One thing I remember from my early childhood was the apple butter. There was always an abundance of homemade apple butter stored in the pantry so when one ended you just went and popped another. At some point the apple butter stopped, I’m not exactly sure when. This year my sister and I decided that it was high time for a fresh batch of apple butter from a new generation, thus the Apple Annie’s adventure in the previous post. We got enough apples to make several batches of apple butter which we will do next week at her house when I go up for a 5k that we are doing. However, we decided it would be a good idea to do the first batch at my mom’s house, seeing as she was the one that made it for us growing up, just in case there were any questions. My mom pulled out her Ball Blue Book (30th edition published in 1982) and pointed us to the correct recipe. I note the edition because my sister and I had looked at the current edition in the store and it did not have this particular version of apple butter.
Old-fashioned kind using whole apples
- 2 dozen, medium apples, quartered (about 6 pounds)
- 2 quarts sweet cider
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Cook apples in cider until tender. Press through a sieve or food mill; measure 3 quarts apple pulp. Cook pulp until thick enough to round up in a spoon. As pulp thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Add sugar and spices. Cook slowly, stirring frequently, until thick, about 1 hour. Pour, hot, into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Adjust caps. Process pints and quarts 10 minutes in boiling water bath. When cool, test for seal. Remove bands and store. Yield: about 5 pints
There were a few things we were unsure about in the recipe. The first was do you put the pulp back into the cider or cook it alone? After much debate and discussion with my mom, who wasn’t sure what she used to do, it was decided to put it back into the cider so that we wouldn’t waste the delicious flavors it had to offer. Also, I didn’t bother to measure out the pulp since I had gone by weight and not number of apples. Everything else was pretty much as written in the recipe and my canning skills were much improved since my first foray into canning with the peaches. We ended up with 6 glorious jars of apple butter.