My parent’s neighbor has an apple tree in their front yard. Every year is a race with the birds to get the best apples! It was recently the time of year for this race which results in a few delights including apple butter. Yum Yum! My mom was kind enough to record this process and share the recipe! Enjoy!
4 1/2 lbs tart cooking apples, peeled and quartered
3 cups apple cider or apple juice
2 cups sugar
2 T fresh lemon juice, strained
3/4 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t all spice
1/4 t cloves
Combine apples and cider in a heavy kettle or pot. Bring to boiling and then reduce heat. Simmer covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Press through a food mill or sieve until you have 7 1/2 cups.
Return pulp to kettle. Stir in sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and other spices.
Bring to boiling, then reduce heat. Cook, uncovered, over very low heat until very thick and mixture mounds on a spoon. Stir often.
Ladle hot apple butter into hot sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving 1/4 head-space.
Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process in a water bath for 5 minutes.
Remove jars from canner and cool on wire racks.
Want to mix it up a bit?
Try these versions:
Apple-pear butter — Substitute 2 lbs of cored, quartered and peeled pears for 2 lbs of apples
Caramel apple butter — Prepare as above except decrease granulated sugar to 1/2 cup and add 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar.