I was honored to be able to go to the local Knight's Of Columbus traditional apple butter canning and Steak and Egg Breakfast. When we arrived about 6:30 in the morning they had their set up seen on the right already going. They used canned apple sauce for their butter base, but below I am making my apple butter with fresh apples from a local farm. They also had the big grill heating up to cook the breakfast on.
At about 9 o'clock they started grilling the steaks. They also cooked scrambled eggs in a large iron skillet and also another one for the Home Fries, Coffee was wating inside the Hall. It was delicious and all the men got a great morning meal. There were three of us women. I have always wanted to learn how to can. I don't do very well with just reading but am more of a hands-on learner. This was the perfect opportunity to learn how to can as I can watch and help. This is were I learned the Apple Butter is not preserved in a hot water bath. I loved that and it was very easy.
We had set up everything in an assembly line with the lady who does it every year and I filling the jars with the hot apple butter. Then the other lady was wiping off the tops of the jars with any spillage and then there was one of the Knight's who was putting the lids and rings on the jars and setting them on the table upside down. This is done so that the bottom of the jars can get sterilized again with the hot air that is left at the top of the jar. After about 5 or 6 minutes he went back and turned them upside right. We made about 12 dozen or so jars of Apple Butter.
It was a great time, great food and fun and I hope to go back next year and do some more helping!
What I found was that the recipe is season to taste so be sure to take a teaspoon at a few intervals to see if you like it.
Here is my basic recipe.
Peel, core and slice about 1/2 bushel of apples. I used Granny Smith and another apple for baking. This is up to you how tart you want your apple sauce.
I put the slices in the food processor to get it down to cooking consistency. (grainy)
Now these other ingredients will be up to you as to how sweet you want your apple butter.
I added 1 bag of Cranberries that I chopped fine in the Food Processor.
I cup of Honey
I cup or more of Molasses
3 Tablespoons of Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup of Cinnamon
I found this was still too tart and so I added 1 cup of Splenda. That was just right. it still had the tang of the cranberries but wasn't too tart --at least for my taste.
I used my roaster to cook this down, but you can do it over a fire with apple wood for smoking. I cooked it at 325 degrees for about 4 hours and stirred it every 15 minutes scraping the top of the pan as it tends to stick at the top of the mush.
You will need canning Jars, lids and rings, Large Mouthed funnel, and Ladle all sterilized.
Before you plan to can the butter, you will need to boil the lids so that the rubber becomes pliable and will seal the jars properly.
Line up your jars and ladle enough butter to just below the neck of the jar. Wipe off any residue from around the top of the jar. Place one lid onto the jar and screw on the ring tightly. Turn the jar upside down and leave there for 5-6 minutes. Then turn it upside right.
That's it! Easy!
This and Grape Jelly are the only recipes that you can can that doesn't include a hot water bath process.
Apple Nectarine Butter.
It's the same as the above only ommit the cranberries and Splenda. I used about 6 frozen cut up Nectarines for this and they had the peels on. I just put them in a blender and then added it to the apples and boiled it down. This isn't as tart as the Apple Cranberry Butter. It is not a smooth as you would buy in the store because of the bits of the Nectarine Skins. I only used them because when I thaw out fruit that I froze it becomes mush and figured to try it in the Apple Butter.
© Debra K. Allen a.k.a Lady Guinevere