I LOVE fall, and with fall comes apples and pumpkins…that alone speaks happiness here at our little homestead!
As fall approaches the Pacific Northwest, we know that we will be making the same things we make every year, apple butter, apple sauce, apple juice, and apple pie filling. But for today’s canning adventure, we are putting up apple butter. Which happens to be A Farm Guy’s most favorite item that we put up.
We peeled apples in record time, and I promise, anytime we put up apples, I will never peel another apple without using this method…EVER again! It tool less than 5 seconds to peel an apple, and we were able to complete 50 lbs in less than 15 mins…yeah, never going without our ‘drill peeler’ again.
Once the apples were peeled we used a mandalay to sliced them. I find this easier than trying to cube them and I think that they cook down quite a bit better. I could be way off on that theory, but in the 3 years of making apple butter, it has worked pretty well, and to shave off a bit of time as well. But again….this could be in my mind! We have 8 quart crock pots, which will hold roughly 3 lbs of apples.
The apples sliced directly into the crock pot, cutting ADDITIONAL TIME…yes, its all about the time for me!
Here’s a quick bit of off the wall honesty…I am still working out my time management skill. Struggling to find the happy medium of transform our newly purchased 2 acres into a fully functioning homestead, WHILE blogging, our Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, working, and raising kids. Yeahhhhhh, haven’t quite mastered it yet!!!
Sorry, back to our original program!
You are now ready to add the ‘goodness’. Some would say that the apples make up the true goodness, however, I say that its the spices & sugar that really ‘makes the magic happen’. You can adjust our ingredients list by adding as little or as much of the sugar and spices as you would like; feel free to make it fit your taste.
- 6 large apples (we love Gala’s they are sweet, and cook down wonderfully)
- 3 cups of sugar, OR 1 1/2 cup of granulated sugar & 1 1/2 cup of lite brown sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon of all spice
- 1/4 cup of lemon juice, fresh or bottled
Place all of the ingredients, along with a very small amount of water, just a tiny bit to cover the bottom of your roasting pan or crock pot, and allow it to slow cook for roughly two. I like to give the items a good stirring, mixing all of the ingredients together, and then proceed to allow it to slow cook the remainder of the time.
I love to cook our apple butter overnight, and process it first thing in the morning; it saves me from having to hang around the house and frees me up to complete other chores on the list. By the AM the house smells fabulous, and I can’t help but scoop some into a bowl and sample how fabulous it is!
The final stage prior to canning it up is to blend it creating the butter texture. We use an immersion blender to do the mixing, which we do directly in the crock pot.
Once you have pureed the apples into a butter texture, you may notice that the mixture may be a bit to watery, and you’d like it a bit thicker. To thicken, simply turn your crock pot on high and cook it down with the top slightly ajar, until the it reaches the consistency you wish to have. If you have a frying screen, you can completely remove the lid and place the frying screen directing over the crock pot, helping to eliminate the mess of the bubbling apple butter.
Once your apple butter is ready, process it in a Hot Water Bath for 15 minutes pints, 10 minutes half pints.
NOTE: I apologize that there are no photos. Our computer crashed, and we are in the process of recovering blogs. But sadly, I do not have many of the photos any longer!