Here I go again, making apple butter.
One might wonder if it’s worth it. It takes 7 lbs of apples to render approximately 975 ml total of apple butter (or less if you like your apple butter really thick).
With caramels added, YES, it’s especially worth it!
I prefer my apple butter not too thick. It took 1 pound of apples to produce each jar of my apple butter. A neat tip to remember is that 2 large apples roughly equals a pound. For this recipe, you will weigh the apples after they are peeled and cored.
This produces a sweet fruit butter with a velvety texture.
If you want to know which apple varieties s are best for apple butter, they are the soft ones. They cook down faster. Braeburn, Cortland, Fuji, Gravenstein, Grimes Golden, Jonamac, Ida Red, Pipin, Spies, and the classic McIntosh will all work.
A great site, from Nova Scotia’s own Scotian Gold company, has lots of info on apple varieties and their many uses. You can find the list here.
Some uses for this gourmet spread: the centers of thumb-print cookies, a layer in apple crumble bars, or swirled through a bowl of porridge. My daughter suggested it slathered on top cinnamon rolls. Genius idea.
A quick spoonful when no one is looking is also deeply satisfying.
I’ve dressed my jars up and attached a handmade ornament. I am giving them as gifts this year, to my Christmas guests.
7 lbs peeled and cored apples, sliced
2 cups apple cider
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
4 tbsp. butter
16 oz. soft caramels (approx. 56)
In a large pot, over low heat, cook the apples down until they resemble a chunky apple sauce. This takes about an hour. When it reaches this point, add the cider and spices. With a spatula or wooden spoon, start to mash up any big chunks of apples, to speed along the process.
Cook another 2 hours (checking and stirring occasionally), at lowest heat, then add butter and caramels. Stir well.
Continue cooking, still at lowest heat, another 2 hours or until it reaches a consistency you like (mine resembled the thickness of peanut butter).
Remove momentarily from heat to blend with an immersion blender.
Sterilize and prepare jars for canning. Funnel in the hot apple butter. Wipe the rims of jars with clean damp cloth, to remove any apple butter splatter. Place on lids and rings, tighten, and place into boiling canning pot for 5 minutes (or double that if you live more than 1000 ft above sea level). *Make sure the water level is at least an inch above the jars so they are fully immersed.
When done, carefully set processed jars on counter to remain undisturbed for several hours. Then check to make sure they have sealed properly.
This made seven 125 ml jars