5. Let simmer at low heat until the mix thickens up; could be another hour or so. Your house will smell amazing. Enjoy that
6. When your apple butter is ready, warm your half pint jars, lids, and seals in a clean sink of hot water. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
7. Fill and seal your jars. Place in oven for five minutes. Turn off oven and leave it alone for several hours. You should hear the jars sealing. (I learned this method from a sweet lady at a folk life festival whose stories began with, “when the boys got back from the war…” She knows what she is doing. It works with jams, jellies, fruit butters, and tomatoes. I’ve done this for about five years and have had less than a dozen jars not seal.) This will only work in an oven that does not have a fan that cools the oven once you turn off the heat. If you have an oven with a fan, you will have to use a hot water bath to process the jars.
8. When the jars have completely cooled, taken them out of the oven and store.